The weekend before the Sept. 14 start of the Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington, the auction's participants were worrying about the market and trying to guess how much it would be down from 2008. But some consignors were pleasantly surprised by how many people were looking at their horses. Here is what some of them had to say.
- By Esther Marr
A painting worth thousands left in the trash has since prompted a zeal-filled quest for Gordon Burnette to give acclaim to the long forgotten, but well-revered 19th century equine artist Thomas J. Scott.
Despite losing to Birdstone in heartbreaking fashion in the Belmont, Smarty Jones touched Madison Scott's heart. And from that point on she became "Smarty's No. 1 Fan," an unofficial title that became official July 6 when Three Chimneys Farm and Smarty's owner, Pat Chapman, arranged for the 15-year-old Scott to spend a week with her favorite horse.
The number of horses cataloged to the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale fell 6.6%, from an all-time high of 5,555 for the auction last year to 5,189. According to Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of the sales, the weakening of the Thoroughbred market in general -- because of problems within the horse industry and economic difficulties around the world -- was an important factor in the decline.
Afleet Alex got his first winner as a sire July 28, but just barely. His son Kratisto broke his maiden by a head at Delaware Park.
The Fasig-Tipton July select yearling sale, held July 20-21 in Lexington, ended with significant setbacks in gross revenue, average price, and median price, but managed to lower its buy-back rate from a year ago slighty. Read what sale company officials and sale participants had to say about the market.
"You can call it a midlife crisis or whatever you want, but it's the best thing I've ever done," said pinhooker Murray Smith of her move earlier this year to Southern California from the Ocala area in Central Florida.
Fasig-Tipton's July select yearling sale ended with a bang instead of a whimper in Lexington, getting a boost from the progeny of the hot stallion Medaglia d'Oro. Even though the key business figures were down from the previous year, the final day produced the auction's highest price and results that were stronger than the opening day's statistics.
The declines were in line with expectations during the opening session of the Fasig-Tipton July select yearling sale. Buyers and consignors had predicted the market would be down significantly, and there were no surprises July 20 in Lexington.
Even though the stock market has been enjoying a recent rally, buyers and sellers of young horses aren't expecting a similar rebound in yearling prices. Heading into the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select auction, which kicks off the 2009 yearling selling season, some people were predicting further downturns of 30% or more in key business figures, mainly because the health of the overall economy, here and abroad, remains weak.
This is a list of horses that consignors and buyers consider to be among the top prospects during the first session of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling sale July 20 in Lexington.
This is a list of horses that buyers and consignors considered to be among the top prospects during the second session of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling sale July 21 in Lexington.
Sandy Stuart is the new director of sales for Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services, and he's finding out what it's like being in charge of a consignment for the first time at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling auction in Lexington.
Read what people have been saying about their expectations for the Fasig-Tipton July select yearling sale, which is scheduled for July 20 and 21 in Lexington.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association recently announced its annual list of recipients of its state breeder of the year awards. The winners will be honored at an awards ceremony Sept. 10 at Keeneland.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association announced July 14 it will hold a Thoroughbred Pedigree and Conformation Clinic Aug. 11 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Fasig-Tipton has cataloged 494 horses for its Kentucky July select yearling auction. The number is down 13% from last year's total of 568.
As part of an expanding mission to enhance services to its consignors and buyers, Fasig-Tipton has recently added Reed Ringler to its marketing staff at the company's headquarters near Lexington.
There's a new president in town, and a Congress even more dominated by Democrats, but one of the nation's top lobbyists for equine interests said April 30 that the horse industry must be ever-diligent about protecting and advancing its positions in Washington, D.C.
Preston Madden, who bred Alysheba, called the 1988 Horse of Year and racing Hall of Fame member "a gift from heaven" during a memorial service for the pensioned stallion at the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington April 29.
The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its creation when it hosts a fundraising celebration at the Keeneland Entertainment Center in Lexington, Ky. Oct. 16.
The Association of Racing Commissioners International will celebrate its 75th anniversary when its four-day conference on racing and wagering integrity kicks off April 20 at the Lexington Hilton Downtown Hotel and Conference Center.
At a press conference April 17 at Keeneland, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced that the Lexington racetrack has been fully accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance following a complete review of all racing operations at the facility. Keeneland is the second track to be so designated by the Alliance. Churchill Downs was accredited last week.
The Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training was the fifth and final major select juvenile auction of the year, and its results followed the downward trends seen at the earlier sales. Read what buyers and consignors had to say about the market in Lexington April 6 and 7.
Former Keeneland president Ted Bassett will sign his new autobiography at the track this weekend.
Keeneland's sale of 2-year-olds in training, like just about every other Thoroughbred auction in recent memory, generated results that lagged well behind the previous year's statistics. The gross revenue for the two-day sale, which ended the evening of April 7 in Lexington, dropped 27.6% while the average price declined 15.5%. The median price fell 21.7%.
