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:
Bob Cromartie, Ardmore Stud: “I think it’s the same thing we’ve seen in the past. A good horse comes in here, and you can’t steal it. We have looked at mares, but we haven’t even been close. When you look at good mares and compare those mares to what you should be able to buy them for proportionate to what’s happening in the rest of the market, they’re not coming down (in price).
"But we’ve also sold some nice yearlings very, very well. We’ve been very happy. The nice yearlings are selling if they pass the vet. They (the buyers) are very picky. They’re going over them with a fine-toothed comb. But if they pass the vet and they’re nice individuals, they’re bringing good money.”
Gayle Van Leer, California bloodstock agent: “For me as a buyer I see the opportunity in nice, young mares. This has been great. My people have just been all over this because of the value here. We’re getting good value for what we’re buying, absolutely. I’ve been looking at these kinds of mares over the last few years, and I think I’m getting them for a third less or half less than what I would have paid for them two years ago.
“All my clients are breeders and they are basically breeding to race for the most part, so that helped us in being able to buy some mares with pedigrees that maybe weren’t as commercial but the horses still were nice individuals. We started in November picking away at this, and it’s just gotten better now. I had a hard time finding nice mares that were $200,000 to $300,000; there weren’t a lot of those here. But these under $100,000 mares, we’re doing pretty well on those.”
J.B. McKathan, Florida horseman: “I’m buying mares for our new stud horse, Got the Last Laugh. I thought it was going to be very easy, but you’re not able to steal them.”