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Bill's Columns
ELEVEN SIRES CREATE BOOK 1 SURGE
Date: September 15th, 2018
This article originally appeared in BloodHorse Daily on September 15th, 2018.
By Bill Oppenheim
At the close of business on September 13, Keeneland’s four-day Book 1 finished up a resounding success, with 596 yearlings (12% fewer than last year) grossing $216,813,000 ($20-million, or 10%, higher than last year), and averaging $363,780, a whopping 26% rise on last year’s Books 1-2 average of $288,759. They might try and tweak the stabling for next year to make it more convenient for buyers, but it would be a brave person who would bet against a four-day Keeneland Book 1 for 2019 after this week’s sensational Book 1.
Yet, as usual, all is not exactly how it appears. The whole sale was up by $20-million, but it wasn’t evenly spread. The accompanying chart breaks Book 1 down into four price ranges, but for this summery we’re going to combine the two highest groups as ‘$1-million plus”. It makes for some interesting reading.
A total of 467 yearlings (78% of the 596 sold) which sold for <$500,000 grossed $113-million and averaged $242,604; last year, 565 yearlings sold for <$500,000 grossed $110-million and averaged $194,849. So there was nearly a 3% rise in gross with almost 100 fewer yearlings sold, while the average for this sector jumped by 24%. As yearlings which sold for <$500,000 accounted for 78& of the yearlings catalogued in Book 1, this is obviously a key sector; the fact that the average for this sector rose 24%, and the average for the whole sale rose by 26% suggests we’re not out of line to say Book 1 was up 25% over Books 1-2 last year.
As strong as the sale buzz was during Week 1, it’s a little surprising to find the number of yearlings sold for $500,000-$999,000 was 103, exactly the same as last year. The gross for these 103 Book 1 yearlings was $68-million ($66-million last year), and the average was up just 2%, although that was from $646,650 to $662,378. So that sector of the market, which this year accounted for 31% of the gross, was essentially stable.
The really explosive growth was at the top, with 26 yearlings selling for $1-million plus, exactly double the 13 which breached the 7-figure mark last year; that’s a 100% increase. This year’s 26 seven-figure Book 1 yearlings grossed $35.5-million, a 78% increase over last year’s $19.95-million. We count 14 buyers (though some were partnerships) of those 26 seven-figure yearlings.
As a corollary to the concentration of the top prices, there were 11 sires which had three or more sell in Book 1 which beat the sale average of $360,780 (plus another three sires with small representation – Frankel had one sell, Super Saver two, Claiborne’s first-year sire Lea also two). Talk about concentration at the top: these 14 sires among them account for 465 yearlings (47% of the number catalogued in Book 1), of which 283 sold (49% of the number sold), for $140,220,000 – 65% of the money spent in Book 1 at Keeneland was signed for by buyers of yearlings by one of these 14 sires. You could almost say, if they could have figured out beforehand which 14 sires were going to beat the Book 1 average, you could have a two-day Book 1 with those sires, followed by a two-day Book 2 with all other sires. But that is a little difficult to predict beforehand.
Of the 11 sires with 3+ sold in Book 1 which beat the sale average, three averaged over $600,000: War Front (18 sold/33 catalogued, avg $782,500); Medaglia D’Oro (31/48, $625,645); and Tapit (23/44. $623,043). As you’ll recall, there were five North American and European sires which averaged over $650,000 last year: Dubawi, Galileo, and Frankel in Europe, and Tapit and War Front in America. As you can see, Medaglia D’Oro, who was a distant sixth among NA/EU yearling sires last year with an average just under $400,000, has now firmly placed himself among what is now a top six NA/EU commercial sires.
At this point of proceedings there is not such a big gap from the commercial superstars to the mere stars. Empire Maker, from his first crop back after repatriation, sold 17/30 for an average of $498,235; and Curlin was also pushing up against a $500,000 average as his 27/41 yearlings averaged $498,148. The only unproven sire among this top eleven is of course American Pharoah, who sold 37/66 catalogued for an average of $466,757, just edging his sire, Pioneerof The Nile, who had 21/38 average $463,810. Then followed Uncle Mo, with 40/67 averaging $422,250; Candy Ride (14/23. $398,571); Quality Road (22/24, $396,593); and Into Mischief (28/39, $388,573). These are the commercial elite; aside from the three sires noted above with one or two sold, all other sires averaged under the Book 1 average. Also note that most of them were plus-or-minus the Book’s overall clearance rate from the catalogue of 60% with the exception of Quality Road, who has 22/24 sell (92%), though as he stood in 2016 for $35,000 it’s not surprising people were selling when he averaged over 11 times the stud fee they paid.
