If you haven't said bye, bye, bye to your money during the recent financial turmoil sweeping the nation and spreading around the world, then November should be a good time to buy, buy, buy broodmares.
There will be a huge quantity of horses on the market during the November breeding stock sales in Kentucky, and there also will be a lot of quality mares up for grabs.
Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales, doesn't like to discuss an upcoming auction before the company has issued its official press release, but the talk during the Keeneland September yearling sale was that the number of lots for the November breeding stock sale would exceed 6,000. Many mares will be in there because their owners consider them to be failures, but savvy horsemen can find producers that haven't been bred properly based on their bloodlines or mares with reproductive problems that a smart veterinarian can correct or find ways to overcome. Keeneland traditionally doesn't promote individual horses in its sale press releases, but there is no doubt that there will be some very well-bred, top-producing mares in the opening sessions of the auction.
The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November select sale usually is much smaller in size than its Keeneland counterpart, but quality won't be a problem. The mares that will be offered Better Than Honour, the 2007 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year and the dam of two Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winners. Also in the catalog are numerous grade I-winning racing and/or broodmare prospects such as Backseat Rhythm, Panty Raid, Unbridled Belle, and Intangaroo.
When the yearling market is down, horsemen often are reluctant to buy mares, which are the factories. The prices for top yearlings remained solid this year, but tended to more reasonable in the past, and the same thing should happen with the best broodmares. It is also less likely that someone will rush into this year's November sales with the idea buying a lot of mares to build up a new breeding operation, so maybe the competition won't be so stiff.
If you can avoid a bidding battle with Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock manager or Coolmore Stud's Demi O'Byrne, you just might get a bargain. Well, maybe not a true bargain, but the price could be less than it was a for a comparable mare in years past.
Take a look at the story about the Fasig-Tipton sale on our Web site and let us know which one of the top winning females or producers you would most like to buy and why. If you pick a racing or broodmare prospect, tell us which stallion you would breed her to and why.