It didn't matter if you were selling high-powered select horses or more modest stock. The market for 2-year-olds in training lacked vigor at all levels in 2001 compared to the previous year.
This year, the financial results were mixed for pinhookers at the five major select juvenile auctions.
Uncertainty stemming from mare reproductive loss syndrome, and the subsequent moratorium on prospective foal insurance that has been in effect since early May, are expected to impact the no-guarantee stallion-season market in 2002.
A Phone Trick colt named Embattle sold for $110,000 (all figures in Canadian funds; $71,659 U.S.) to top the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society's 2-year-olds in training sale Tuesday night at Woodbine. The sale had an extremely high number of buy backs.
Sophisticat, a Storm Cat filly sold last year for $3.4 million, broke her maiden Monday at Naas in Ireland. The juvenile filly is by Storm Cat out of champion Serena's Song.
Keeneland's September yearling sale is the largest auction of its kind in the world. But it will be a bit smaller this year.
Breaking records had become routine for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic juvenile sale. Its gross revenue peaked in 1998, and the average and median soared to all-time highs in 2000.
Led by a Sea Hero mare in foal to End Sweep, the Australian Broodmare Sale conducted by the William Inglis & Company ended Monday with a 17% increase in average price.
Keeneland's July yearling sale will have its smallest catalogue ever this year. Only 164 horses will be offered during the elite Kentucky auction, which has decreased in size for four consecutive years. The total represents a drop of 21.1% from 2000, when 208 horses were catalogued. In comparison, the decline in numbers between 1999 and 2000 was only 3.7%.
Keeneland is exploring ways to deal with sale horses whose health might have been compromised by pericarditis and other problems linked to mare reproductive loss syndrome.
The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training ended its two-day stand on Tuesday in Timonium, Md., with mixed results. On the positive side, the number sold and gross revenue both increased while the buy-back rate declined. The average price, however, suffered a moderate setback, and the median price fell significantly.
Boston Twist, a filly from the first crop of Boston Harbor, brought the top price of $190,000 Monday during the first session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training in Timonium, Md. Consigned by Leprechaun Racing, she was purchased by Ciaran Dunne, agent for William Schettine.
Geri McGuire, a chestnut colt from the first crop of Geri, brought the top price of $215,000 on Tuesday at the Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training in Southern California. Ed and Natalie Friendly purchased Geri McGuire, who was consigned by the Havens Bloodstock Agency, agent.
Geri McGuire, a son of freshman sire Geri, and Lit de Hushi, a daughter of Lit de Justice, both worked an eighth-mile in 9.9 seconds on May 11 during the under tack show for the May 15 Barretts May sale of two-year-olds in training.
Keeneland has taken legal action against Bernice Givens Sykes, who never paid for the 59 horses that she purchased for $267,700 at last November's breeding stock sale. A lawsuit was filed in early April in the Fayette Circuit Court in Lexington, claiming that Sykes still owes Keeneland $232,740.81. Keeneland recovered some of the amount owed by repossessing the horses and selling nearly all of them privately.
Florida pinhooker Murray Smith was looking for a quick profit when she bought Monarchos privately as a yearling for $100,000 in the spring of 1999. But the big payoff didn't come until two years later, when the gray colt charged down the Churchill Downs stretch to win the Kentucky Derby.
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's spring auction of 2-year-olds in training established sale records for gross revenue and median price during its four-day run that ended April 26 in Florida. In addition, the auction's record for the highest-priced horse was equaled when a Grindstone filly sold for $550,000 on the final day. The mark first was set in 1998, when Kaaren and Hays Biggs purchased Etbauer, a son of Silver Deputy who won the 1999 Rebel Stakes (gr. IIII).
Sale records were established for average and median during Keeneland's April auction of 2-year-olds in training. But those results didn't tell the whole story about what happened on a cold and snowy spring day in Central Kentucky. The buy-back rate inched upward to a sale-record high. The number sold plunged to a sale-record low. And consignors complained often about buyers who were too picky and too few in numbers. In other words, the auction experienced many of the same problems that afflicted earlier juvenile sales this year in Florida and California.