However, as the Book 1 average was $363,780, on the whole they weren’t exactly being given away. Even if only 11 sires with 3+ sold beat the Book average. After American Pharoah (and Lea; everybody loves Lea), five other first-crop yearling sires had five or more sell in Book 1, all averaging over $200,000: Carpe Diem (10/15, $293,500); Liam’s Map (11/19, $268,182); Honor Code (32/41, $264,469); Tonalist (5/12, $215,000); and Constitution (5/9, $209,000). Among F2016 sires with their first crops racing as 2-year-olds, only Will Take Charge (12/17, $252,917) and Cairo Prince (5/14, $249,000) had 3+ sell in Book 1. With first 3-year-olds, F2015 sires Violence (4/4, $283,750) and Animal Kingdom (2/2, $205,000) had all their representatives sell, but Declaration of War still takes top honors, at least by gross, with 16/23 averaging $181,563). On to Week Two!
To see Bill Oppenheim’s columns, APEX sire ratings, the Weekly Sales Ticker and more, visit www.billoppenheim.com
KEENELAND SEPTEMBER BOOK 1 RESULTS by SIRE
SIRE 1st Fls 2016 2018 CAT RING SOLD GROSS AVG
War Front (2002), Danzig 2008 $200,000 $250,000 33 26 18 $14,085,000 $782,500
Medaglia d'Oro (1999), El Prado (IRE) 2006 $150,000 $250,000 48 37 31 $19,395,000 $625,645
Tapit (2001), Pulpit 2006 $300,000 $300,000 44 31 23 $14,330,000 $623,043
Frankel (GB) (2008), Galileo (IRE) 2014 £125,000 £175,000 1 1 1 $500,000 $500,000
Empire Maker (2000), Unbridled 2005 $100,000 $85,000 30 23 17 $8,470,000 $498,235
Curlin (2004), Smart Strike 2010 $100,000 $150,000 41 32 27 $13,450,000 $498,148
American Pharoah (2012), Pioneerof the Nile 2017 $200,000 private 66 51 37 $17,270,000 $466,757
Pioneerof the Nile (2006), Empire Maker 2011 $125,000 $110,000 38 30 21 $9,740,000 $463,810
Lea (2009), First Samurai 2017 $12,500 $7,500 4 4 2 $905,000 $452,500
Uncle Mo (2008), Indian Charlie 2013 $75,000 $125,000 67 54 40 $16,890,000 $422,250
Candy Ride (ARG) (1999), Ride the Rails 2006 $60,000 $80,000 23 21 14 $5,580,000 $398,571
Quality Road (2006), Elusive Quality 2012 $35,000 $70,000 24 23 22 $8,725,000 $396,591
Into Mischief (2005), Harlan's Holiday 2010 $45,000 $100,000 39 34 28 $10,880,000 $388,571
Super Saver (2007), Maria's Mon 2012 $65,000 $35,000 7 5 2 $775,000 $387,500
Ghostzapper (2000), Awesome Again 2007 $60,000 $85,000 27 23 15 $5,150,000 $343,333
Tale of the Cat (1994), Storm Cat 2000 $30,000 $25,000 1 1 1 $335,000 $335,000
Hard Spun (2004), Danzig 2009 $45,000 $40,000 18 14 10 $3,225,000 $322,500
Speightstown (1998), Gone West 2006 $100,000 $100,000 27 21 17 $5,095,000 $299,706
Carpe Diem (2012), Giant's Causeway 2017 $25,000 $25,000 15 13 10 $2,935,000 $293,500
Elusive Quality (1993), Gone West 2000 $40,000 - 4 4 3 $865,000 $288,333
Violence (2010), Medaglia d'Oro 2015 $15,000 $25,000 4 4 4 $1,135,000 $283,750
Street Sense (2004), Street Cry (IRE) 2009 $45,000 $35,000 18 16 15 $4,220,000 $281,333
Liam's Map (2011), Unbridled's Song 2017 $25,000 $25,000 19 14 11 $2,950,000 $268,182
Honor Code (2011), A.P. Indy 2017 $40,000 $40,000 41 36 32 $8,463,000 $264,469
Malibu Moon (1997), A.P. Indy 2001 $95,000 $75,000 25 22 11 $2,895,000 $263,182
More Than Ready (1997), Southern Halo 2002 $50,000 $75,000 30 26 14 $3,680,000 $262,857
Will Take Charge (2010), Unbridled's Song 2016 $30,000 $30,000 17 15 12 $3,035,000 $252,917
Blame (2006), Arch 2012 $25,000 $12,500 7 6 2 $500,000 $250,000
Fed Biz (2009), Giant's Causeway 2016 $12,500 $10,000 1 1 1 $250,000 $250,000
Cairo Prince (2011), Pioneerof the Nile 2016 $15,000 $25,000 14 12 5 $1,245,000 $249,000
