2 Year Old Focused Thoroughbred Partnerships See Prices Rise
What use to be a secondary market to buy thoroughbreds, 2 year olds in training sales, have proven their value over the years with more owners drifting into the 2 year old market, while still having a hand in the popular yearling market. With foal crops down and more pressure and emphasis to win early with less risk, horse racing syndicates have found that purchasing 2 year olds in training gives their owners’ the ability to achieve just that with the least amount of risk. As a result, the prices at 2 year old in training sales have been significantly increasing year over year for the past 3 years. This year has seen all-time highs in average price and median price across the board at 2 year old in training sales, making it very difficult for the once entrepreneurial horse racing partnerships to buy.
As a thoroughbred syndicate it is very important to have goals and a plan for the partnership, specifically how to acquire horses. In the past, most thoroughbred partnerships were focused on buying pedigree, which would typically be found at select yearling sales. Those horse racing partnerships believed that the extra cost involved in paying for the pedigree and extra time it would take the horse to get to the track was worth the risk. But today the mindset has changed significantly. Thoroughbred syndicates started realizing that paying a premium for a yearling with pedigree, could be a greater risk than paying for a 2 year old in training with average or little pedigree because the extra time they had to wait to get that yearling to the track let alone even get to the track, as well as never being able to see that horse run before they purchased it.
As a result, Blinkers On Racing Stable has seen a significant shift in the market to buying 2 year olds in training this year, which has been our model for the past 8 years. We now see average prices rising on horses because the demand has gone up and the foal crops have dropped. But knowing our success purchasing two year olds in training with horses like multiple G1 winner Turbulent Descent, and Stakes winner Hidinginplainsight, we knew that if we stuck to our plan that we would be able to find the right horses that we loved without compromising. Last year in 2012, we attended the June OBS 2 year old in training sale for the first time, but it paid off when we bought a horse with unlimited potential, Island Freedom, a son of Unbridled’s Song, and ¾ brother to Old Fashioned. He ran an 1/8th in the co-fastest time of 10 flat. We have high hopes for this colt, and know that patience will pay off when he makes his first start at Del Mar this Summer.
In addition, Blinkers On attended the 2013 OBS April 2 year olds in training sale where we have had the most success and also catalogs the most horses (1,200), and we did not purchase one horse. We spent thousands on vet bills and travel, as well as countless hours analyzing stride and looking at horses. Because we were disciplined and did not want to over pay for a horse that we didn’t completely love we came home with nothing. Obviously, this was not a great feeling but we stuck to our plan and went to the next sale at the Barrett’s May 2 year olds in training sale. We purchased the horse at the top of our list, a 2 year old son by Benny the Bull, Bullwhip, who breezed an 1/8th in 10 flat, the co-fastest time at the sale. To be able to buy this horse, especially at the price we got him at was perfect. There’s nothing like going to a sale and getting the horse at the top for your list for the price you want him at.
Had our thoroughbred syndicate panicked and over paid for a couple horses in April instead of waiting for May Barrett’s and then May Fasig-Tipton where we purchased 2 more, we may not have purchased the 3 horses that we feel very strongly about. The thoroughbred market is full of ups and down, high and lows, but if you are willing to be patient and stick to your plan, you will be rewarded. That is not to say that looking out into the future with where racing is going and adjusting a little is not a good thing. Like any good business it is important to see change coming, and that is why we decided to buy 2 Cal-Bred yearlings last year, but not switch our model to only buying Cal-Breds. We plan to attend the June OBS 2 year olds in training sale and hopefully purchase 2 or 3 more horses. With a full stable we look to have a fantastic Summer and Fall!
Blinkers On Racing Stable, a leader in thoroughbred horse racing partnerships, brings together the finest in thoroughbred horse racing expertise with the best in business know-how, and above all, a team of people you can trust, to manage your investment. We are committed to helping you experience the joys of thoroughbred horse ownership. For more information on thoroughbred partnerships visit our website or request an information package about our partnership. Keep up with horse racing in California by reading our Blog, finding us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, checking us out on LinkedIn, or visiting our YouTube Channel!
July 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm
This appears to be a real bubble that will burst; the pressure on partnerships will find substantial money leaving the game – and not returning…..since purses are hardly keeping up with this spike in costs at the front end. But until there is a workable vision for the sport that transcends state boundaries, the dysfunctional push – pull – tug will make the sport more WHA than NFL.