Another good new race horse owner question hit my desk last week. After recently returning from Kentucky, where buying guides, maps to breeding farms and horse country information is just about everywhere, he couldn't find a good answer anywhere locally...... so here you go.
Many Minnesota breeders and auction sale consignors are happy to sell horses. All you have to do is schedule a visit to their farms. These visits can be most rewarding because buyers can take their time to physically inspect yearlings without competing buyers watching and listening in, as they often do at auctions. The buyers can also see the mare and even the sire of the yearling at many farms. In addition, breeders or selling consignors are often more willing to share honest yearling insights in a private and comfortable farm setting. Many auction buyers take advantage of this prior to actual auctions and I've bought many horses this way.
The following exhibit represents a list from my database of past Minnesota auction sale data. I think it reflects recent and historically significant sellers of yearlings in Minnesota. These are the people to see and talk too. You can contact them directly or if you would like contact information please feel free to message me. Good luck to all.
How do a decade of Minnesota Auction Sale Toppers compare to the top Stormy Business sired yearlings?
This was the question I was recently asked by an owner looking to privately buy one of our 2015 Stormy Business yearlings. It was such a good question I decided to take my database of Minnesota Thoroughbred information and answer it as honestly as I could. Thus I went to the data to create this chart and guess what? Our stallion Stormy Business compares pretty darn well!
In fact based upon actual earnings, the 3 top Stormy sired horses out rank 70% of the sale toppers, and he has only had 24 runners as of today! Considering near 500 yearlings were consigned to the Minnesota sale during the last decade of possible runners from 2005 through 2014, and the 10 listed sale toppers received the highest bids in each of their respective years, the Stormy results might be considered somewhat remarkable. Stormy has also had 16 of his 24 runners earn more than the bottom 5 sale toppers on this list! How crazy is that?
So here you go my friends. Here's exactly how Stormy's best compare to the "publicly" most expensive horses sold in Minnesota over the last decade. Oh, and these expensive sale toppers also had an "average" sale price of $35,850.
Isn't it fascinating how public data, turned into information, sheds light on the truth. I was also fascinated that the question was one I had never even asked myself. Oh well, fact's are indeed stubborn things so if you are looking to buy a new runner, or looking to breed to a stallion that stands for only $1,500, visit or call the Osborne Farm in Cambridge Minnesota at 763-689-3661.
We always carry the Horse Players Monthly link on our website, since it's possibly the best publication available for real horse players, but the April issue is one you really shouldn't miss!
In addition to the Canterbury announcement regarding the lowest takeout in the nation, there's also a very nice interview with Canterbury's Eric Halstrom in this months issue. Eric discusses exactly what everyone in horse racing, should be focused on................THE CUSTOMER!!!!
Way to go Eric, Randy and Canterbury. You continue to do all the right things for racing in Minnesota.
The April link follows. Enjoy!
Well we now have confirmation that two of our stakes winning over $100K winning mares are in foal. BJ's Angel checked in foal to Sidney's Candy down in Lexington, KY while Demiparfait checked in foal to Stormy Business here in MN. Many thanks to Lorie and Bob Michaels at Winchester Place in KY and Rick and Joyce Osborne at Osborne Farm here in MN.
On the racing front, our 3 year old and up runners in Gary Scherer's barn already have two works at Hawthorne and should be ready to go right away this season at Canterbury. The track opens for training on April 29th. Also our only two year old this season sits with Tony Rengstorf in AR, and he is shipping up here next week so we can't wait to see AJ's Angel (Demiparfait / Stormy Business) get his first licks in locally.
It should be a great racing season in Minnesota and we hope to see you all out there soon.
My earlier post today, regarding a private access information page I am developing for this web site, raised some good questions.
I've included one simple sample chart which illustrates the Top Ten horses sold at the MInnesota auction in 2010. By downloading public data from multiple sources, I illustrated these Top Ten sale horses and their selling prices with their actual racing results, and their top end speed rating.
If this small subset of data was credible, which it isn't, what conclusions might a decent analyst reach? Possibly that of the top ten MN sale horses we should expect that 10% will earn over $75,000, or that 60% will earn over $30,000, or that there's a 70% chance you will get a win picture if that's your goal, or that there's a 10% chance you will get a horse with a speed rating that should win a stakes race (90 or better) if that's your goal, or that your average earnings will be 4 times the sale price!
Amazingly, IF this small sample was credible, all of the prior comments would be factually true! Imagine how powerful, and somewhat shocking, that information would be if you knew it to be true?
Now imagine a complete longitudinal study with 100's of horses over several years, sorted by every variable imaginable, including consignor, agent and buyer. Then, and only then, truthful patterns. trends and probabilities may be available.
I hope this helps folks understand the value that information in all realms of endeavor, (not data), can offer. Now are you interested?
With so many people interested in becoming thoroughbred owners in Minnesota, and so little factual information being provided, I will build a private access page on this website for owners interested in the honest factual information.
Based on social media exchanges, it is clear that some MN folks want to claim horses this year at Canterbury. Others are already planning to buy horses privately, or at the Minnesota Thoroughbred Sale to be held August 22, 2016 at Canterbury Park. Some folks want any horse. Others understand the much larger purses and much easier competition they will have as owners if they acquire "Minnesota Bred" horses. Too many future owners don't really understand claiming conditions, and how the claiming price means little if running in conditioned races such as maidens, non-winners of 2, 3 or 4, etc..
Unfortunately, there is often more bad information available than good to new owners. Properly analyzed information is rarely published. New owner seminars are basic with many self proclaimed experts not having a clue as to truth that "real information" provides. They share their anecdotal experiences, and often their own believed racing myths, as if they are the truth.
Do you really know how claims in Minnesota have worked out? Do claims work out when claiming from good trainers? Are you better claiming horses from bad trainers?
Do you really know if auction horses have been good investments? Are you better buying young horses from highly qualified sales consigners who treat yearlings in their care with respect? Do some consigners just care about beefing horses up to get big sale prices? Is it possible that focusing on the "mental condition" of young horses is as important as physical condition when is comes to race track performance? Could the data answer this last question?
Do you know that only one consigner in Minnesota has sold more than 5 of the top ten priced horses over the last 5 years? Do you know who the breeders and care takers were for the top performing horses in Minnesota over the last 5 years?
Can you believe that at this moment, I am the only person in Minnesota who can answer most of these questions accurately? The data, properly analyzed and turned into information, is the ONLY real source for answering these questions, and many more. Some of the data is shocking. Interested?
We must be getting close to racing season in Minnesota. Canterbury opens for actual track training on April 29th. Questions from folks looking to own horses are flowing in and for those who asked, here's a link to a page on our website listing trainers by earnings per start. I always look at earnings per start to get a feel for economic effectiveness from an owner's standpoint. Hit the handicapping, owning and breeding tabs on the website for other information most people seem to find pretty interesting. You may also want to check out the other sub-tabs by hovering over the menu titles. Though I include some of my opinions based upon the data I've analyzed over the years, most of the information is purely data based and presented in a fashion you cannot find anywhere else. Surprisingly, our site is considered by many Minnesota horse folks as the most informative local website available. Feel free to message me privately for specific feedback. I'm always happy those who want to join in and enjoy the sport we love.
Dave Astar is a race horse owner, stallion owner, breeder, 40 year business executive, and 50 year handicapper.