It won't be the best of times, and it won't be the worst of times. It's going to be somewhere in between.
That is how I look at the 2010 yearling selling season, which kicks off with its first important auction, the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling sale, July 13 and 14 in Lexington.
There has been some improvement in the economy since 2009 and the 2010 sales of 2-year-olds in training showed some signs of stability, which lead me to believe we won't experience the scary downturns this year like the ones in 2009 in the overall yearling market.
But recent setbacks in a stock market that had been showing signs of recovery, the weakening of the euro against the dollar, and credit that continues to be tight suggest that there isn't going to be a major rebound either. Heading into the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky auction, many consignors are more than a little spooked about their prospects, and it's easy to understand why they're worried.
A few months from now, when the trends will be apparent, expect the results they produce to be much closer to the auction business' low points than they will be to the highs when the industry was booming.
That's not exactly a big revelation, I know.
A more steady yearling market will be good news for commercial breeders. But for some, it just won't be enough, and they will sink under the burden of debt and rising expenses caused high stud fees that were set when times were much better.
To put it another way, the yearling market won't be too cold or too hot, but it won't be just right.