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.
Previously, IEAH’s business strategy had focused on buying racehorses privately.
“This is our first endeavor in the yearling market,” Iavarone said. “We are eying maybe reselling the horses at the 2-year-old sales next year, but that’s not etched in stone. Things change with us day to day, so we could very well go on and race them. Business being down (at many auctions) was definitely one reason we came up with the idea to get involved. The other thing is that we were sitting on some capital, and we hadn’t seen many horses on the private side that were striking our nerve. We’ve had contracts to buy horses in the last couple of months privately, but there were some vet issues and we couldn’t put everything together. I wouldn’t say prices are too high in the private market. There is never a price that is too high for us if we really, really want something, and we think it’s worth it. But I think there are some people looking to get too much from us for the kinds of pedigrees that are out there.”
IEAH’s most expensive Saratoga sale purchase was a $725,000 Tiznow filly that is out of the stakes-winning Rubiano mare Positive Energy.
“Having a racing arm is definitely a great strategy (for pinhooking)," Sallusto said, "because if we think that a horse doesn’t achieve a fair market value (as a juvenile), then being able to go on and take it to the next step by racing it is really just a progression. I think you are starting to see more racing partnerships or privately-owned racing stables use the same strategy.”