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Bill Oppenheim Bill Oppenheim

A Kansas native who has worked in racing journalism since 1974, Bill Oppenheim is the co-founder of the newsletter Racing Update, and served as the paper's editor until 1993, when he moved to Scotland. Oppenheim developed a reputation as an independent observer of the sales scene in the early 1980's, and he and the staff of Racing Update originated a number of methods of stallion and sales analysis which have been adopted throughout the industry. Since 2000, he has written a weekly column for TDN, as well as reporting from the major sales. He also works as a consultant, primarily for pedigree analysis, in a private capacity.

Scenics,  2012 Keeneland September Yearling Sale
Oppenheim on Keeneland September

In his report on the Keeneland September Sale in yesterday’s TDN (click here), Lucas Marquardt referred to the market as being both relatively stable, and polarized. Both things are true. I’m sure most people would agree that knowing what to expect from the Thoroughbred marketplace can’t simply be a matter of referring to the previous [...]

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Bill Oppenheim: A Tale of Three Books

Even as I write this, the sale continues with Book 4 Day 1, Tuesday. But last year, for example, over 80% of the complete sale’s gross had been realized in the first three books. This year, 2,227 yearlings–almost exactly half the total number catalogued–were catalogued in the first three books, consisting of seven sessions over [...]

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Caption: Hip  48 colt Medaglia d'Oro from Spring Party from Taylor Made Sales, agent for Stonestreet brings $1-million from M.V. Magnier/Coolmore
Yearlings at Keeneland on Sept. 12, 2016, in Lexington, Ky.
Bill Oppenheim: Book 1: Strong Finish

In our column of August 24 (click here), we postulated that if 60% of the 607 yearlings catalogued in Keeneland September Book 1 sold for an average of $300,000–approximately the Book 1 average in 2014-2015–our target for the Book 1 gross was $111-million. As there were 117 fewer yearlings (16%) catalogued in Book 1, we [...]

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Bill Oppenheim: Young Sires To The Back

Beginning next Monday, the eyes of the Thoroughbred breeding and auction sales world focus on Keeneland for the best part of two weeks, although France’s Osarus sale, in the southwest, is next week, and Tattersalls Ireland’s Fairyhouse sale clashes the following week. But, with 4,479 yearlings catalogued over 13 days of selling, we forecast the [...]

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Keeneland September Sires (All)

In spite of a little uptick at Doncaster’s (now Goffs UK) two-day Premier sale last week, the yearling sales so far this year, in Europe as well as in North America, are struggling to hold their own, suggesting supply exceeds demand. There is plenty of evidence that it is strongest at the top and weakest [...]

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Keeneland September Book 1 Preview

In 2014, Keeneland carded Book 1 over four days for the final time, cataloging 762 yearlings, 190+ a day. Last year, Book 1 shrunk to three days for the first time, when 724 yearlings were catalogued over the three days, 240+ a day. Book 1 is again three days this year (Monday, September 12 to [...]

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Scenics 2016 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York Sale
Bill Oppenheim: Early Returns

In 2015, the three Fasig-Tipton sales which kick off the North American yearling sale market had a total of 825 yearlings catalogued, of which 532 (64.4%) were listed as sales, totaling $81,636,000 (see the Weekly Sales Ticker), and averaging $153,451. The three sales comprised a little over 10% of the number catalogued (7,907) and sold [...]

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Hip 140, 2016 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearling Sale
Bill Oppenheim: Saratoga, Steady Enough

Given that we are in, shall we say, uncertain times politically and economically, probably still the most important metric in the horse business this morning was Saratoga’s 40% rise in gross last August. That $13.5-million bump is graphically displayed in the Weekly Sales Ticker, and of course your eye is immediately drawn (top graph) to [...]

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Oppenheim: APEX Leaders in 2016

The APEX ratings cover a seven-year span, which is actually short enough that we were able to quantify when once-great sires like Gone West and Green Desert, in their time, went off the boil, but on the other hand it’s still quite a long period of time. So it’s handy to be able to take [...]

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Bill Oppenheim: Sire-Morgasbord (Lots To Choose From)

One of the main objectives of APEX ratings is to describe ‘the frequency with which’ sires get runners which rank in certain percentile groups of earners in a calendar year or racing season: ‘A Runners’ rank in the top 2%; ‘B Runners’ in the next 2%; ‘C Runners’ in the next 4%; and therefore ‘ABC [...]

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