Samantha Siegel of Jay Em Ess Stable has purchased five so far at Keeneland September this year

Samantha Siegel of Jay Em Ess Stable has purchased five so far at Keeneland September this year

Anne M. Eberhardt

Jay Em Ess Active at Keeneland

Stable hunts for value as Book 3 begins

Buyers will always tell you it's hard to land the right horse at auction, even at the marathon Keeneland September yearling sale.

In the back ring as the Sept. 20 first day of Book 3 unfolded, the Jay Em Ess team of Samantha Siegel, adviser Ric Waldman, and trainer Paul McGee were shopping in earnest. They had picked up four in Book 2 late and landed one early on Sunday.

"It's strong," said Siegel, who scours Book 2 and 3 for qualified candidates and doesn't have a specific number she'll buy. "The foal crop is down and there are plenty of funds out here for the good horse."

"Consignors feel it's spotty and that there are not enough buyers to catch all the horses," Waldman said. "In Book 1 there were a lot of horses that didn't belong, and that hurts consignors. You have to make enough on the peanuts to make up for what you lose on the popcorn."