An Update from us on COVID-19: Issue 1
RSS Feeds Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Dear Client,

I hope this email finds you and your family safe and healthy. What an extraordinary time we are experiencing. With so much at stake protecting ourselves and our families, we still have to make plans for our horses, including the upcoming yearling sales.

I will be sending out a weekly communication updating you on any pertinent events and/or changes to our business, which seem to be arising every day. Obviously, the economy will remain a massive concern for those of us hoping to sell horses this year. Another major concern is large numbers of people gathering at the horse auctions. I believe the sales companies are now working with each other and the local government to develop well thought out and practical protocols to protect both sellers and buyers. I can only hope and believe we will develop very safe precautions using the knowledge we continue to accumulate regarding this virus.

Of particular concern to all of us right now is the welfare of our friends in the two-year-old market whose sales have now been rescheduled for June and July. These folks have significant capital invested in their racing prospects, and we can only hope they are able to find a somewhat reasonable market this summer. The OBS April Sale has been rescheduled for June 9th through June 12th, and this will provide us with the first glimpse of where the Thoroughbred market finds itself.

Most importantly, we need to get racing back on track in order to have a market for Thoroughbreds. Please follow this link, Race Track Status, to find an up-to-date schedule of most US racetracks. Please note, California has carded races for this weekend so keep your fingers crossed the state doesn't shut them down. We are also hopeful Keeneland will hold an upscale 7 to 14 day race meet in July. We hope and believe the Saratoga meet will begin as scheduled on July 16th.

As for the yearling sales, Fasig-Tipton has now scheduled a sale to be held Wednesday and Thursday, September 9th and 10th immediately prior to the Keeneland September yearling sales. Included in the sale will be a section of the 100 best New York breds the auction company can find, and the remainder of the catalog will be made up of Fasig-Tipton July and Saratoga type yearlings, with more of an emphasis on conformation.

Our Keeneland Book 1 horses will tentatively ship-in on September 9th to begin showing on September 10th. Keeneland's format will be the same as last year, although we would like to see them hold a two day Book 1 sale of 300 horses per day followed by a two day Book 2 sale with equal numbers, taking a break on the Friday. None of us know what the future holds, but we have to continue to march forward and prepare our horses for auction.

What happens if things go wrong and for some wild reason the auctions do not go forward? We will have to start finding other means of moving our horses such as syndicates, partnerships, possible yearling auctions later in the year (i.e. November), or perhaps even selling horses as two- year-olds through next spring. It is a fluid situation, and we have to be prepared to make changes and adapt.

Finally, there is one encouraging trend experienced by all of the tracks that continued to hold races through March and April. The handle at each track exploded. Obviously, these were the only "games in town," but it indicates possible new racing fans.

Ben, Pam, Jay and I have been looking at yearlings now for several weeks using recommended safety protocols. We will continue to monitor all the horses we will be selling. Mostly though, please feel free to call any of us at any time to talk about anything from auctions to life. We are all learning together, and we are in this together. I hope you and your family are well. Hang in there and wear a mask! All the best, Reiley.

02/09/20
Jay Goodwin, formerly a partner in Select Sales Agency, has been named account manager at Eaton Sales. Goodwin was a partner at Select for 10 years
01/19/20
Omaha Beach cruised through a five-furlong work in 1:00.72 Sunday morning at Gulfstream Park, his final breeze for Saturday's Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1).
01/14/20
The first to hit big was Hip 448, a bay filly by Into Mischief out of the Indian Charlie mare Silent Circle. Purchased for $260,000 by Blue Sky Stables as part of a pinhooking partnership, Brian Graves, who signed the winning ticket, said the yearling was exactly what the group was looking for.

Results matter. At Eaton Sales, we are passionate about the Thoroughbred business, but our relentless pursuit of outstanding results for our clients, in both the sales ring and the race track, is what drives us. For years, Eaton Sales’ clients have entrusted us to sell many of the most distinguished horses in the world.

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