Zayat Adheres to Plan, Selling Horses

Following his business plan, Ahmed Zayat of Zayat Stables will offer more than 70 horses, including grade III winner Baroness Thatcher, during the 2008 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, which begins Nov. 3. Eaton Sales will consign the horses, which will include racing, broodmare, and stallion prospects, as well as a few weanlings.

“There are many owners who prefer to purchase ready-made racehorses,” said Zayat. “Our focus remains on developing young horses. This approach means we can provide for an underserved market by allowing a broad ownership base to acquire quality-racing stock from our stable every year. I have had a lot of fun racing these horses, and I am hoping that other owners will experience the joy and pride those magnificent animals brought me.”

Zayat  said his focus is racing at the highest level and the decision to sell the horses follows the business plan he developed in 2005 when he first entered the game. He plans to make the offering of his racing stock an annual event.

“We are a young racing stable,” he said. “I don’t want to be a breeder at this juncture. I don’t want to be a pinhooker. I just want to focus on racing, and I want to focus on the upper level of racing.”

Asked how he decided which horses to offer for sale, Zayat said, “We are constantly looking at our portfolio and seeing what horse are doing what,  how they are performing,  and what they are being pointed to. We looked at the individual athletes and who best fit our program and who did not. I am not selling claimers. I am selling horses that have won or placed in graded stakes.”

In addition to Baroness Thatcher, other Zayat horses cataloged for the sale include grade II winner Mushka, grade III winner Z Fortune, and stakes winners Zee Zee and Premium Wine.

“These are kind of like your kids,” he said. “The fun part is going to pick them up as yearlings and seeing them grow and develop and hopefully go the direction that you want. That is part of the fun we are having, part of the excitement and the passion. It is hard to part with them, but your daughter gets married, your son gets married, and they move on. There is a point where you have to be practical about it.”

Zayat Stables maintains one of the largest racing programs in the sport – with a portfolio of more than 276 horses, including 170 horses in-training that have amassed $5.5 million in earnings and 15 stakes victories in 2008. Zayat was a leading buyer at the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale, purchasing 30 yearlings for $6.7 million.