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Keeneland January Sale Shows Gains from 2012

The January Sale for Horses of All Ages closes with sizable gains over last year's record sale.

This is Newmarket, but it is still a horse auction, so I'll take it.
This is Newmarket, but it is still a horse auction, so I'll take it.
Alan Crowhurst

From Keeneland:

Gross receipts for the five-day sale, held January 7-11, increased 18.99 percent as 1,105 horses sold for $45,207,300 compared to last year’s four-day sale when 1,003 horses brought $37,991,900. Keeneland eclipsed 2012 January Sale totals on the third day of selling, Wednesday, January 9.

So even with the ballyhooed gains last January, this year's sale still clearly outpaced it. Even when you control for the Fares' dispersal, you end up with dollar figures that are 1-2% down from last year. In a sale where Keeneland moves $37million in racing and breeding stock, I would safely call that a push.

I take this as a solid sign that supply and demand are pretty much at their equilibrium right now. That could change at any moment, but the lowered supply and the slight uptick in the economy has led to a steadier sales market. And since the sales are the harbinger of the industry, it looks pretty good right now.

[Note by TFTribe, 01/09/13 6:20 AM EST ] So after the first two days, Keeneland's January sale has posted gains over last year's big increases. Sales over the first two days are up 17%, impressive seeing that last year was a huge jump from 2011. That got me thinking as to why we are seeing the January bump. The only thing I can think of is that with the volatility in the economy and particularly in regulation and tax law that the picture for the next year is clearer in January than it is even two months prior. Not sure how big of a deal that is, but it's the only thing that comes to mind.

Horses have been on the grounds and have been shown for the past two days, but today marks day one of the Sale. Hips 1 through 386 will be in the ring all day today.

Keeneland executives are optimistic going into today. From the reports I've heard, it is as busy as anyone can remember for a January sale. Typically, you see the top end bloodstock sell in November, since it is a bigger sale and has a wider attendance. But this year, you see much larger crowds than in years past.

After the prolonged crash and volatility of 2007-2010, this is a welcome sign. At the November Sale, I was very surprised by the strength of the market for broodmares in foal. We were in on several, and despite the bidding slowing at our expected price, it would inevitably take off again (don't cry for me, we got the one we really wanted!). Looks like a number of strong broodmare prospects in the sale, so we'll see if the value of some open mares increases from November. In fact, Nereid (hip 110) just sold for $1.3 million.

We'll see how it turns out. I'll try to have an update tomorrow.

[Note by TFTribe, 01/08/13 1:22 PM EST ] Keertana, a millionaire on the turf, sold for $1 million today. She is in foal to Arch. She lose her foal last year, but it was a fluke, not anything wrong with her, and was described an "an umbilical issue. She was purchased by Denali Stud." I look forward to her half sister, in foal to Blame (who is by Arch, so you end up with the exact same cross, basically). The sister is hip 584, Snow Top Mountain (Najran-Motokiks). She is a G3 winner of $580,000.