The 2008 Keeneland September Yearling Sale

The 2008 Keeneland September Yearling Sale

Anne M. Eberhardt

Analyzing September: Nothing Unexpected

Notes and quotes from the Keeneland sale.

Book 2 of the Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington didn’t have horses with pedigrees that were as fancy as those in Book 1. But it did have a lot of yearlings with top conformation, even though the two days it covered (Sept. 10 and 11) were considered open sessions. Following are comments from buyers and consignors about the market at Keeneland, especially for Book 2 horses:

Doug Cauthen, WinStar Farm: “It’s been about what I expected; it really has. Obviously we’ve got 11 more days to go, but I think this has been a very good book, pretty solid.”

Mark Taylor, Taylor Made Sales Agency: “I think it (the market for Book 2 horses) has been really strong. The way Keeneland and the consignors work together is that we try to get really good physicals in Books 2 and 3. There haven’t been that many explosive, breakout horses, but there has been very solid trade up to $250,000. Yesterday (Sept. 10), we sold 21 out of 26 horses, and then we sold two more of those (privately) afterwards, so we whittled it down to just a few RNAs, which is always good. Those horses that got bought back had veterinary problems, and we knew that going in, so I think Book 2 has been very sound. I’m pleasantly surprised.
“Book 1 is always a hit or miss type of book because if you have a filly and she’s got a lot of pedigree, she goes in Book 1 regardless of the physical. So, you’ve got a certain amount of horses in that book that are set up to be RNAs, and they eventually get sold later in the week. You’ll always have probably 10% to 12% of the catalog that really are not true Book 1 horses. I’m not saying that as a knock on Keeneland because we (the consignors) do it as well.”

Sergio de Sousa, Hidden Brook: “For the right horses, there is plenty of money, but it’s pretty shaky in the middle. You’ve got to set your reserve right and be realistic about it. It was a very slow start, but we’ve picked it up a little bit, so hopefully we’ll finish strong.”

Kitty Taylor, Warrendale Sales: “It’s better (in Book 2). We’ve had much more vetting, and people have been much more down to business. There is a much more solid feel to the market. For me (in Book 1), there was some vetting, but a lot of people just sat on their hands.”

Shari Eisaman, pinhooker: “We haven’t bought anything yet (early in the afternoon of Sept. 11). To buy a good horse, it’s still tough. We really just started trying to buy today, but we usually never buy until Saturday (the fifth session), which is where we’re supposed to be. But we followed some nice horses up (to the sale ring) that sold really well. The market is still good for a good horse. It’s always going to be like that. It’s beauty contest.”

Pat Costello, Paramount Sales: “I’ve put 14 horses through already today (early in the afternoon of Sept. 11), and I’ve had only one RNA, so we’re doing very good. I didn’t think the first book was bad. I thought there were people there to buy most of the horses, an it’s the same in this book. If people are careful with their reserves, they’re doing good. There are some better individuals in this book (Book 2). We had 30 horses in our barn, and we were slammed for four days (with lookers). We had moreo than 3,000 shows in that barn over three days.”

Jerry Hollendorfer, trainer: “I think it (the market) is fair so far. You’re getting a fair horse for a fair price.”

Dan Kenny, Four Star Sales: “It’s going about as expected. We’re probably like everybody else. We’ve had some horses bring dramatically more than what we wanted, and a couple that had us really scratching our heads, which is usually the sign of a thin market of buyers. You can’t blame the horse. The horse is there; the horse passed the vet; and there wasn’t even one person to bid against the reserve. There have been reductions (in the sale’s statistics) that we kind of anticipated.”

Rollin Baugh, California bloodstock agent: “I don’t know what to say. Markets are markets, and this one seems to be consistent with the circumstances of the economy and everything else. It’s all within in the basic frame of reference that everybody had coming in and if it had varied from that in either direction, there would have been a lot to think about. But it didn’t, so I don’t think there’s a lot to think about.”