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Poll Question: Buying a Yearling

With the summer yearling sales season rapidly approaching, let's consider the important factors when making a yearling purchase. Assuming that a yearling displays ideal athleticism, what is most important to you when buying a sales yearling? Explain your choice in the comments section below.

Upcoming Yearling Sales:

  • Fasig-Tipton July Selected Yearlings, July 13-14, Lexington, KY
  • Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearlings, August 2-3, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Fasig-Tipton NY Bred Preferred Yearlings, July 7-8, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. Select and Open Yearling Sale, August 23-26, Ocala, FL
  • Keeneland September Yearling Sale, September 12-26, Lexington, KY

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    I was told once by a fellow from Kentucky who said " as long as they are correct you have a chance since they can't holler for their mommy and pappy when they enter the gate"

    GeeGees 26 Jun 2010 10:37 PM


    Another saying that usually gets mentioned quite a bit in the run up to the Kentucky Derby each year is:

    "The speed of the race usually looks good until the final furlong when they start looking around for their mum and dad to see if they have it to go the distance"....

    Conveyance and Noble's Promise fitted that saying this year...

    agnesworld 26 Jun 2010 11:38 PM

    My choice, Dam's Pedigree/Female family is an important indicator of a horse's potential at the track, and in the shed; especially for a filly.

    Dam's produce history is a close second, except that many top yearlings are their dam's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd foals, many times by a young sire.

    The economy is pushing us in the direction of breed to sell/race, rather that making the big bucks at auction in years past.

    I'm figuring that if the yearling is displaying ideal athleticism, that often goes with racing conformation.  I like taking a chance on a short yearling that's built to race, out of a dam that's in a position to take off and has a few offspring racing or coming up to race....You just might get lucky.

    I know we're talking about summer sales, and you have a better idea of how the yearlings are going to turn out as 2 year olds, hence a higher price.  It's a great market for buyers right now.  

    Aluminaut 27 Jun 2010 1:18 AM

    OLD BOB BOWERS...ty...

    Bellwether 27 Jun 2010 5:09 AM


    Does this mean you're going to spend $900 and hope for the best?

    Or maybe you're a fan of line breeding?


    Ian Tapp 27 Jun 2010 11:19 AM

    I believe Kenny McPeek is the best selector at sales.  I found this quote from him -

    " I want to see the G1's, G2's and G3's under the dams. They have to have some sort of foundation for class even if as far down as the 3rd or 4th generation. My job is finding graded stakes winners for clients, and if there aren't any in the family, chances are they aren't going to be. "

    Anthony Say 27 Jun 2010 1:18 PM

    There are a lot of royally bred horses at the sales but if you just look at the sales page you're going to get burned.

    Why do you think the trainers, owners and bloodstock agents spend hours looking at hundreds of horses?

    If they aren't correct, I'll pass them by even if the breeding is superior.

    McPeek? Hmmm, he's won how many Triple Crown races? How many Breeders Cup races? He's picked one or two good ones but.......

    Maybe the reason he got back into training?

    TBOwner 27 Jun 2010 8:11 PM

    Dam's pedigree/female family. I would rather see something out of a mare who has either ran well, or hasn't raced at all(as long as the Dam's family is proven). Any horse can run with conformation faults, depending on what they are and the severity of them, as long as they've got heart and something on the bottom line to back them up.

    JMH 27 Jun 2010 11:09 PM

    Wow...Dam's pedigree and Yearling's conformation are 74-73 right now. Could we say that these are equally important factors?

    Ian Tapp 30 Jun 2010 12:11 PM

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