OBSJUN20 Recap: Did the OPTIMAL Mating Short Lists Help?

optimal mating short lists

optimal mating short lists

Ocala Breeders’ Sales Spring Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale

I love the process of analyzing pedigrees, inspecting horses, replaying breeze videos, evaluating vet exams, performing cardio scans and putting all that together to establish an acceptable range of value. The process for last week’s OBS Spring Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale was even more fulfilling because I was just happy to be there. I narrowly escaped from the OBS March Sale only to get home and be locked down with the rest of the world because of COVID-19.

The sale was very reminiscent of most sales for the past few years. Commercially speaking, a horse must be in the top 10% of its group to have any kind of impact in the ring. The 2YO sales are even more polarizing because it’s mostly all about performance. For the most part, commercial speculation and the hype of pretty horses can be thrown out the window at this point.

The horses that jumped through all the hoops of breezing well, having good physicals and passing the vets were in high demand. Unfortunately, if a horse had any glitch at all it was tough to move them. In the past, foreign interests typically are buyers for the horses in lesser demand but travel restrictions kept many buyers sidelined.

OPTIMAL Mating Short Lists

On May 29th, prior to the breeze shows and obviously before the sale, I made the unprecedented decision to offer my OPTIMAL Mating Short Lists free of charge to my existing subscribers via email. The result was an overwhelming “YES” to get them. The next day I made the same offer on social media and received 174 inquiries. Some wanted to follow along, some were just curious and some actually planned to use them.

OPTIMAL Matings are a great indicator of potential performance. Buying weanlings and yearlings is completely different than buying 2YOs in training. With 2YOs, we have the luxury of evaluating performance via breeze shows. Here is a copy of the list that was initially sent out and now shows 2017 stud fees, earlier pinhook prices and final sale prices for each OPTIMAL Mating that was listed:  OBSJUN20 OPTIMAL Mating SSL

The four day overall sales average was $93,176 compared to the OPTIMAL Mating Short List average of $171,000. The overall sales median was $50,000 compared to OPTIMAL Mating Short List median of $85,000. By the way, the goal is not to pay high prices. But, most good horses are expensive!

I noticed early that Top Line Sales accounted for the most horses on the short lists. Of the horses that actually sold, their average was $501,750.

  • Hip 132 – Summer Front colt – $150,000
  • Hip 710 – No Nay Never filly – $430,000
  • Hip 867 – Palace filly – $77,000
  • Hip 1254 – Not This Time Filly – $1,350,000

I also noticed that two stallions were tied for the most OPTIMAL Matings on the lists.

  • Not This Time – averaged $503,333
    •  Hip 32 – $70,000
    • Hip 914 – $90,000
    • Hip 1254 – $1,350,000
  • Liam’s Map – averaged $445,000
    • Hip 1055 – $190,000
    • Hip 1299 – $700,000

I scrutinized every horse on these lists. Most didn’t make it past my physical evaluation of them. For some of the ones that did, I didn’t care for their breeze videos. From there, others didn’t pass the vet. That left just a handful of OPTIMAL Matings that jumped through all the hoops. Unfortunately, I was outbid on several of these.

The process can be grueling but it most always leads me to a good horse. Regardless of sire, dam, catalog page or amount previously purchased for, it’s all about how the sire and dam combine their individual pedigrees to create a new product. OPTIMAL Matings can be used for breeding, pinhooking or buying. Ultimately, it’s all about performance and results. That should be our goal at all levels.

Next stop:  Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year Olds in Training Sale – June 29 & 30

Whether you are new to the game, experiencing more losses than wins or just looking for a new approach, I am confident that I can help you breed or buy a better racehorse. To find out more about OPTIMAL Matings and how they can help your program, please subscribe to my Blog/News page HERE to receive future information on complimentary mating recommendations, sales short lists, stakes winner pedigree analysis, news on personal client success and any other random thoughts or ideas that I may have. Also, receive a complimentary copy of my report “Blind Luck or Designed Luck? – How A Kentucky Derby Winner Was Bred” sent directly to your inbox.

For inquiries or more information about Shepherd Equine Advisers, please contact Clark Shepherd at 859-321-6618, or by email at clark@bloodstock-agent-ky.com.

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