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Record Average Sale Price Highlights Strong Keeneland September Renewal

by | 09.23.2018

 

There was plenty to be excited about in advance of this year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale, but it was the surprises that helped propel the bellwether auction from a strong edition into the kind not seen since the economic crash of the mid-2000s.

A combination of factors – from a favorable economic climate, to the first crop from a Triple Crown winner, to a somewhat unexpected appearance from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the Godolphin operation – came together to produce one of the strongest renewals of the Keeneland September sale in its history. At the end of 13 sessions, the auction finished with a record average sale price, the second-highest all-time median price, and the fourth-highest gross.

A total of 2,916 yearlings changed hands at this year’s sale for $377,130,400, up 23 percent from last year’s 12-day auction, when 2,555 horses brought $307,845,400. The gross surpassed last year’s final total during the seventh session, and it finished as the highest since 2007, the last full sale before the market crash, when 5,553 horses sold for $385,018,600.

The average sale price settled at a record $129,331, up seven percent from $120,487 in 2017, and surpassing the previous record of $112,427 set in 2006. The median was down 12 percent to $50,000 from a record $57,000, but it entered a four-way tie for the second-highest ever, joining a three-sale run from 2013 to 2015. The final buyback rate of 24 percent marked a small improvement from 25 percent last year.

At the top of the market, 27 horses sold for seven figures, more than the last two Keeneland September sales combined, and the most since 2007. It was the fifth-most horses sold for $1 million or more in the sale’s history.

“I think the gross is so high because the top end is as strong as it’s ever been,” said consignor Scott Mallory. “You start adding million-dollar horses on there, it gets the gross up pretty quick. I think there’s a shortage of good horses. I hear trainers tell us all the time there’s a shortage of good horses.”

While there are plenty of pieces that go into making a sale of this caliber, Keeneland’s director of sales operations Geoffrey Russell said none of the figures would have been possible if the quality of horseflesh in the ring did not match the demand.

“It has to be the horse, and this is what we come back to,” Russell said. “This is a very good crop of horses. Yes, all the other external factors of depreciation, new tax laws, stock market, all the other factors, have helped raise the bar, but If those horses aren’t top quality, they’re not going to give you extra money just because they have it in their pockets. The credit goes to the breeders and consignors that have had an exceptional crop this year.”

Suzi Shoemaker of Lantern Hill Farm put more stock in the economy’s effect on buyer activity – particularly the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which dramatically increased the tax benefits for yearling buyers. However, Shoemaker also noted that the sport’s efforts to shine up its image could be slowly reaching the people with money to spend.

“I think the tax cuts have had a huge effect on everyone’s emotional landscape,” she said. “People just feel like they can have some fun with their money. A lot of these people have corporations or big businesses and I feel like they can use their cash for more discretionary items like racehorses.

“We’ve made a lot of progress in our industry with bringing people in, and taking care of our racehorses when their careers are over,” Shoemaker continued. “Drugs are still a problem, but I think it’s being addressed. My feeling is we’re moving forward on these things. Yes, I know we still have a lot of problems, but I think we’re addressing them and we’ve got a solid core of people. We may or may not be growing it, but we’re keeping who we’ve got.”

Sheikh Mohammed Ups The Ante

The story of the 2018 Keeneland September sale, and especially its select Book 1, cannot be told without making reference to the presence of Sheikh Mohammed, who appeared at the sale in person for the first time in several years.

With the head of the operation in attendance, Godolphin more than doubled its spending at the September sale, going from 17 purchases totaling $8,065,000 last year to 27 yearlings for $19,960,000. It was the biggest performance by a single buying entity since 2006, when Godolphin landed 34 horses for $59,945,000 including the $11.7-million Meydan City, whose sale price is still the highest ever for a yearling at auction.

The operation of Sheikh Mohammed signed tickets under the name of both Godolphin and Godolphin Japan, shoehorning certain horses for his Asian interests.

Sheikh Mohammed’s arrival was a welcome surprise for the Keeneland staff. The ruler of Dubai also spent time looking over his horses at his U.S. base of operations at the former Jonabell Farm in Lexington, Ky., and he left the sale to attend the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, N.C.

