One-day mixed sales, like Monday’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky mixed sale, frequently have the stallion prospects catalogued at the end of the book. Stallion prospects in mixed sales are usually lower-level horses destined for regional or foreign markets, and as such the people who buy these types are either horse traders, buying at wholesale prices to sell at retail, or end users looking for value. These people usually have an idea of what a horse should make, and when one goes for significantly less or more than the expected price, there’s some chatter. That’s how I heard about one particular sale, and it’s an eyebrow-raiser.
Take a look at Hip #333, Bear’s Kid. A son of Lemon Drop Kid from Grade 1 winner Tap to Music, Bear’s Kid hails from a strong female family and was a Grade 2 winner in Canada at age 2. In total, he earned $269,599. As a stallion prospect, however, he had some holes. One, he’s now 7. Two, he hadn’t raced since January of 2008, more than two years ago. Three, he wasn’t a “looker.”
“He was a big, raw-boned, coarse, low-backed horse,” said one observer, “and he looked like he was walking on egg shells.” Another person who had some information on the horse said he’d been on a farm in Canada for a while, turned out with another horse. “May have had feet problems,” he guessed by the way the horse walked.
Although a Grade 2 winner, Bear’s Kid was selling in a market that doesn’t have much demand for lower-level prospects. “From the [catalog] page, I figured he was worth up to $10,000, and maybe you’d get $20,000 for him [reselling],” a prospective buyer said. “But after I saw him, I’d have said $10,000 tops retail.” This feeling was echoed by a foreign buyer, who was expecting to pay about $10,000 to $15,000 for him.
Bear’s Kid had sold as a 2-year-old in 2005 for $60,000; the same year, Lemon Drop Kid’s 2-year-olds had averaged $95,449 at auction.
In November of 2009, just a few months ago, the stallion prospect was sold for $11,305 at a Canadian mixed auction, at a price in line with what many expected him to bring at Fasig-Tipton.
So what did he bring on Monday? Buckle up! Check the sales price for Hip #333 here. Then raise your eyebrows and whistle, like I did.