Abreast of the Market: Keeneland's Select Sessions in Perspective

Compiled by Ron Mitchell, David Schmitz, and from Keeneland reports

Comments from buyers, sellers, and Keeneland on the decline in average and gross prices during the unofficial "selected" sessions of the Keeneland September yearling sale:

Tracy Farmer, owner, Shadowlawn Farm, buyer: "Good horses are bringing good prices, but overall, the prices are a reflection of the economy and the times we're in."

John Ferguson, buyer: "I think there is an inevitable readjustment in the market which is purely reflective of the world economy. There are readjustments at the upper echelon. But there looked to be a very acceptable number of horses in the $100,000- $200,000 range that looked to be good values. If a buyer was looking for a good horse, they could find it in that range. There are a lot of good horses here."

Brereton C. Jones, owner Airdrie Stud, seller: "It's a spotty market, and the buyers are discriminating. A good horse sells well, and those that might lack something, they too might sell well or might not. I'm pleased with what ours have brought."

Eugene Melnyk, buyer: "It's a buyer's market, for sure. I'm delighted to buy these families and not have to pay astronomical sums of money. If there are any buyers out there, they should be running this way to buy yearlings."

Dan Rosenberg, manager of Three Chimneys Farm, seller: "Considering the economy and its effect on the Thoroughbred market, I think it was a solid sale. I think the market is affected by economic conditions. All markets fluctuate. This industry is very much driven by disposable income and in a falling economy there is less disposable income. I think the reality of the market is that buyers are here to buy horses, and not only is the sky not falling but the bottom is not falling out of the market."

Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland sales director: "The market has been showing an adjustment of about one-third. That continued. I'm very happy that the RNA rate is lower. Consignors adjusted their expectations, and that is reflected in the summaries. All the major players were here, but they have less money to spend."

Mike Ryan, buyer: "I think it is a good sale. The people are here; they are just not buying like they were a few years ago."

Duncan Taylor, Taylor Made Sales Agency, seller: "It's better than we expected. It's down, but it's not a catastrophe. The people we are selling for are selling. We aren't taking many of them home."