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US Consignors Express Cautious Optimism About Market

Monday, 20th July 2009

In the lead up to today's (US time) Fasig Tipton July Select Sale, consignors expressed general caution to bloodhorse.com about where the thoroughbred market remains, despite encouraging signs of a slow economic recovery. Among those who commented were the following observations:

  • Sergio de Sousa, managing partner, Hidden Brook: "We are cautiously optimistic, I suppose. We know the market is low, and we are going to set our expectations accordingly. We have some nice horses, but we're prepared for the market to be off 30% to 40%, and we're OK with that. Hopefully, the buyers will come and try to get some value."
  • Kitty Taylor, Warrendale Sales: "Everybody is worried about the economy and the pinhookers. Who's going to show up? Who's not going to show up? We've been really busy this morning (July 17). I'm seeing all familiar faces, but it's early in the whole process. In the conversations I've had with people, they're saying, 'This is what we do. We're not going to stop doing what we do.' But I think their level (of participation) will be lower. I think there's no question that everybody has lower expectations financially. You're going to be real cautious with your reserves unless you want to go on to a 2-year-old sale or race your horses."
  • Mark Taylor, Taylor Made Sales Agency: "You've got to expect the actual raw numbers in the statistical categories to be off from last year. This sale was conducted (in 2008) before the economic crisis really came to light and so I think that it's going to be down. It's just a matter of how much it's going to be down. I like what Fasig-Tipton has done in terms of trying to bring more trainers in and raise the level of the caliber horse they were taking. I know they were more stringent with the horses we submitted to the sale, so across the board, I think there should be a little higher level of horse here. There are fewer horses, and if Fasig-Tipton can get more trainers to come, hopefully that mitigates the depreciation you're going to have from last year just based on the market. That's my hope."
  • Neil Howard, Gainesway: "I'm anticipating the market to be very selective. You've got the economy recovering and some other positive things happening, but I think everybody still is going to be careful with what they buy. If I was a regular buyer of yearlings, I would expect a discount. The horse I was going to have to pay $200,000 for last year or the year before last, I might expect to get for $150,000 and save 25% or even 30%. I'm not saying the sale is going to be off by that much, but I think people are going to expect the prices to be off by that much. But whenever buyers come to a sale expecting to find bargains, they find nice horses and, all of a sudden, the market's not off as much as everybody thought it was going to be."
  • Reiley McDonald, Eaton Sales: "I'm like anybody else coming into the sale; I do so with limited expectations. I think that 10% of the horses are going to sell really well, and I have no idea what the other 90% are going to do. There will be some real bargains to be had. There are still nice horses here, as there are every year, but as for the middle part of this market, it still remains to be seen what it will do."
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