“You never know,” said Bob Elliston, Keeneland’s vice president of racing and sales. “ Every year, we hope, and every year I think there’s probably hope on their end that he’s coming as well, but things get in the way. As soon as we see that big plane with that flag on the tail, we know then.”

While Sheikh Mohammed was gone by the sale’s traditional “dark day” on the first Friday of selling, Airdrie Stud general manager Ben Henley speculated that his strong buying had a ripple effect on the sessions that followed.

“People are getting outbid on those horses early and getting pushed back a book,” Henley said. “It kind of keeps happing all way down and it’s a domino effect on the whole marketplace.”

With the figures reaching heights not seen since the mid-2000s, Sheikh Mohammed’s presence also brought with it the return of the classic bidding slugfests between Godolphin and the Coolmore partnership. Though the prices did not reach the delirious heights they did in the previous decade, the competition was fierce between the two entities.

Godolphin accounted for seven of the auction’s million-dollar horses, while Coolmore took home a trio of seven-figure yearlings, including the sale-topper.

Coolmore’s reverence to Claiborne Farm sire War Front continued to be on display at the September sale when it landed Hip 458, a $2.4-million colt out of the Grade 1-winning Smart Strike mare Streaming. The colt’s third dam is Broodmare of the Year Better Than Honour, putting him in the family of champion Rags to Riches, Belmont Stakes winner Jazil, and Breeders’ Cup Marathon winner Man of Iron, among others.

Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency consigned the colt, as agent.

New Catalog Format Draws Mixed Reviews

For the third straight year, the Keeneland September sale introduced a new format for the first week of its sale. After last year’s renewal started with a single ultra-select Book 1 and finished the week with three sessions of Book 2, the 2018 edition expanded Book 1 into four sessions and pushed Book 2 into the weekend.

Elliston said the quality of this year’s total catalog had a strong influence in blowing out the first book. Horses were spread out to nearly every barn from one to 49 on the Keeneland backstretch for Book 1, which was designed to give each horse space to properly show themselves without being too crowded.

Any logistical issues that might have stemmed from the spread-out nature of the Book 1 horses were inadvertently quelled when washout rains on the Sunday before the opening session led Keeneland officials to delay the start times for all four Book 1 sessions by two hours, giving prospective buyers an extra eight hours to inspect the horses.

“Every year, the inspection team looks at the depth of the crop that’s there, and we tailor it to that,” Elliston said. “People make a lot of the format, but really, we’re the only ones that have to deal with format because we’re the only people that sell the numbers that we do. That’s a responsibility that we take very seriously, to create an environment conducive to buyers and sellers getting the most they can.”

While the high returns are hard to deny, expanding the Book 1 offerings did create a tough draw for some horses that might have been placed in Book 2 in prior catalog configurations. Instead of benefitting from a “big fish, small pond” effect, some sellers were concerned their horses at the level below the very elite might have gotten lost in the shuffle while more suitable buyers waited until the later sessions to arrive at the ale.

“It’s going to be hard for them to adjust the format when the sale’s been so high, but it’s been kind of tough on the consignments,” Mallory said. “I had some in Book 1 where I sold horses in Book 2 that weren’t nearly as good for a lot more money just because of the way the format was. They’ll work it out, though. It’s hard to please everybody, and when you’re trying to get 4,500 head through the sale, you’re not going to get everything where it needs to be.”

The first week of the sale might have had some placement casualties, but sellers were generally pleased with how their slots shook out in the middle sessions. Shopping activity, both in terms of inspecting horses and buying them, remained robust well into the later books.

“Most of these horses that we have here, the consignors are so on top of it, on top of knowing what we have and where they belong,” said Carrie Brogden of Select Sales. “Placement is incredible to me. Too far early can really hurt you, but too far back, they can still find you.”

Uncle Mo, War Front, American Pharoah Drive Sire Power

Uncle Mo, a resident of Ashford Stud, led all sires by gross for the first time, with 65 yearlings sold for $22,392,000. It was the highest gross produced by a sire at a Keeneland September sale since Storm Cat put 24 through the ring for $30,485,000 in 2006.

