Compiled by Ron Mitchell, Kristin Ingwell Goode, Leslie Deckard, Victor Ryan
Buyers, consignors, and Keeneland sales officials comment on the first two days of the Keeneland September yearling sale.Steve Asmussen (trainer, buyer): "There are some excellent individuals here. The High Yields and Cat Thiefs have looked good, but we have already seen that at the earlier sales as well."Craig Bandoroff (Denali Stud, consignor): "It's been a good sale. We had a hell of a day Monday, but it has evened out a little bit Tuesday. On Monday, we had some well-conformed horses that vetted well, and that's a rare combination."Gary Biszantz (Cobra Farm) "The sale has a nice buoyancy to it. People are excited about investing and buying and the buy backs are not much, which indicates a very good middle market. I think the combination of no Keeneland July sale and MRLS and the shortage of horses have made the buyers very eager to buy."Cot Campbell (Dogwood Stable, buyer) "Overall, the sale seems staggering at the top end. I am not finding it very difficult to buy at my level of the market. You've been hearing for many, many months and years that the market is terrific at the top. It seems that there are new players at the top of the market. Primarily the cancellation of the Keeneland July sale has something to do with the success of this sale and the overall economy being a little better and Seabiscuit might get a tiny bit of the credit. I think most people didn't get a chance to spend their money this summer and the horses and pedigrees are good here so they are willing to spend the money."Paddy Costello (Paramount Sales, consignor): "The solid ones with good action are getting sold. If you aren't making it here, you can't make it anywhere."Tracy Farmer (buyer): "This is one of the best things that's ever happened to the industry, to sell them all in the same sale. Every buyer is here. You can't miss this sale."John Ferguson (buyer, Sheikh Mohammed); "I I think this sale has held up very, very well, when you consider that 20% of the top horses are out (as a result of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome). I am thrilled with the horses he's bought. He's a horseman and it's good when he's here."Jerry Hollendorfer (trainer, buyer) "Overall the sale is going very good. I think it would have to effect it (no Keeneland July sale). I think the overall quality has been very good."Dr. Gary Knapp (Monticule Farm, consignor) "The potential buyers were very active this year. We had a lot of lookers. We showed one horse over 120 times. We don't think about what specific horses will do; we generally think in terms of gross sales, and I don't think we're going to miss our gross sales (estimate)."Pope McLean (Crestwood Farm, consignor) "Overall, it seems like a super sale. It's still a little bit all or nothing. If you have something the people like then they are willing to pay the price. There are so many horses for people to choose from. Right now everyone has just got to be pleased."Terry Oliver (buyer): "We have been looking for bargains to pinhook and they haven't been there."Don Robinson (Winter Quarter Farm, consignor) "I thought it would be a good sale for a good individual and we were rewarded. My feeling is it's only for the right horse. It's a very disciplined market, but it's still a pretty damn good market, if you've got pedigree and the individual. All the right buyers have a serious eagerness in buying, they have a very healthy appetite. I feel it's as good as you could ask for."Geoffrey Russell (Keeneland sales director): "We're unbelievably happy; we're ecstatic. This surpassed our wildest expectations. To be up 30% is surreal."Duncan Taylor (Taylor Made Sales, consignor): "I would say it's been a good, solid sale. We have probably had a few more bought back than I would like."