One of the things that makes the racing industry famous (or infamous) are the prices that some people are willing to pay for a horse with good bloodlines. That willingness can also make the sport seem completely unobtainable to the average fan that wants to get involved in a racehorse when they view the stream for the Keeneland September sale and see a yearling go for upwards of $50,000. It seems even more elite when they see the hammer fall for a couple or several million.
However, despite the justified publicity that those auctions get, there are other places one can go if you’re seeking good bloodlines, but do not have the nearly endless budget that the elites of the sport have, to your disposal. The June OBS sale is such an example of quality blood for the working man’s budget.
With close to a thousand horses cataloged in this year’s sale, there was quite the choice available for the shrewd buyer that wanted to find a good deal on a horse by a sire whose stud fee could be twice the average yearly salary for some families. However, despite their differences in buyer appeal, auctions are usually formatted in much the same way: the best “offerings” for the sale will go through the auction ring first and the last minutes additions (or late registrations) will be shown last. The horses listed below not only were the last few to be sold but they were also of nice quality family and made a good impression in the auction ring.
- HIP 912: 2016 Colt by Noble Mission (GB) out of Danzing Celtic; Purchased by David Rodriguez for $10,000
- HIP 913: 2016 Filly by Violence out of Dither; Purchased by Jesus Vazquez for $30,000
- HIP 915: 2016 Filly by Paynter out of Earlybird Road; Purchased privately by BSW Bloodstock-Liz Crow, Agent $45,000
- HIP 916: 2016 Colt by Gemologist out of Elusive Noise; Purchased by K.O.I.D. Co., Ltd for $90,000
- HIP 920: 2016 Colt by Strong Mandate out of Flower Spell; Purchased privately by Troy Wismer, Agent for $25,000
- HIP 924: 2016 Colt by Declaration of War out of In Secure; Purchased by Nick J Hines, Agent for $30,000
- HIP 930: 2016 Colt by Atreides out of Lanida; Purchased by Cash is King, LLC for $100,000
- HIP 932: 2016 Colt by Paddy O’Prado out of Lily Hannah; Purchased by Joe Pagan for $2,000
- HIP 936: 2016 Filly by Graydar out of Cruet; Purchased by MAP for $8,500
As an example, here are the stud fees for the sires listed above:
- Noble Mission (GB): $20,000 Live Foal, Stands and Nurses
- Violence: $25,000 Stands and Nurses
- Paynter: $12,500 Stands and Nurses
- Gemologist: $15,000 Stands and Nurses
- Strong Mandate: $10,000 Stands and Nurses
- Declaration of War: $25,000 Live Foal, Stands and Nurses
- Atreides: $5,000 Stands and Nurses
- Paddy O’Prado: Private, Stands in Turkey
- Graydar: $7,500 Stands and Nurses
While some of the purchase prices are clearly much higher than the stud fee, this is only a small section of the entire sale. There were all levels of deals to be had during the three days, and these horses were of racing age, meaning that you would not have to wait another year for them to hit the track; you could potentially get a return on your investment this month.
That being said, horse ownership is expensive and should not be walked into blindly or unprepared. You will need to pay trainer’s fees no matter how much your horse costed, and a good way to get your feet wet is to join an ownership group. There are many available (this will be the topic of another post this weekend) and they have a variety of “levels” of involvement. You can pay more and own a higher percentage of a horse, or pay less, and still get to enjoy the perks of ownership without having to spend a quarter of your yearly earnings for a chance to stand in the winner’s circle.
However, if you’re financially well off and want to be a solo owner, you have quite a few choices to your disposal and do not need to rely on the Kentucky sales for your yearlings or horses of racing age. You can get a good deal that turns into a very good horse if you know what you’re looking for and where to look.