This year’s yearling thoughts

Scenics 2015 Saratoga Selected Yearling Sale
Scenics 2015 Saratoga Selected Yearling Sale
As the year’s most significant thoroughbred yearling sales begin, the market is similar to last year. Similar results are likely. The personal interest – what’s different about this year to me – is there’s a Triple Crown winner for the first time in 37 years and what will that mean for the offspring of his stallion?

The Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling Sale is Monday and Tuesday, with the behemoth Keeneland September Yearling Sale a month away.

What impact, if any, will that have in this year’s yearling auctions, particularly as it relates to WinStar Farm’s stallion Pioneerof the Nile, whose epitaph someday will be “sire of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah”? 

Possibly none, since the market continues to be fickle in demanding horses that have few flaws. But it’ll be fun to watch and track – because this hasn’t been a possibility since the 1970s when the commercial market arguably was a very different place.

Here are some stats to remember as the crop is sold.

This year’s Saratoga sale features eight Pioneerof the Nile offspring, including two colts. The comparison to last year’s sale isn’t that notable – last year’s Saratoga sale saw one Pioneerof the Nile sell for $135,000 and the only other in the sale was withdrawn. In 2013, two Pioneerof the Nile’s sold – a $200,000 filly (named Miss Wonderly) and a $300,000 colt that ended up being a buyback for Zayat Stables, some horse name American Pharoah.

The catalog for the Keeneland sale comes out Tuesday. Last year, American Pharoah’s pop’s yearlings sold – 22 of them – for an average of $121,864 and a median of $87,500. The top price of those was $475,000. (In the 2013 sale, 19 Pioneerof the Niles sold for an average of $84,158 and a median of $85,000.)

According to Blood-Horse’s Stallion Register, his 2014 yearlings sold in North America for an average of $101,278 and a median of $62,500. That was split evenly between 18 colts that averaged $139,611 and 18 fillies that averaged $62,944.

His first five yearlings this year sold for an average of $84,800 and a median of $87,000, according to the same site. The two colts average $102,500 and the three fillies average $73,000 so far.

While we wait to see where American Pharaoh races next, watch where the hammer falls on the new crop from Pioneerof the Nile.

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