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. From 2000-2017, he wrote a weekly column for TDN, as well as reported from the major sales.

Keeneland: The Great Leap Forward

Finally the Keeneland September Sales got back over the $280-million mark at which it had been hovering the last four years, since the $60-million jump in 2013 marked the end of The Great Recession. Not only did it get over the $280-million hump, it sailed right past our early estimate of $300 million, finishing up [...]

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Oppenheim: Keeneland Books 1-2–How Good Was It?

This week at Keeneland, 681 yearlings sold in Books 1 and 2, grossing $196,645,000, and averaging $288,759. There have been 13 seven-figure ($1m+) yearlings so far, compared to nine in the first two books last year, and 116 yearlings which sold for $500,000+, compared to 96 last year. When we compare the re-formatted first two [...]

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Oppenheim: An “Extra-Special” Day of Selling at Keeneland

In last year’s three-day Book 1, 607 yearlings were catalogued, of which 346 were listed sales, for a gross of $120 million (average $347,471). Two years ago, in 2015, there were 724 catalogued, of which 443 sold (average $303,072). Yesterday, from 167 yearlings catalogued in the new-look Book 1, 95 sold for $54,175,000, averaging an [...]

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Oppenheim: Batters Up!

Beginning with the $60-million increase in gross from Keeneland September 2012 to Keeneland September 2013, the last four years of Keeneland September (2013-2016) have seen 11,100 yearlings sold for a total of $1.114-billion and an average of $100,435. So we know what the target is: somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,775 sold for a gross [...]

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September: The Big Picture and the Second Week

When you look at the 4,309 yearlings catalogued over 13 days of selling, there’s just no other sensible overall organizing tool we can use besides chronological: the first week will consist of the new Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase on Sunday, Sept. 10, and four days of selling at Keeneland–Book 1 on Monday, Sept. 11, and Book [...]

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Oppenheim: Five Days in September

For the last four years, the Keeneland September Sale finished with between 2,744-2,819 yearlings sold, for gross revenues of $280.4m, $279.9m, $281.5m, and $272.8m last year, when the number catalogued jumped by 300 from 2015. But the number sold increased by just 47, meaning the overall clearance rate from those catalogued had dipped to 62.3% [...]

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Oppenheim: Fasig NY-Bred Sale Confirms Improving Marketplace

Last weekend’s Fasig-Tipton New York-bred sale rounded off the company’s first three yearling sales of the season by setting new records for gross ($16.2 million), average ($89,088) and median ($69,500), and of course when we say ‘set new records,’ that actually does mean the metrics were actually higher, not just from 2016, but even from [...]

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Oppenheim: Next Up: Arqana at Deauville

TDN‘s Sue Finley is one of those who knows there aren’t many places better than Deauville to attend a horse sale, so she’s excited that Arqana is getting ready for four days of selling August yearlings, beginning with two select evening sessions, after racing, on Saturday and Sunday, followed by an Open session on Monday, [...]

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Oppenheim: Back to Business

Now, I wasn’t there to see the bidding myself, but I need to have a word with that canny David Loder about that $995,000 bid which bought the sale’s only War Front colt right at the end of Tuesday night’s session at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga; couldn’t you just have rounded it up? It wouldn’t have made [...]

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Oppenheim: Saratoga Sires

For the past few months–during the 2-year-old sales in particular–we insisted on making comparisons not just to last year’s results but to 2015 as well, as there was a dip in North American sales prices from 2015 to 2016. In today’s Weekly Sales Ticker, we see that at last year’s North American yearling sales, in [...]

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