Chace at OBS: It's Time to Buy

Agent sees opportunity in today's market.

Prices were down significantly at the first major auction of the selling season for 2-year-olds in training Feb. 17 in Central Florida. Read what one buyer and several consignors had to say about the market at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. February select auction:

Buzz Chace, New Jersey bloodstock agent: “I think it’s a great market. I bought a Forest Camp colt (out of Quiet Summernight) for $225,000 that maybe I would have had to pay $500,000 or $600,000 for two years ago. It’s a fair market for a buyer. I see some people who are getting some real good buys. Every buyer I’ve talked to is really happy, but, of course, a couple of the consignors are not. It’s a very good time to buy horses. Get out of the stock market and buy horses. I’m serious. There’s a 25% to 30% discount.”

Hoby Kight, consignor: “I got both of my horses sold. I didn’t get what I expected going in to the sale, but I got them sold. Maybe I just didn’t have the horses the buyers really wanted. People are here to buy horses, but they want to buy them at a discount. You’ve just got to deal with it if you want to sell them. I thought my Roman Ruler colt would bring between $200,000 and $250,000, and he brought $190,000. I thought my Louisiana-bred Reformer Rally colt (a half-brother to grade I winner Premium Tap) would bring $125,000, and he brought $90,000.”

Mike Ryan, Kentucky bloodstock agent and pinhooker, after buying back a Distorted Humor – Age of Silver filly for $320,000: “The market appears to be very selective. There were a couple of good spots, but we have been feeling the squeeze a little bit. There is a lack of energy. Everybody was thinking it was going to be tough, and it is. If you’ve got nice horses (that you buy back), you hope you can go on with them and get it (a deal) done at the next level. The Distorted Humor filly has shin splints under both knees. They are small cherry splints about the size of your little fingernail, and they’re very sore and very sensitive. It’s something that six weeks of no training will take care of, but it was a concern to people and understandably so. We’ll cool her out and bring her back and look for a race at Saratoga. She’s shown us tremendous ability and potential, and we’re disappointed not to get her sold. But at the same time, there is life after today, especially if you like the horse.”

Nick de Meric, consignor: “The market kind of feels like what most of us expected, but didn’t want to admit. There are people here to buy horses, and that’s encouraging. But everybody’s got to do a little adjusting no matter what business they’re in; I guess we’re no exception. But as long as people want to buy horses, then at least we can still ply our trade. It’s a good group of horses here. I think all of us consignors kind of cherry pick for this sale because we’ve got plenty of other options later in the year. If we come here, it’s for a reason, and it’s not surprising that good horses come out of this sale.”

“I was delighted with her price, but I was a little disappointed with the response we got for some of our other horses because they were good ones. You can see a lot of buyers going whoa, whoa, whoa. I was happy with all the action (with buyers looking at the barn), and with the way it was, I would have thought the sale would have been a hair better. But the (summary) sheets aren’t making for pretty reading. Usually this is a sale that sets a trend for the year.”