The Thoroughbred market's dismal downward trend this year continued during the opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale Oct. 5 in Maryland. The gross revenue suffered a moderate 9.5% loss from 2008, but the median price plummeted 35% while the average price fell 19.4%.
Prices dropped during the opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale Oct. 5 in Maryland, following a trend that has been seen at nearly every Thoroughbred auction this year. But there were still a lot of smiling faces as buyers and consignors praised the newly renovated sale pavilion at the State Fairgrounds in Timonium.
Fasig-Tipton has cataloged 972 horses for its Kentucky fall yearling sale, which will be held Oct. 26-28 in Lexington. The total is down 10.8% from last year's total of 1,090.
Fighting Brave, who brought the sale-topping price of $2 million at last year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction, made his career debut a winning one at Dundalk in Ireland Oct. 4.
The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling might struggle like nearly every other Thoroughbred auction this year, but at least the buyers and consignors will have a newly renovated sale pavilion to enjoy Oct. 5 and 6 in Timonium, Md. According to Fasig-Tipton officials, there will be dramatic changes in the appearance of the once drab facility.
Part one of the Goffs Orby yearling sale in Ireland ended Sept. 30 in Ireland with an 11.1% increase in median price from 2008 and a 6.7% loss in average price. This year, there were two sessions in part one of the auction -- down from three last year -- and the sale's gross dropped 31.5%, in part because fewer horses were offered and sold.
A Giant's Causeway filly, the second foal out of 2005 Boylesports Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) winner Saoire, was the star of Goffs Orby yearling sale's opening session in Ireland Sept. 29. She commanded the highest price of 475,000 euros ($695,124 in U.S funds) from bloodstock agent Hugo Merry, who was acting on behalf of Dr. Jim Hay.
New Jersey bloodstock agent Buzz Chace was a new buyer at the Goffs Orby yearling sale in Ireland on the opening day of the auction Sept. 29. Acting on behalf of longtime client West Point Thoroughbreds, he purchased a Holy Roman Emperor colt for 140,000 euros ($204,879 in U.S. funds)from Camas Park Stud and an Ad Valorem colt for 50,000 euros ($73,171)from Ashtown House Stud.
An Unbridled's Song colt brought $185,000 to top the ninth session of the struggling Keeneland September yearling sale. While the number of horses sold Sept. 23 in Lexington rose 5.6% from a year ago, the gross revenue declined 26.2%. The average price dropped 30.1%, and the median price plunged 40%. The buy-back rate fell from 24.6% in 2008 to 19.3% this year.
The Overbrook Farm dispersal, which began at the Keeneland September yearling sale, will not mark the end of the Young family's involvement in the Thoroughbred business. Chris Young, the 34-year-old grandson of Overbrook founder W.T. Young, is making plans for his own venture that probably will emphasize racing.
David Hayden has a message for his fellow commercial breeders: "Change or die." The ability to be flexible during hard times, he said last week at the Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington, is the key to survival. And Hayden, who plans to keep raising horses for many years to come, has looked at everything from production costs to where he will market his yearlings in an effort to remain profitable and avoid drowning in a sea of red ink.
From the very beginning of the Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington, it was apparent that there would be a major correction in the market for young horses as key business figures suffered significant setbacks. Here are comments from auction participants during the first week of the sale.
All major indices continued to fall as the Keeneland September yearling sale reached its midpoint Sept. 21.
When Goulash's Unbridled's Song colt brought $925,000 to top the opening session of the Keeneland September yearling auction Sept. 14, the prognosis for the Mari's Book mare looked grim. She is battling laminitis, and there were concerns that she would need to be euthanized just days after her son had been sold.
The Japan Racing Horse Association has changed its format for the July select foal and yearling sale for 2010. There will be two days of selling instead of three at the Northern Horse Park on the Japanese island of Hokkaido and more yearlings will be offered.
Stallion managers slashed stud fees last year after this country's recession deteriorated into a financial crisis and spread around the world. With prices for Thoroughbreds continuing to decline after falling significantly in 2008, commercial breeders are calling for even more stud fee reductions for 2010.
Here is a list of horses that consignors and buyers think could be standouts Sept. 15 during the second session of the Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington.
One day prior to the Sept. 14 start of the Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington, there was a lot of uncertainty about how the market would perform at a time when the economy was continuing to struggle. There also were some questions about what was going on around the sale grounds. Here they are, and here are their answers.
