This year’s Lexington Selected Sale finished on Sunday and the numbers fell about how sale managers expected. A total of 792 yearlings were sold for a gross of $27.7 million. When horses which had reserves on them are taken out of the total, the average works out to $35,003. That’s a drop of 13.6 percent from 2008, when the sale posted an average of $40,494 on a gross of $32.1 million. The median price--the point where half the horses sell for more and half for less--fell from $30,000 to $25,000.
“I thought we’d average around $35,000, and we were right there,” said sale manager Geoffrey Stein.
Unlike last year, when the final session of the Lexington Selected Sale climbed by 9.4 percent, this year’s closing day showed a 24.6 percent decline as the average dropped from $16,861 in 2008 to $12,704.
Although it appeared the crowd on Saturday night after the races was lighter than in year’s past, the average that night held up well, dropping by the lowest amount, 11.2 percent. That followed declines of 13, 14 and 16.8 percent in the previous three sessions. The median held up more on Saturday night, dipping by only 4.7 percent.
The majority of the money spent at the Lexington Selected Sale went for pacing colts, with the 218 sold selling for $8.6 million, or 31 percent of the total dollars spent. The pacing colt market was led by Rocknroll Hanover, whose 52 offspring were sold for an average price of $60,192.
Trotting colts were a couple of points behind, taking 29 percent of the dollars. They were given a boost by the first crops by Glidemaster and Chocolatier, who posted averages of $64,429 and $61,000, respectively. Trotting fillies attracted 24 percent of the dollars spent, with 17 daughters of Andover Hall generating an average of $64,529 to lead that sector. As usual, pacing fillies lagged behind at 16 percent.
Historically, in 2008 trotting colts attracted 32 percent of the dollars at the Lexington Selected Sale, with pacing colts at just 26 percent. At the 2007 Lexington sale, trotting colts and pacing colts both accounted for 28 percent of the dollars spent.
The number of yearlings selling for $100,000 or more dropped from 8.4 percent of the total sold in 2008 to 5.4 percent this year. In 2007, the $100,000+ category accounted for 11 percent of the total sale.
Most consignors saw their proceeds mirror the results of the sale. All but a few consignments took home less money. Here’s a snapshot look at the proceeds:
Blue Chip Farms--$885,000 for 14 head (down from $1.239 million for 14 head)
Brittany Farms--$1.9 million gross for 60 head (down from $2.7 million for 59 head)
Diamond Creek Farm--$756,000 for 17 head (down from $1.45 million for 24 head)
Dunroven Stud--$525,000 for 29 head (down from $550,000 for 28 head)
Hanover Shoe Farms--$1.325 million for 24 head (up from $1.273 million for 18 head)
Kentuckiana Farms--$2.848 million for 81 head (down from $3 million for 76 head)
Northwood Bloodstock—$773,000 for 30 head (down from $990,000 for 39 head)
Peninsula Farm, Agt.--$2.372 million for 64 head (up from $1.98 million for 61 head)
Perretti Farm--$1.039 million for 25 head (up from $881,000 for 26 head)
Preferred Equine Marketing--$5.267 million for 120 head (down from $5.82 million for 112 head)
Spring Haven Farm, Agt.--$1.126 million for 38 head (down from $1.120 million for 38 head)
Winbak Farm--$1.133 million for 43 head (down from $1.41 million for 37 head).
Horse racing auctions of other breeds also posted negative numbers earlier this year. The prestigious Keeneland auction held in Lexington in September saw its average drop by 33.2 percent, with many horses also not selling as consignors took them home when they failed to meet their reserves. The Keeneland sale sold 3,159 yearlings for an average of $60,734 and a median price of $22,000. The median at the Lexington Selected Sale was $25,000.