Matty's Man, a colt from the first crop of Matty G, sold for $210,000 Wednesday to top the third session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's spring sale of 2-year-olds in training. Matty's Man, who worked a quarter-mile in :21 3/5 during the April 20 under tack show, was bought by Robert Scanlon, agent. Consigned by Eisaman Equine, agent, the colt is out of stakes-placed Joy to Raise, by Raise a Man.
Bold World, a Fortunate Prospect filly, sold for $475,000 Tuesday to top the second session of the Ocala Breeders's Sales Company's spring sale of 2-year-olds in training. She was purchased by Amy Tarrant of Vermont.
Stormy Kris, a Whitney Tower filly consigned by Rising Hill Farm, agent, brought $150,000 Monday to top the opening session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2001 spring sale of 2-year-olds in training. John Dolan and Wesley Ward purchased the session topper, who was produced by the Kris S. mare Surely Kris. The filly worked an eighth-mile in :10 2/5, the fastest work at the distance in the sale's first under tack show on April 18.
Four horses worked quarter-miles in :21 2/5 on Saturday in Central Florida to highlight the fourth and final under tack show for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's spring sale of 2-year-olds in training. They were an Our Emblem -- Lomond's Queen colt; Oriana's Magic, a Kipper Kelly -- Magic Meadow filly; a Prospectors Gamble -- Martha Moonshine filly; and Frugality, Fortunate Prospect -- Pinch Penny filly.
None of the five juveniles offered found new homes during the online "RNA" auction conducted by Keeneland on Friday. The horses had been offered previously in Keeneland's April sale of 2-year-olds in training on Tuesday.
Wild Maiden, a daughter of freshman sire Wild Gold, turned in the fastest eighth-mile work Friday during the third under tack show for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's April auction of 2-year-olds in training. She stopped the clock in :10 1/5, which also was the fastest time posted for the distance since the series of previews began on Wednesday.
The Tattersalls Breeze-Up Sale concluded in Newmarket, England Thursday with decreases in average and median prices. Although the numbers were down, Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony said the sales company was satisfied with the results, considering the potential impact that the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease could have had on the auction.
Fillies by Personal Hope and Seattle Sleet were the fastest quarter-mile workers Thursday during the second under tack show for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's April sale of 2-year-olds in training. Both stopped the clock in :21 3/5.
The opening day of the Tattersalls Breeze-Up Sale saw solid international trade with buyers from throughout Europe and the Far East all making a significant impact on proceedings and Irish based vendors dominating the top of the market with the top four lots all coming from across the Irish Sea. Average for the day was up 1% to 23,223 guineas for an aggregate of 1,184,400 guineas.
A son of Danehill topped all bidding during the third-day of the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale at Newmarket, with the half-brother to group two winner, Schubert, bringing $1,100,000. The colt, out of Rossignol, was purchased by Adrian Nichol of B.B.A. Ireland, who eventually won out over local bloodstock agent Anton Koolman. The colt will be trained at Randwick by leading trainer Gai Waterhouse.
Stormy Kris, a daughter of Whitney Tower, turned in the fastest eighth-mile work Wednesday during the first under tack show for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's April auction of 2-year-olds in training. Consigned by Rising Hill Farm, agent, Stormy Kris covered the distance in 10 :2/5 seconds. The filly was produced from the 11-year-old Kris S mare Surely Kris.
The 2001 Australian Easter yearling sale burst into overdrive at Newmarket Wednesday evening with a sizzling session that had both buyers and vendors breaking out the champagne.
After a slow start, Keeneland's April auction of 2-year-olds in training closed with a flurry of bidding Tuesday that helped establish sale records for both average price and median price. The 91 horses sold grossed $14,898,000 and averaged $163,714. The median was $125,000. Compared to a year ago, the number sold plunged by 26.0%, and the gross dropped by 19.5%. However, the average and median enjoyed increases of 8.8% and 19.0%, respectively.
Keeneland officials scratched two horses from the 2-year-olds in training sale Tuesday because of positive drug tests that showed up after the under tack shows.
