Abreast of the Market: Keeneland's First Two Days

Compiled by Ron Mitchell, Victor Ryan, and Leslie Deckard

Michael C. Byrne, consignor: "If you have the right horse, they sell well. We sold the mare Ela Athena for $2-million and we were hoping for a million-and-a-half. But she was an outstanding individual, a gorgeous mare."

Patrick Lawley-Wakelin, agent: "There has been so much of the quality taken out of the market and moved overseas it is going to show. I haven't seen that many (weanlings to pinhook) but if you find the right one, the market for it is going to be strong."

Eric Hamelback, Adena Springs Farm, president Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers: "Everyone had a lot of confidence coming in and I think the market has been very stable. Both consignors and buyers seem to be happy with where things are."

Buzz Chace, buyer: "There are a lot of very good mares and a shortage of weanlings. So far, this has been a very strong sale. The weanlings from Giant's Causeway and Fusaichi Pegasus look extremely nice. I think overall the sale will remain this strong. There are a lot of people who have to buy horses and there are good ones available to buy here."

Dan Rosenberg, general manager, Three Chimneys Farm, seller: "All in all, it's been a good sale for us. There are always surprises at a sale. We have had some sell for more and some sell for less than we thought they would bring. The weanlings have sold very well. I think people came here to sell. The horse industry reacts to market forces. If you didn't realize where the market was after September, then shame on you."

Reiley McDonald, partner, Eaton Sales, buyer: "I think it has been a great sale. The supply and quality are down and the demand is strong so it has made for a very good sale."

Mark Casse, director of operations, Mockingbird Farm, seller: "Maybe everybody's expectations have changed. I thought the yearling market was good at the top and it's continued here."

John Ferguson, buyer: "It seems to be very good trade. There seems to be confidence in the long term future of the industry by the way people are investing in these mares."

Duncan Taylor, Taylor Made Sales Agency, seller: "It has been a good sale so far. There are fewer quality mares here and that has driven the prices up. The economy has improved a little and maybe that helps. The mare market is more global than the yearling market, and they have shown up here."