The top sire by average sale price was War Front, whose 18 horses sold brought an average of $782,500. It was War Front’s second time leading the sale, after achieving the same feat in 2015.

War Front finished tied with Darley‘s Medaglia d’Oro for the most seven-figure horses, each with five.

As expected, the auction was a coming out party for Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, whose first yearlings had a big impact on the final figures. In total, the member of the Ashford Stud roster had 47 yearlings sell for a combined $19,585,000 (third-highest) and an average of $416,702 (fifth-highest among those with three or more sold).

American Pharoah finished with three horses past the seven-figure mark, led by the auction’s second-highest price, Hip 91, a $2.2-million colt out of the Grade 2-placed stakes-winning Indian Charlie mare Kindle, who sold to the Godolphin operation. Woods Edge Farm consigned the colt, as agent.

To view the sale’s full results, click here.

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Equine Sales Company Posts Big Gains for Consignor Select Sale

Equine Sales Company’s Consignor Select Yearling Sale, held Thursday, September 6, in Opelousas, Louisiana, recorded significant increases in gross sales and average price compared to last year’s auction, which itself posted big increases over the prior year. All told, 150 of 206 yearlings sold this year for a total of $1,949,900 with an average of $12,999 and median of $6,000. A total of 138 of 193 head sold last year.
This year’s figures marked an 19.2% increase in gross sales from last year’s $1,636,400 and a 9.6% jump in average from $11,858. This year’s median of $6,000 was down from last year’s $7,000, and this year’s buyback rate was 27.2% compared to 28.5% last year.
“We had a very strong sale last year, so we were extremely pleased to exceed those numbers this year,” said Foster Bridewell, sales director. “The fact that we had 10 horses go for $50,000 or more proves that our consignors really brought some quality stock and that our buyers stepped up to get those individuals.
“There’s a lot of money to run for in Louisiana, and Louisiana-breds have proven again and again that they can win anywhere, most recently with Classy John, who sold here as a 2-year-old for $12,000, winning an $85,000 maiden special at Saratoga last month by daylight.”
The sale was highlighted by two Louisiana-bred colts who hit six figures, topped by a February foal from the first crop of multiple Grade 1 winner Palace. Consigned by 4M Ranch, agent, the colt went to J. Stevens Bloodstock, agent, for $105,000. He is out of the winning Kafwain mare Sheer Speed, whose first starter, by Redding Colliery, is a two-time winner.
Close behind the sale-topper was a March foal by Grade 1 winner and first-crop sire Lea who sold for $100,000 from Red River Farm, agent, to Carl Moore Management LLC. The colt is out the unraced Corinthian daughter Beat the Street, who is the dam of four winners from as many to race including stakes winner Kylie’s Cutie and stakes-placed Blue Ribbon Girl.
Full results of the sale are available at www.equinesalescompany.com.
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October Yearling Sale catalog now online

The catalog for the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s 2018 October Yearling Sale is now available via the OBS website at www.obssales.com. The online catalog’s main page contains a link to a sortable master index providing searchable pedigree and consignor information as well as access to pedigree updates occurring since the catalog was printed. Advanced search and filter capability has been added to allow shortlist creation. A link to instructions for using the new features can be found in the index header and a step by step tutorial is available in the index as well.

The iPad version of the catalog can be accessed via the equineline Sales Catalog App. The App allows users to download and view the catalog, receive updates and results, record notes and also provides innovative search, sort and rating capability. For more information and downloads go to:http://www.equineline.com/SalesCatalogApp/

There are 190 yearlings (Hip No.’s 1 – 190) cataloged for the Selected Yearling Sale. Scheduled for Tuesday, October 9th, it will begin at 12:00 noon. For the first time, walking videos of the Selected yearlings will be available on the website and the iPad version beginning on or about September 24th. There are 477 yearlings (Hip No.’s 301 – 777) cataloged in the Open Yearling Sale, set for Wednesday and Thursday, October 10th and 11th. Both sessions will begin at 12:00 noon.

