Among the consignors producing big returns from modest investments at the Keeneland September yearling sale is the Equest Thoroughbreds operation of Dr. Greg and Beth Fowler.
During the Sept. 13 session, the Ocala, Fla.-based couple sold a Gio Ponti colt, consigned as Hip 546, for $180,000 and a Congrats filly, consigned as Hip 573, for $100,000. The Gio Ponti colt was bought for a modest $27,000 as a weanling and Congrats stood for a $35,000 fee when the couple mated their mare One in the Chamber to the stallion in 2015, when the current yearling crop was conceived.
The Fowlers had another pinhooking score Tuesday when a colt from the first crop of Cairo Prince (Hip 511) sold for $200,000. He was acquired for $45,000.
Greg Fowler is an equine veterinarian and his wife handles the selection of weanlings to buy. With limited resources, the Fowlers emphasize physical attributes and pedigree is a secondary factor in deciding which horses to buy, leading them to promising young stallions such as Cairo Prince.
"They must be an athlete and then we see the pedigree that goes with it," Beth Fowler said. "A lot of times (foals by first-crop sires) are more affordable and I look for something like the Cairo Prince colt who is a little less expensive but still a really nice individual."
"We first have to the have the individual and if we can afford the (pedigree) page, then we'll jump in there," said Greg Fowler, who takes a leave from his practice to attend the Kentucky sales.
The Fowlers said the decision to breed to Congrats was a result of previous success they had with the stallion. One of Congrats' top horses to date is grade 1 winner Emma's Encore, bred and sold by Equest for $2,000 as a yearling in 2010 after her veterinary reports were not reassuring to buyers.
The Fowlers, who have a 100-acre farm and have been buying horses for resell since 1997, said their biggest pinhooking score was a Hennessy colt bought privately after he went unsold for $75,000 and was then sold by Equest for $475,000.