Abreast of the Market: Comments on the Keeneland Yearling Sale (Monday)

By Ron Mitchell
Buyers, sellers, and Keeneland officials comment on Monday's first session of the Keeneland September yearling sale.

Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland sales director: "I think the buyer of the first horse summed it up: old friends. It was the traditional yearling buyers at the top end. This crop is a solid group of individuals. I think when you have the principals here -- the owners instead of just the agents -- it helps tremendously."

Dan Rosenberg, Three Chimneys Farm, consignor: "The strong ones are strong and the weak ones are weak. I think it is a selective market. I don't think there is huge demand (for the horses offered). You have to be realistic about your reserves. I don't think MRLS (Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome) has had any effect on the market, except that the horses affected by MRLS are not here and that is a loss. But the economy and the quality of the horses affect the market."

Reiley McDonald, partner, Eaton Sales, consignor: "It's been a good sale. It's been good, fair trade for buyers and sellers. The market is solid. If you set your reserves fairly, you will get your horses sold. Consignors are being realistic."

John Ward Jr., trainer, buyer: "The horses in the first two days look pretty good. Of the ones we vetted, there were a higher percentage than usual that passed the vet exams. I haven't been watching the numbers but it should be up along with the quality. But of course, you can't say whether it was a good decision (not having a summer sale) or not until you see what the whole sale does. We have no historical comparison or selling our best foals late in the year, in the European fashion."

Buzz Chace, buyer: "I thought it has been a great sale. I think there as many nice horses here as there have been in the past."

Catherine Parke, Valkyre Stud, consignor: "The market is fabulous for the good individual that is a good walker. For those yearlings, there is tremendous depth in the market."

B. Wayne Hughes, buyer: "There are limits to what we will spend on each horse and we try to buy all the ones within our limits. It's a very good sale. The horses are well prepared."

With additional information provided by Keeneland Association