A "hot" catalogue and a wintry Australian exchange rate ($1 Australian equals U.S. $.51) assisted indicator increases on the first day of trading at the Australian Easter Yearling Sale, conducted at Sydney's Newmarket sale ring April 17.
Holy Gate, a son of Holy Bull, turned in the fastest quarter-mile work Monday during the final under tack show for Keeneland's April sale of 2-year-olds in training. He was clocked in :21 2/5 seconds over a main track that was listed as fast.
Beginning with the Keeneland July yearling auction, Eaton Sales will post medication lists at its barns, said Reiley McDonald, a co-owner of the company. The lists will contain information about any treatments the horses receive while stabled on the sale grounds.
A filly by freshman sire Gold Case and a colt by another freshman sire, Spinning World, were among the standouts Monday during the first under tack show for the Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training. Both breezed an eighth of a mile in :10 over Keeneland's main track, which was labeled as fast. A Peaks and Valleys filly recorded an identical time at the same distance on the turf.
For the second year in a row, Lane's End Farm will not have a consignment at the Keeneland July select yearling sale. Lane's End owner William S. Farish told The Blood-Horse on Wednesday that the farm would continue to focus its marketing efforts on Keeneland's September auction in 2001. Lane's End's consignment to the select portion of the 2000 Keeneland September yearling auction enjoyed phenomenal success. The 45 horses sold grossed $45,697,000.
Should consignors be allowed to medicate sale 2-year-olds with clenbuterol right before they breeze in under tack shows? The answers to that question were mixed during a panel discussion that was conducted during a meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club Tuesday night in Lexington.
Rich Decker has resigned his position as president of WinStar Farm, the Versailles, Ky., operation owned by telecommunications executives Kenny Troutt and Bill Casner, who purchased the former Prestonwood Farm from Jack, Art, and the recently deceased J.R. Preston in January 2000. Decker was manager of Prestonwood since 1988.
Rubbing his eyes, Randy Hartley tried to stop the tears from flowing. His voice cracked with emotion as he described what it was like to sell a son of Dehere for $1,050,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March select auction of 2-year-olds in training.
The Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-year-olds in training sale at Lone Star Park concluded Tuesday, with the sales company reporting a total of 193 horses sold for $4,494,900. The sale's average price of $23,290 represented a 3.8% gain over the $22,431 average the previous year when 262 horses grossed $5,876,800. After an opening-session buy-back rate of 50.6%, the percentage of horses not sold stabilized Tuesday. For the sale overall, FT reported a buy-back rate of 44.2%.
A high buy-back rate and only one break-out horse were the key points Monday during the first session of the two-day Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-year-olds in training sale at Lone Star Park.
Tests conducted on juveniles that participated in under-tack shows prior to the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s March select auction did not detect any performance enhancing-drugs, but therapeutic medications were found in blood samples from three horses whose consignors had not reported the treatments, said Tom Ventura, general manager and director of sales for OBS.
The Blood-Horse, Inc., is introducing a new sales supplement that offers more detailed information in an easy to read format.
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March select auction of 2-year-olds ended with a bang on Wednesday. A Dehere ridgling became the most expensive juvenile ever sold by OBS when he brought a $1,050,000 bid from trainer Todd Pletcher, who was representing pharmaceutical executive Eugene Melnyk.
On March 12, the Nasdaq composite index sank below 2000 and the Dow Jones industrial average experienced a staggering 436-point drop. The following day, Barretts conducted its select sale of 2-year-olds in training and suffered one of its worst financial beatings ever. The gross, average, and median all declined sharply. The buy-back rate climbed to its second-highest level in the auction's history. And the sale failed to produce a seven-figure horse for the first time since 1996. Just a coincidence? Gerald McMahon didn't think so. The Barretts president saw a direct link between Wall Street's crash and his California-based company's plummeting fortunes.
A son of Dehere bought last fall for $50,000 was purchased Wednesday by Eugene and Laura Melnyk for $1,050,000 to top the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March 2-year-olds in training sale in Ocala, Fla. The price not only represented a healthy return on the price paid by consignor Hartley-DeRenzo Thoroughbreds at last year's Keeneland September yearling sale, but it was a record paid for any 2-year-old sold by OBSC.
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