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Top U.S. Yearling Sales Up by $85 Million
Monday, October 29, 2018 RSS Feeds

At the conclusion of the major North American and European yearling sales—with Fasig-Tipton's The October Sale wrapping Oct. 25 and Arqana's October Yearling Sale concluding Oct. 26—the market registered significant gains.

Brianne Stanley of The Bill Oppenheim Group calculated that 8,859 yearlings sold (67.5% of 13,123 cataloged) for total revenues of US$898,478,319, an average of $101,420. In the corresponding sales in 2017, a total of 8,548 yearlings sold (66.7% of 12,808 cataloged) for revenues of $816,039,237, an average of $95,466. About 300 (4%) more yearlings were cataloged and sold compared to the same sales last year, for a 10% increase in gross, and a 6% increase in average.

It's big news that the North American and European yearling market gross increased by $82 million, from $816 million to $898 million. But when we break the figures down a little, it's absolutely clear that all of the increase was in North America, and all of the North American gains came in the three Fasig-Tipton summer sales (The July Sale, The Saratoga Sale, and the New York Bred Yearlings sale) and in the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. In fact, all other North American yearling sales, and the entire European yearling market, were down marginally.

Here's the tale of the tape. Between the three Fasig-Tipton summer sales and Keeneland September, there were 3,454 yearlings sold (63.2% of the 5,469 cataloged among the four sales). The gross for these four sales increased by $85 million (21%). The gross for the other 5,405 yearlings sold—at other North American sales and European sales—actually declined by about $2.5 million. In mitigation of that—in Europe, at least—the yearling sale gross had increased by €35 million (about 12%) from 2016 to 2017. So, at least to some extent, the gains at the Fasig-Tipton summer sales and Keeneland September were catching up with previous years' growth in Europe.

Nonetheless, the results do serve to demonstrate the growing gap between the higher and lower market tiers—the gap between the rich and the poor, we might say. The number of seven-figure yearlings sold at Keeneland September doubled, for example. Examination of the overall numbers and the respective sales confirm what everyone has been thinking and feeling: Demand is strong and still growing at the top but is, at best, steady—or declining—in all but the top tiers.

Galileo Regains Top Spot by Average

This year, the top six sires from last year were still the top six sires on average, but they had moved around some. Interestingly, Sheikh Mohammed's termination of his boycott against Coolmore stallions was probably responsible for Galileo retaking the top spot by yearling average (34 sold for an average of $1,063,459) from Dubawi (19 sold for a $1,035,402 average), both because Sheikh Mohammed bought Galileos (four) and because he didn't buy all the Dubawis. But the two European powerhouse sires, Coolmore's best and Darley's best, both topped the million-dollar mark by average.

Medaglia d'Oro moved up from sixth to fourth by average among the six super-elite sires in 2018. Claiborne Farm's War Front topped all American sires, with 21 yearlings averaging $760,225. Medaglia d'Oro grabbed the second spot, with his 44 yearlings averaging $598,588, with Gainesway's three-time leading sire Tapit dropping to third in North America, with 39 yearlings averaging $536,923. Juddmonte's superstar sire Frankel remained third in Europe, and was sixth overall, though his average did drop significantly, as 20 yearlings in 2018 averaged $476,713.

November Weanling and Covering Sires

There are 189 sires with weanlings cataloged to the Fasig-Tipton November and Keeneland November mixed sales, and a total of 1,908 weanlings entered in the sales. Of those, 71 sires have 10 or more cataloged, 33 have 20 or more, and 10 sires have 30 or more weanlings cataloged between the two sales. 

Courtesy of the Bloodhorse

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