Yearling Conformation

A three-part series featuring a panel of breeding professionals.

On the morning of April 16, 2003, The Blood-Horse invited five people with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the area of conformation to physically examine a group of yearlings entered in the 2003 Keeneland September sale. Denali Stud owner Craig Bandoroff was asked to select a diverse group of yearlings, and the inspectors were told the sire, broodmare sire, and foaling date. They were not told the dam's name or any produce information.

That same afternoon, the panelists, with Bandoroff attending, discussed the individual yearlings as well as answered questions about conformation. They had conformation photographs of each yearling to refer to when discussing them.

It is important to note many young horses change significantly from month to month. For example, when reviewing the yearlings two months later, Bandoroff noted how the Storm Cat colt's back, an area of concern to the panelists, had improved dramatically.

Panelists included:
Baden P. "Buzz" Chace: Advises clients at auctions on pinhooking and racing prospects. His major clients include Ernie Paragallo's Paraneck Stable, Aaron and Marie Jones, Raymond Dweck, and Charles Hess. Purchased at auction, among others, Unbridled's Song, Artax, and Sarava.

Marette Farrell: A native of Ireland, she does a bit of pinhooking, and also does the preliminary viewing of yearlings at farms for Tim McMurry and Eric Anderson, who purchases for Stan Fulton.

John T. Ward Jr.: Third-generation trainer whose main client is John Oxley, for whom he has trained numerous top horses such as Monarchos and Beautiful Pleasure.

John Moynihan: Agent for Robert and Beverly Lewis, who are among the leading owners in the business, having raced such horses as Serena's Song and Silver Charm. Among the horses he purchased for them are Charismatic, High Yield, and Exploit.

Bayne C. Welker Jr.: Role at Alice Chandler's Mill Ridge Farm includes advising clients on the sale and purchase of yearlings. Father owns Locust Ridge Farm near Paris, Ky.

Dan Liebman, executive editor of The Blood-Horse, served as moderator.

The three-part series of articles appeared in The Blood-Horse, beginning with the issue of June 28. Click on the links below to begin reading the series.