Here is a list of horses that consignors and buyers think could be standouts Sept. 14 during the first session of the Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington.
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.
Consignors at the Keeneland September yearling sale were bracing themselves for one of the most daunting auction challenges of 2009: Finding new homes for thousands of young horses at a time when the weak economy is causing buyer demand for Thoroughbreds to shrink. Buyers, meanwhile, were excited about the prospect of bargains.
For Gerry Dilger of Dromoland Farm in Central Kentucky, the timing could not have been better. A little more than a week prior to the start of the Keeneland September yearling auction, two juvenile graduates of his breeding and selling program -Hot Dixie Chick and Dublin- scored victories in grade I races at Saratoga.
A son of Cahill Road brought the highest price of $60,000 during the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association (WTBA) summer yearling sale Sept. 8 at the Morris J. Alhadeff Sale Pavilion at Emerald Downs. Jill and Dave Heerensperger purchased the bay colt, which is a full brother to The Great Face, winner of the 2007 Longacres Mile (gr. III) and Mt. Rainier Handicaps at Emerald Downs.
Marked by a severe 22.9% decrease in average price, the annual selected Canadian-bred yearling sale, hosted by the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (Ontario division) at the Woodbine racetrack sales pavilion on Sept. 8 was yet another North American auction that was a victim of a struggling economy.
The Ontario division of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (CTHS) has 464 horses cataloged for its Canadian-bred yearling auction. The select session is scheduled for Sept. 8 and the open session for Sept. 12 at the Woodbine Sales Pavilion at Woodbine racetrack near Toronto.
The 43rd annual Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association's summer yearling auction will be held Sept. 8, beginning at 1 p.m. (PDT) at the Morris Alhadeff Sales Pavilion at Emerald Downs. There are 179 horses in the catalog and in addition to yearlings with Washington pedigrees, they include offerings from Kentucky, California, Oregon, and Canada.
Fasig-Tipton has cataloged 670 horses for its Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale, which will be held in Timonium, Md., Oct. 5 and 6. The number is down 28% from 2008, when 930 horses were in the book and the auction was three days in length.
Reduced to a one-day sale, the Fasig-Tipton Texas summer yearling auction posted a gross that was down significantly Aug. 31 at Lone Star Park. Under last year's two-day format, 443 horses were cataloged, but only 319 were offered this year, contributing to a 43.9% decline in the gross, from $3,369,700 to $1,889,400. The buy-back rate rose from 36.6% in 2008 to 42%, with only 185 head selling. While the median increased to $5,000 from $4,500, the average dipped from $11,992 to $10,213, a 14.8% decline.
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. yearling sale, like many other auctions before it in 2009, couldn't overcome the weak economy and ended up posting results that were down signficantly from 2008.
According to an old saying, "Everything is bigger in Texas," but Fasig-Tipton's yearling sale in the Lone Star State has gotten smaller. And that could be a positive development.
The price for an individual horse peaked at $45,000 on the third day of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. yearling sale, with three lots each bringing that amount Aug. 26 in Central Florida. They were a Stormy Atlantic--La Defense colt, a Put It Back--Lovely Lyric colt, and a Pomeroy--Misty Springs filly.
A Dansili colt commanded the sale-topping price of Â£200,000 ($327,740 in U.S. funds) as the Doncaster Bloodstock Sales St. Leger yearling auction ended Aug. 26 with downturns of more than 20% in its gross revenue, average price, and median price.
A filly by the hot first-crop sire Wildcat Heir was the most expensive horse sold on the second day of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s slumping yearling auction, bringing $100,000 Aug. 25 in Central Florida. Repole Stable purchased the New York-bred chestnut from Bryan and Holley Rice's Woodside Ranch, agent.
A Royal Applause colt topped the opening session of Doncaster Bloodstock Sales' St. Leger yearling auction bringing Ã‚Â£120,000 ($197,765 in U.S. funds) Aug. 25 in England. BBA Ireland's Eamon Reilly purchased the bay yearling for Mark Gittins, outlasting Richard O'Gorman in the bidding.
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s August yearling sale broke slowly from the starting gate Aug. 24 in Central Florida, suffering downturns of more than 30% from 2008 in its gross revenue, average price, and median price. But a powerful-looking Medaglia d'Oro filly topped the select session by attracting a $275,000 final bid from Charlotte Weber's Live Oak Plantation that surpassed last year's peak price for an individual horse of $200,000.