Vallenzeri, who set a world Thoroughbred auction record last year as a $7.7-million buy-back, finally found a new home as the Keeneland sale of 2-year-olds in training opened in Lexington April 6.
Keeneland's April auction is the year's fifth and final major sale of 2-year-olds in training. The results for the previous auctions have been sobering, and most consignors are expecting to have a tough time again getting the prices they want for their horses April 6 and 7 in Lexington.
Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr.'s undefeated Charitable Man completed his major work for the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) April 11 by working five furlongs in :59.60 under exercise rider Pat Correa April 5 at Keeneland in Lexington.
This is a list of colts and fillies that their consignors believe could impress buyers shopping during the April 6 first session of the Keeneland sale of 2-year-olds in training in Lexington.
This is a list of colts and fillies that their consignors believe could impress buyers shopping during the April 7 second session of the Keeneland sale of 2-year-olds in training in Lexington.
In what has been a tough, grin-and-bear-it kind of year for sellers of 2-year-olds, Mike Akers of Dapple Bloodstock got a break from the bad news April 2 in Lexington. A son of Songandaprayer, which Dapple had purchased for $110,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Easter Fall yearling sale, turned in the fastest work at an eighth of a mile during the under tack show for the Keeneland juvenile auction. The dark bay or brown colt covered the distance in :9 4/5 over Keeneland's Polytrack surface.
This is a list of horses to keep an eye on during the April 6 first session of the Keeneland sale of 2-year-olds in training in Lexington.
This is a list of horses to keep an eye on during the April 7 second session of the Keeneland sale of 2-year-olds in training in Lexington:
Vallenzeri set a world Thoroughbred auction record last year as a $7.7-million buy-back at the Keeneland September yearling sale. He's back at Keeneland trying to find a new home again, this time as Hip No. 22 in the April sale of 2-year-olds in training.
The Kentucky fall yearling sale is back on this year's Fasig-Tipton calendar after the auction firm's officials announced in mid-March that it had been canceled.
Ruben Munoz, agent for jockey Gabriel Saez, will also handle the book for leading rider John Velazquez at the Keeneland meet that begins April 3.
Champion Stardom Bound is scheduled to run in the April 4 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, but her half-brother by Roman Ruler won't be offered during the Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training in Lexington.
HRTV will provide live coverage of Keeneland's sale of 2-year-olds in training, which is scheduled for April 6 and 7 in Lexington. Sessions begin each evening at 7 p.m. (EDT).
Fasig-Tipton will not conduct a yearling sale in Kentucky in the fall. The auction had been scheduled for Oct. 26-28 in Lexington.
The 2008 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed auction posted an 18.9% gain in average price. The gross revenue rose 1.9% while the median price remained the same as in 2007. But this year's edition of the sale, scheduled for Feb. 9 in Lexington, isn't expected to perform as strongly.
The final results of the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale in Lexington were sobering, with setbacks of 53.4% in gross revenue, 48% in average price, and 44.1% in median price from a year ago. But they weren't anything new to the people who market Thoroughbreds.
A Street Cry yearling filly was the only horse to bring a six-figure amount as the gross revenue, average price, and median price dropped dramatically for the fourth consecutive day at the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale in Lexington.
Read what participants in the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale had to say during the auction's fourth session Jan. 15 in Lexington.
Session three of the Keeneland January horses of ages sale in Lexington was brightened by the most expensive yearling sold so far, a $390,000 son of Maria's Mon. But the auction's key business figures remained grim when compared to 2008's results.
Read what consignors and buyers had to say about the market at the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale.
The Keeneland January horses of all ages sale continued its scary downward spiral during the second session of its six-day run in Lexington. The gross revenue Jan. 13 dropped 66.2% from a year ago while the average price fell 61.6%. The median price plunged 55.8% while the number of horses sold was down least of all, 12.1%.
The results were grim, but not surprising, as Keeneland opened its January horses of all ages sale in Lexington during a time of worldwide economic downturns. The gross revenue Jan. 12 plummeted 44% from the auction's first session in 2008 while the average price dropped 45.9%. The median price suffered the most damage, falling 50.9%.
Azeri failed to find a new home during the opening session of the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale Jan. 12 in Lexington. Michael Paulson, saying she was "like part of the family," bought back the 2002 Horse of the Year for $4.4 million. Last year, Paulson set a world Thoroughbred auction record when he bought back Azeri's s first foal, Vallenzeri (by 1992 Horse of the Year A.P. Indy), for $7.7 million at the Keeneland September yearling auction.
Azeri, who was expected to top the Keeneland January sale, was instead bought back on a bid of $4.4 million.
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