Kitten's Joy (2001), El Prado (IRE) 2007 $100,000 $60,000 19 18 11 $2,705,000 $245,909
Temple City (2005), Dynaformer 2012 $15,000 $15,000 3 3 2 $490,000 $245,000
Bernardini (2003), A.P. Indy 2008 $100,000 $85,000 25 22 17 $4,125,000 $242,647
Creative Cause (2009), Giant's Causeway 2014 $15,000 $20,000 2 2 2 $485,000 $242,500
Giant's Causeway (1997), Storm Cat 2002 $85,000 $75,000 10 8 7 $1,690,000 $241,429
Tiznow (1997), Cee's Tizzy 2003 $60,000 $50,000 22 18 10 $2,400,000 $240,000
Midnight Lute (2003), Real Quiet 2010 $25,000 $15,000 2 2 2 $450,000 $225,000
Tonalist (2011), Tapit 2017 $30,000 $20,000 12 8 5 $1,075,000 $215,000
Congrats (2000), A.P. Indy 2008 $20,000 $17,500 3 3 2 $420,000 $210,000
Mineshaft (1999), A.P. Indy 2005 $25,000 $25,000 5 5 2 $420,000 $210,000
Constitution (2011), Tapit 2017 $25,000 $25,000 9 8 5 $1,045,000 $209,000
Bayern (2011), Offlee Wild 2017 $15,000 $15,000 2 2 2 $415,000 $207,500
Lemon Drop Kid (1996), Kingmambo 2002 $40,000 $25,000 11 10 6 $1,235,000 $205,833
Animal Kingdom (2008), Leroidesanimaux (BRZ) 2015 $35,000 $30,000 2 2 2 $410,000 $205,000
Bodemeister (2009), Empire Maker 2014 $30,000 $40,000 6 4 2 $390,000 $195,000
Flatter (1999), A.P. Indy 2005 $30,000 $40,000 8 8 6 $1,135,000 $189,167
City Zip (1998), Carson City 2003 $40,000 - 15 14 11 $2,060,000 $187,273
Munnings (2006), Speightstown 2012 $25,000 $25,000 5 4 4 $730,000 $182,500
Declaration of War (2009), War Front 2015 $40,000 $25,000 23 20 16 $2,905,000 $181,563
Distorted Humor (1993), Forty Niner 2000 $100,000 $50,000 20 19 15 $2,717,000 $181,133
Street Boss (2004), Street Cry (IRE) 2010 $12,500 $20,000 2 2 2 $345,000 $172,500
English Channel (2002), Smart Strike 2009 $25,000 $25,000 1 1 1 $170,000 $170,000
Union Rags (2009), Dixie Union 2014 $35,000 $60,000 12 11 5 $835,000 $167,000
Daredevil (2012), More Than Ready 2017 $12,500 $7,500 2 2 1 $150,000 $150,000
Orb (2010), Malibu Moon 2015 $25,000 $25,000 2 2 1 $150,000 $150,000
Verrazano (2010), More Than Ready 2016 $20,000 $17,500 6 4 2 $210,000 $105,000
Karakontie (JPN) (2011), Bernstein 2017 $15,000 $10,000 2 2 1 $100,000 $100,000
Commissioner (2011), A.P. Indy 2017 $7,500 $7,500 2 2 2 $200,000 $100,000
Noble Mission (GB) (2009), Galileo (IRE) 2016 $25,000 $20,000 2 2 1 $95,000 $95,000
Mr Speaker (2011), Pulpit 2017 $10,000 $10,000 1 1 1 $80,000 $80,000
Awesome Again (1994), Deputy Minister 2000 $75,000 private 5 3 3 $158,000 $52,667
Zoffany (IRE) (2008), Dansili (GB) 2013 €45,000 €35,000 1 1 1 $45,000 $45,000
Shanghai Bobby (2010), Harlan's Holiday 2015 $15,000 $15,000 1 1 0 $0
Palace Malice (2010), Curlin 2017 $20,000 $20,000 5 4 0 $0
Gleneagles (IRE) (2012), Galileo (IRE) 2017 €60,000 €40,000 1 1 0 $0
Galileo (IRE) (1998), Sadler's Wells 2003 private private 1 1 0 $0
Mucho Macho Man (2008), Macho Uno 2016 $15,000 $10,000 1 1 0 $0
Cross Traffic (2009), Unbridled's Song 2016 $10,000 $7,500 1 0 0 $0
Summer Front (2009), War Front 2017 $10,000 $10,000 1 1 0 $0
Take Charge Indy (2009), A.P. Indy 2015 $17,500 - 1 1 0 $0
Flat Out (2006), Flatter 2015 $8,500 $7,000 1 1 0 $0
Maclean's Music (2008), Distorted Humor 2014 $6,500 $25,000 1 1 0 $0
Source: Blood-Horse
Book 1 Price Ranges 2018-2017
Ring Sold RNA Gross US$ Avg US$ Ring Sold RNA Gross US$ Avg US$
$0 to $499,999 684 467 217 113,063,000 242,104 884 565 319 110,090,000 194,849
$500,000 to $999,999 114 103 11 68,225,000 662,378 111 103 8 66,605,000 646,650
$1,000,000 to $1,999,999 24 23 1 28,825,000 1,235,261 12 10 2 12,150,000 1,215,000
$2,000,000 and up 3 3 0 6,700,000 2,223,333 3 3 0 7,800,000 2,600,000
596 681
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