With the weak economy continuing to have a negative impact on all sorts of businesses, Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. executive Tom Ventura has modest expectations for the auction firm's August yearling sale in Central Florida.
International Equine Acquisitions Holdings (IEAH), through agent Nick Sallusto, was the biggest-spending domestic buyer at the recent Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction in New York, paying $2,150,000 for six yearlings. All the horses could be offered next year at sales of 2-year-olds in training, according to IEAH president and director Michael Iavarone.
Arqana's Deauville August yearling sale finished its four-day run with a 3.4% increase in its average price and a 7.1% upswing in its median price from 2008. The gross revenue fell 1.5% while the clearance rate declined from 76.8% last year to 74.7%.
The California Cup yearling sale has 282 yearlings in its catalog. The auction, which is a joint venture between Barretts and the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, will be held Oct. 5 in the Hinds Pavlion at Barretts, which is located at Fairplex Park in Southern California. The sale will start at 11 a.m. (PDT).
A Medaglia d'Oro colt brought the sale-topping price of $275,000 as the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling auction ended its two-night run Aug. 16 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y, well behind last year's record-setting pace. Trainer Seth Benzel, agent for Whitehall Stable, purchased the bay yearling. James Pippo is the president of Whitehall, which puts together racing partnerships.
A Peintre Celebre–Hayhaat colt brought the highest price of 205,000 euros ($291,264 in U.S. funds) Aug. 16 on the third day of Arqana's Deauville yearling sale in France. Agence FIPS purchased the colt from Neustrian Associates.
The Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale got off to a rocky start Aug. 15 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The gross revenue dropped 41.7% from a year ago while the average and median prices both plunged 47.1%. The buy-back rate was 54.3% compared to 52.5% in 2008.
A Pivotal filly topped the second session of Arqana's Deauville August yearling sale, bringing 300,000 euros ($427,722) Aug. 15 in France. Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock manager, John Ferguson, purchased the filly from Capucines.
Fasig-Tipton reversed the negative business trends seen at Thoroughbred auctions this year at its recent Saratoga select yearling sale, where the gross revenue, average price, and median price all enjoyed significant upswings from 2008. The second and final auction on the company's upstate New York calendar is the New York-bred preferred yearling auction, which will be held Aug. 15 and 16. Each session will start at 7 p.m. (EDT).
Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock manager, John Ferugson, who was the biggest spender at the recent Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction, was busy again Aug. 14 during the opening session of the Arqana's Deauville August yearling sale in France. He bought the session-topping Storm Cat colt for 900,000 Euros ($1,282,860 in U.S. funds) from Etreham.
The Oklahoma City yearling sale, scheduled for Aug. 24 in Oklahoma, has 113 horses in its catalog, including a close relative to the $2.8-million Storm Cat – Onaga colt that topped the recent Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction. The yearling, by Storm Cat's grandson Lion Heart, is out of a full sister to Onaga, according to the auction's sales manager, Terri Carter.
"I've never seen anything like this," said Holly Bandoroff of Denali Stud of a bizarre incident that involved a well-bred dark bay or brown filly, a bald man in a plaid shirt, at least three Fasig-Tipton officials, and several policemen during the second and final session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale in New York Aug. 11.
Boosted by the Sheikh Mohammed stimulus package, the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale got off to a sizzling start Aug. 10 in New York at a time when the struggling economy is causing prices to fall at other Thoroughbred auctions. The gross revenue for the 76 horses that sold was $25,470,000, which was a whopping 40.3% increase from the opening session a year ago. The average price grew 10.7% to $335,132, and the median price increased 6.4% to $250,000.
A muscular bay son of first-crop sire and champion Bernardini became the first horse to command seven figures Aug. 10 during the opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction, bringing $1.2 million from Sheikh Mohammed.
Sheikh Mohammed, the world's biggest Thoroughbred auction spender, inspected yearlings consigned to the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale the morning of Aug. 10, just hours before the 6 p.m. (EDT) start of the New York auction. As a light rain fell, the ruler of Dubai looked at some horses while standing under the cover of the new walking ring. He previously had visited the Fasig-Tipton sale grounds early in the evening on Aug. 9.
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