While Bryan and Gray Lyster's Ashview Farm will not be among the leading consignors at the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale by gross because they lack the numbers of other vendors, they will rank among the leaders in clearance rate.
During the Jan. 9 second session, all five of Ashview's offerings sold, with three bringing six figures when acquired by Japanese interests. Ashview has two entered in the Jan. 11 finale.
Topping the Tuesday group at $260,000 was Long Hot Summer (Hip 510), a 6-year-old multiple stakes-winning daughter of Street Boss purchased by Shadai Farm. Shadai also bought Coppa (Hip 772), a 5-year-old grade 3 winner who is a half sister to grade 1-placed Tropic Storm; while J. S. Company Limited went to $200,000 to acquire Laxfield Road (Hip 497), a stakes-placed daughter of Quality Road in foal to Air Force Blue .
The Lyster brothers strive to have a January consignment that appeals to breeders trying to buy mares for the upcoming breeding season, with an emphasis on young, correct individuals that had success on the track.
"We always like to take a few nice horses to the January sale," Gray Lyster said. "There are always breeders there filling stallion books or wanting mares to breed on shares."
After scrutinizing comparable horses entered Tuesday, the duo felt confident their stock would do well.
"We thought we might have a good day after looking at the catalog. When you look at pedigrees, we thought ours stood up with everything else in the sale. And then when you look at them on the grounds, we thought ours stacked up physically," Gray Lyster said. "Young, attractive horses with a little bit of family and a little bit of a race record sell very well."
In a slimmer market, Bryan Lyster said the physical specimen becomes a more important factor for buyers of broodmare prospects.
"The physical becomes more and more important," he said. "You know when you have nice physicals, and I thought all of them were. A lot of what we do in making our money is buying broodmare prospects, breeding them, and then seeing what we can raise. And we will not give on the physical aspect of it; it has to be there for us.
"There are fewer buyers every year and they are stricter on vet work and they are stricter on physicals. We follow the demand."
The Lysters said another factor in the success of Ashview are the reserves set for the consignment, noting that aspect because they own all or part of nearly every horse they offer at auction.
"I feel like we're good appraisers and we try to set reserves that are 60%-70% below what they're worth," said Bryan Lyster. "Let the market decide the rest. We don't get too proud on our horses. They're here to sell. So we have a really high clearance rate."