Supplemental entries are now being accepted for both the Selected and Open Sales. Supplements to the Selected Sale will be sold Tuesday and cataloged beginning with Hip No. 191. Open Sale supplements will be sold Wednesday, cataloged starting with Hip No. 778. Nomination forms for the Selected Sale and Consignor Contracts for the Open Sale can be found online via the OBS website at: http://www.obssales.com/nomination-entry-forms/

Year in and year out, the OBS Yearling Sale has been a reliable source of high class racehorses, producing winners of graded stakes from coast to coast in North America as well as at Ascot, Dubai and Japan, with 25 Yearling Sale graduates surpassing the million dollar mark in earnings.

Recent notable OBS Yearling Sale graduates include catalog cover girl Catherinethegreat, winner of the 2018 Schuylerville (G3) at Saratoga, La Troienne (G1) winner Big World, Excelsior Stakes (G3) winner Discreet Lover, multiple graded winner Starship Jubilee, and graded stakes winning millionaire X Y Jet.

Multiple graded stakes winner Sharp Azteca has been recently retired to the stallion ranks. Winner of the Cigar Mile (G1), Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2), Kelso Handicap (G2) and Monmouth Cup (G3), he goes to stud with earnings of $2,406,740.

The 2018 sale features the Yearling Sale’s strongest stallion roster to date, featuring yearlings by upper echelon sires Awesome Again, Bernardini, Bodemeister, Candy Ride (ARG), City Zip, Flatter, Into Mischief, Kitten’s Joy, Macleans Music, More Than Ready, Speightstown, Street Sense, Tiznow, Union Rags and Will Take Charge.

Traditionally a showcase for newcomers to the stallion ranks, the 2018 October Yearling sale features the offspring of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, Carpe Diem, Constitution, Honor Code, Kantharos, Lea, Liam’s, Map, Palace Malice and Tonalist.

Florida-based First Dude, He’s Had Enough, Poseidon’s Warrior, Treasure Beach (GB) and Uncapturedare represented, as well as local newcomers Chitu, Fury Kapcori, Khozan  and The Big Beast.

The sale will be streamed live via the OBS website as well as the Blood-Horse and DRF websites.

Current information about OBS sales, consignors and graduates is now also available via social media sites Facebook and Twitter. A link on the homepage directs users to either site.

Sales results are available on the OBS website, updated hourly during each session of every sale. In addition, the latest news regarding OBS graduates, sales schedules, nominations, credit requests, travel information and other news relevant to OBS consignors and customers is also available. E-mail should be addressed to obs@obssales.com.

For more information regarding the October Sale or the OBS website, please call (352) 237-2154.

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August Calendar of Events

 Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association would like to share the following list of dates of interest to Louisiana horsemen and women.

Brought to you by Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Whispering Oaks Farm, and Equine Sales CompanyClick images to link to more information

August 1

  • Jockey Club Report of Mares Bred Due 

August 4

  • LTBA Board of Directors Meeting.  Winners Circle Church/Cafeteria, Louisiana Downs,Bossier City, 11:00 a.m.
  • Louisiana Cup Day.  Louisiana Downs, Bossier City. 1st Post 3:15 p.m.
    Six stakes races for Accredited Louisiana Bred Thoroughbreds worth total purses of $360,000

August 8

  • Stallion Awards to be Mailed


August 13

  • Delta Downs stall applications due for 2018-19 Thoroughbred Meet

August 17

  • Fair Grounds Quarter Horse Meet Opens

August 27

Aug 31

  • Accreditation Applications Due

Reminder: 2018-19 LTBA Regular Membership Applications and Renewals Due.
$75 before Sept. 30/$85 after Sept 30.

Would you like to sponsor a newsletter? Reach over 2,500 readers.

Please contact Linda 985-386-0360, linda@louisianabred.com or Roger 504-947-4676, roger@louisianabred.com for cost and availability.

Do you have a date pertaining to Louisiana-breds that you would like included in an upcoming calendar? Please contact Linda 985-386-0360, linda@louisianabred.com or Roger 504-947-4676, roger@louisianabred.comfor consideration.

