CUTTING DOWN SCEPTICISM ON FEES
by Chris McGrath
Bought yourself a mare in Lexington this week? Good for you. You have kept the faith. In many cases, that will be because you have seen it all before: you've ridden out bumps in the economy, and eked out value from these stoical and enduring creatures by borrowing their impassive engagement with the patient rhythms of Nature. It's a long game, after all, one that will absorb pandemics and presidential cycles like a passing April shower.
But even the longest journey starts with a single step. And many of you will already have had an assignation in mind for your new mare from the moment you first folded down the catalogue page.
As we know, the stallion farms have done their bit to animate a market stricken by anxiety about the current strain on the global economic system. All the big commercial operations have made headline cuts in fees for 2021, and I'm already salivating over some of the value to be identified in our annual winter appraisal of the stallion market.
Some people, however, have muttered their scepticism as to the substance of these gestures. Has there really been a comprehensive remodelling in the base cost of breeding a Thoroughbred? Or have farms merely camouflaged the decline they had invited in overpricing particular types of stallion?
BOOK THREE CONCLUDES AT KEENELAND
by Jessica Martini
LEXINGTON, KY - The Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale=s two-session Book 3 section concluded with another day of steady trade Friday in Lexington. Bill Betz made the day's highest bid, going to $270,000 late in the day to acquire the racing/ broodmare prospect Divine Queen (Divine Park) from the Trackside Farm consignment. The mare was one of four to bring $200,000 or more during the session. While only 292 of the 401 catalogued head went through the ring Friday, 235 sold for a buy-back rate of just 19.52%.
Through the two Book 3 sessions, Keeneland sold 462 head for $26,185,000. The average was $56,677--down just slightly from last year=s figure of $57,032--and the median of $42,000 dipped 6.7% from $45,000 a year ago.