Sales have always fascinated me but I don’t have a full understanding of all the mechanics of them. How is it chosen which yearlings will be sent to auction and what sales they will be sent to?
A: Determining if a yearling will go to public auction depends on a number of factors, beginning with the initial interests of the breeder. Some clients breed to race, some breed specifically to sell, and some do a little bit of both.
Sale nominations are submitted to the auction companies by May 1st of their yearling year; this is when it is determined who will be kept to race and who will be pointed towards a sale. This decision is generally made by the owner in conjunction with the advice given by our managerial and sales staff here at Lane’s End.
Various sales are held throughout the summer and fall; some are “select”, meaning nominated yearlings must be accepted by the sale companies upon inspection, and other sales are open, or acceptable for all types of yearlings. Determining which sale to nominate a yearling to prior to the May 1st deadline depends on a few important factors:
Yearlings are very similar to teenagers—they can go through awkward stages as they grow and develop, so it is important to select a sale that corresponds well with a horse’s maturity level. Our public sales and managerial staff inspect yearlings every two-three weeks through the Spring months. Notations are made on the horse’s conformation, condition, stride, and even demeanor. Maintaining notes on their physical development allows us to judge how each horse matures and determine the most appropriate sale for them.
When all yearlings at Lane’s End are between 10-11 months of age, a set of survey x-rays (36 views) is taken to help us determine if any joints need special attention or surgery based on radiographic findings. For sale yearlings, survey x-rays also allow us to establish a suitable exercise program for each yearling entering the sale prep routine on June 1st.
We are mindful of survey x-rays at sale nomination time because radiographic findings can affect how commercial a yearling will be at a sale. Another set of x-rays are taken within 21 days of the auction date and provided for veterinarians to review on behalf of potential buyers.
The strength of a yearling’s pedigree also affects which sale we nominate it to. For example, a horse by a proven sire out of a stakes winner/producer will appeal to buyers at select sale venues. Alternatively, a horse with an unproven family will probably be best-suited for a larger, open sale venue where there are more potential buyers present, some of whom may not have steep pedigree requirements.
Lane’s End typically consigns yearlings at the following sales:
July 15: Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Select Yearling Sale
A one-day select sale best suited for a physically forward yearling with few (if any) significant radiographic findings. Because it is a select sale, all yearlings must be accepted in a conformation inspection performed by the sale company. Physicals and X-Rays are very important here as this is the first summer yearling sale and buyers are not pressed to purchase a horse that doesn’t meet their exact requirements. Minimum bid required: $10,000
2012 # Catalogued: 283
Average sale price: $81,291
Median sale price: $60,000
August 5-6: Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale
A select sale taking place over two evening sessions, held in conjunction with the prestigious race meet in Saratoga Springs, NY. Physical, pedigree, and vetting are all extremely important at this sale as it is concentrated with some of the best yearlings to be found all year. Minimum bid required: $10,000
2012 # Catalogued: 162
Average sale price: $299,065
Median sale price: $225,000
August 10-11: Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York – Bred Yearlings
A two-day sale for New York-Bred yearlings only. Athletic-looking individuals sell well here as the sale is well-attended by trainers and end-users looking to race in the lucrative state-bred program. Minimum bid required: $5,000
2012 # Catalogued: 223
Average sale price: $62,551
Median sale price: $50,000
September 9-20: Keeneland September Yearling Sale
This is the largest yearling sale in the world and it is suitable for yearlings of all types… a one-stop shop for buyers! 11-12 sale sessions are typically catalogued within 6 sale books. Horses catalog primarily by pedigree with the best pedigree + physical combinations selling in Books 1-2. Keeneland September attract thousands of international and domestic owners, trainers, and bloodstock agents. Minimum bid required: $1,000
2012 # Catalogued: 3,604
Average sale price: $87,354
Median sale price: $45,000
October 21-23: Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling Sale
A three-day sale acceptable for all yearling types, especially late bloomers! This sale is also a good option for yearlings that may have been injured or experienced a physical setback over the summer months. Minimum bid required: $1,000
# Catalogued: 1,254
Average sale price: $26,127
Median sale price: $12,750
Sales, Lane’s End
Allaire was born and raised in Lexington, KY. She developed an early interest in Thoroughbreds by attending the sales after school with her father, a bloodstock agent, and growing up she gained sales experience working for various farms and consignors. She works with clients old and new to develop Lane’s End’s public sale consignments of yearlings and breeding stock.