 

Any questions or need more info call

Roger A. Heitzmann III, Secretary/Treasurer

Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association

504-947-4676, 800-772-1195

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Nearly 120 Head Consigned to Texas Summer Yearling and Mixed Sale

The Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park have announced a catalogue of 119 head for the upcoming Texas Summer Yearling and Mixed Sale. The auction will be held August 27 at 12 noon at the Texas Thoroughbred Sales Pavilion on the grounds of Lone Star Park.
Other sale events include a pre-sale party on the night of August 26 and a seminar that morning with representatives from The Jockey Club and equineline.com explaining the new digital certificates for foal registration. The seminar will include a demonstration of the new process and a question and answer session, so the TTA encourages all horsemen to attend in order to better understand the upcoming changes.
The catalogue includes 90 yearlings and 29 weanlings and broodmares. Many of the weanlings and broodmares are consigned by the Estate of Ed Few. The noted Texas breeder and owner passed away earlier this year.
“I think the quality of the catalogue has ticked up a notch this year,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “We had two Texas-breds sell at this auction for $100,000 apiece last year, and that really proved that the market is still vibrant here for horses in Texas and around the region.”
For an online catalog and live video on sale day, go to www.ttasales.com.
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Nearly 220 Head Entered in Equine Sales Company Select Yearling Sale

Contact Foster Bridewell for more info at foster@equinesalesofla.com or 337-678-3024

 

Equine Sales Company has released a catalog of 219 head for its upcoming Consignor Select Yearling Sale. The auction is set for Thursday, September 6, starting at 10 a.m. in Opelousas, Louisiana.

The top four Louisiana stallions by 2018 progeny earnings—Star Guitar, Astrology, Half Ours and Custom for Carlos—are all well-represented in the sale, as are prominent Kentucky sires English Channel, Goldencents, Shackleford and Temple City, among others.

The first-crop sires represented include Palace, Medal Count, Race Day, Tapiture, Wicked Strong, Lea, Secret Circle, Jack Milton, Amira’s Prince and Koh I Noor.

“This year’s catalog is about the same size as the 214 head we had last year, but we’ve seen the quality continue to grow each year, and we have nearly 30 different consignors for this sale so I think we are going to have a strong selection of yearlings,” said Foster Bridewell, sales director. “We’ve also launched an improved website to make it easier for consignors and buyers to access the sale catalog and other sale information.”

The catalog can be viewed online at www.equinesalescompany.com, and live video of the auction will be available on sale day.

 

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EQUINE SALES COMPANY 2017 OPEN YEARLING & MIXED SALE, Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sale and webcast will begin at 10:00 AM

Equine Sales Company will hold its 2017 Open Yearling and Mixed Sale, Sunday, October 15, 2017 beginning at 10:00 a.m. in Opelousas, Louisiana.

With supplements to the original catalog, a total of 221 head will be offered. Among the sires represented in the yearling session are Justin Phillip, Lookin at Lucky, Custom for Carlos, Songandaprayer, Half Ours, Guilt Trip and Star Guitar. Many of those same stallions are also represented among the in-foal offerings. The sale will begin with the yearlings followed by the mixed session.

The sale catalog as well as the supplements are  now online, and the auction will be live-streamed at www.equinesalesofla.com. Sale and webcast will begin at 10:00 AM

For more information visit the Equine Sales website:  www.equinesalesofla.com
or contact:
Equine Sales Company
337-678-3024 or email:  sales@equinesalesofla.com.

 

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Louisiana Breds Exceed OBS Select Yearling Average

Louisiana-breds continue to show their strong marketability on the national level as four Louisiana-breds sold through the OBS Select Yearlings Session on Tuesday, October 10. Three of the four sold above the average of $45,247 for the session, with one bringing $75,000 and two selling for $50,000 each. Together the average of the four, $49,750 was above the session average.

 

Hip# 186, a colt by New Year’s Day-Moon Larry colt was purchased for $75,000 by Redwings Enterprises for $75,000. Select Sales, agent was the consignor. G1 Breeders Cup Juvenile winner New Year’s Day is ranked among the leading first crop sires in North America. The dam is a stakes placed half sister to stakes winner Why Wear Shoes.

