Best and Worst Values in the Stallion Market for 2010
The year 2009 will go down as one of the worst years for thoroughbred breeders. We have seen major financial market indicators fall to levels not seen in a decade. Virtually every sale worldwide had substantial reductions in average, median and gross. In response to this drop in the market, stallion owners have been quick to reduce fees for their stallions.
The question that remains in most breeders minds is: Have stud fees been reduced enough?
This is not an easy question to answer with so much uncertainty in the bloodstock market. Breeders need to make decisions now about products that will be sold two years from now and there has never been more uncertainty as to where the market will be at that point in time. Therefore, it is more crucial than ever to find value among the sire offerings in order to best protect against potential future downturns.
Stallions Standing for Over $50,000
What does Storm Cat, Gone West, Seeking the Gold, El Prado, Cozzene, Theatrical, Rahy, Red Ransom and Silver Deputy have in common? They are all first rate sires that have been pensioned or lost in the past few years.
The American thoroughbred market is going through an interesting transition currently as some of the old and venerable ‘Book 1’ sires pass the torch to a new generation of sires that will try to step up to take their place. But are they up to the task? Can the new generation justify the high stud fees and maintain the high yearling prices or will the top of the market be reduced to more ‘affordable’ levels?
In the “Over $50,000” Category we will recommend breeding to the proven sires that have showed that they belong in the highest echelon of the thoroughbred world. We will try to avoid the new ‘hot’ of the moment sires that may not have the staying power to maintain the high stud fees.
Our Best Values are:
AP Indy ($150,000): with a 3.14 AEI and whopping 12% stake winners from foals, AP Indy ranks as the best value for breeders with the right mares. No other sire will dominate the thoroughbred market as much as he will in the years to come. Although age and fertility may be a concern, breeders with young quality mares are well advised to take a shot with AP Indy before it is too late. Also, Lane’s End is offering a 10% discount for breeders that pay on November 1 of year bred, a very tempting offer to further the appeal of this sire.
Distorted Humor ($100,000): Another proven horse able to get a very high number of stake winners from foals with 9%. He is a consistent and produces good looking foals able to shine on the racetrack and at the sales ring. Considering he stood for as much as $300,000 not too long ago, the $100,000 is certainly worth the money.
Pulpit ($60,000): Pulpit is already a proven sire of sires with Tapit out to a very strong start. He is an extraordinary looking individual capable of getting a top sale yearling and consistently strong runners. His sales median of $150,000 warrants an investment at this level for the commercial breeder and a strong 7% stake winners from foals is very attractive for those looking for racing performance. At $60,000 he is very well priced.
Difficult to call any sire in the category a bad value since virtually all of them have showed that they are able to sire stock in the highest categories. However, there are a few that down the road may not prove to be very sound investments at these levels.
Medaglia D’Oro ($100,000) I have nothing against Medaglia D’Oro, in fact I think he is a very capable sire and he has already proven that he can sire top quality stock with three grade 1 winners last year including the great Rachel Alexandra. However, I think that Darley may have been too hasty to raise the fee so high. Perhaps they overpaid for him as a sire when they purchased him last year as the thoroughbred market was sinking but that is no reason to have breeders pay for it.
The fee raise (from $60,000) represents one of the largest fee increases recorded in the market, at a time when most fees were dropping. True Medaglia has been the ‘hot’ sire this year. But what will be of him in two years, long after Rachel Alexandra has been retired, if he fails to produce anything of consequence next year? With only 4% stake winners from foals (5.3% if you take out the current two year-old crop) it is hard to justify the hefty stud fee.
Mr. Greeley ($50,000) has had a good run at the sales ring and the race track as European owners and breeders flocked to purchase his progeny at the sales ring. Even with him producing the likes of Kensei, his 1.46 AEI and meager 4% stake winners from foals make his a very questionable deal even at this level.