 

Hip# 85 a colt by Strong Mandate-Carson Copy was purchased by Big D Stable purchased from the Pelican State Thoroughbreds, agent consignment for $50,000. The colt is from the first crop of G1 stakes winning, Breeders Cup Juvenile placed Strong Mandate. The dam, who has produced three winners from as many runners, is an unraced daughter of Carson Copy and a half sister to stakes winner, Shezacrazygirl.

 

Hip# 129, a Star Guitar-Geiger Geisha colt sold for $50,000 with EQB, Inc., Patrice Miller, Agent signing the ticket. The colt, by Louisiana’s all time top money earner and current leading second crop sire, is a half brother to stakes winner My Friend Flavin and a ¾ brother to 2017 juvenile stakes winner Aceguitar.

 

Additionally Hip# 168. Sallee Sumthing, a filly by Sum of the Parts-LaSalle Glory was purchased for $24,000 by Jason Hall, agent. Select Sales, agent was the consignor.

 

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Large Supplement Added to Equine Sales Company’s Yearling and Mixed Sale

(Opelousas, Louisiana – October 5, 2017) — A supplement of 26 head has been added to the upcoming Equine Sales Company Open Yearling and Mixed Sale. With the additional entries, the total catalogue now comprises a total of 221 offerings.
The sale will be held Sunday, October 15, at 10 a.m. in Opelousas, Louisiana.
“With this supplement we have surpassed the total entries from last year’s sale, so it’s encouraging to see the increased interest from consignors,” said Foster Bridewell, sales director. “And we’ve already had catalogue requests from quite a few new buyers.”
The supplement is now posted at www.equinesalesofla.com.
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Bull Market for Yearlings in 2017

Now that Keeneland’s marathon September yearling sale is complete, a clear trend has emerged showing greater demand in a smaller marketplace when compared with the same period a year ago.

With 2,555 horses sold during the 12-day Keeneland auction for a total of $307,845,400, the average price of $120,487 and $57,000 median were both records for the world’s largest yearling sale. The gross, average, and median prices represented gains of 12.8%, 23.2%, and 42.5%, respectively, over 2016 levels.

Yearling-only auctions and mixed sales through Sept. 25, 2017, have offered 6,747 yearlings, of which 4,890 sold for gross receipts of $425.9 million, according to data compiled by BloodHorse MarketWatch. The gross represents a 10.2% gain over the $386.5 million paid for 5,586 from 7,906 offered through the first nine months of 2016 at comparable auctions.

The number offered at the 23 sales where yearlings changed hands so far this year has declined by 14.6% and the total sold is down 12.4%.

Fasig-Tipton’s boutique Saratoga selected yearling sale produced the second-highest gross and highest average and median prices, with all three increasing by double-digit percentages this year. Fasig-Tipton reported 156 yearlings sold from 194 through the ring, with gross receipts of $52.995 million, 16.3% over the $45.570 million total paid for 156 of the 203 offered a year ago. The Saratoga sale average also increased 16.3% to $339,712 from $292,115 in 2016, and the median price of $300,000 was 26.3% higher than the previous year’s median of $237,500.

The accompanying table shows the top five equine auctions this year ranked by gross receipts and comparisons with 2016.

Besides the overall gains in cumulative gross, average, and median prices for all yearlings sold to date, there has been a significant improvement in the number sold at the top and upper-middle parts of the market.

Sixteen yearlings were sold for seven figures this year, compared with 11 through the first nine months of 2016. A total of 151 yearlings attracted final bids of $500,000 or more compared with 116 yearlings sold at that level at the same point a year ago. Within the upper-middle market price range of $175,000-$249,999, there were 252 yearlings sold this year, compared with 243 in 2016.

Meanwhile at the other end of the spectrum, 2,927 yearlings sold below $50,000 in 2017, compared with 3,698 in 2016.

Three major sales companies have yearling sales scheduled for next month, beginning with the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale Oct. 2-3. That will be followed by Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s Oct. 10-12 selected and open yearling sale, Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall sale Oct. 16,  the Barretts fall yearling and horses of all ages sale Oct. 17, and the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale from Oct. 23-26.

 

https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/223785/bull-market-for-yearlings-in-2017

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