Elite Goes Eight-for-Eight

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Tepin has been the highlight of the Elite drafts this week | F-T photo

Elite, the fledgling sales consignment headed by Brad Weisbord and Liz Crow, enjoyed a standout debut at both the Fasig-Tipton November sale and Book 1 of the Keeneland November sale. The consignment offered eight horses, led by the incomparable Tepin (Bernstein), who sold for $8 million at Fasig-Tipton Monday evening, and all eight found new homes. The four Keeneland Book 1 offerings sold for $3,225,000 and an average of $806,250.

“The week went phenomenally,” Weisbord said. “We couldn’t have expected it to go better. We had four horses at Fasig and four Book 1 horses at Keeneland and we had one reserve that got sold the next day privately. So eight of eight were cleared.

He continued, “Having a 100% clearance rate is one of the most important things in selling. When people bring horses to market, they are meant to be sold, and if the buyers believe your reserves are natural and fair, they are going to continue to come back. And that’s what we saw in both Book 1’s.”

Elite made its debut at the Fasig-Tipton July Horses of Racing Age Sale, where it sold six of the top 10 lots and a total of 11 head for an average of $254,455.

The team, which also includes Jackson Buchanon, is focused on providing potential buyers complete dossiers on each horse in its consignment and it is intended to be a natural progression of the trading both Crow and Weisbord have been doing for years on the private market.

“When we put information together on the private market for our clients that buy and sell, we put Thoro-Graphs, Ragozins, comparables, stakes schedules, how much the horse can earn,” Crow explained. “All of that information is in one area. And we

wondered why this information wasn’t available to people who buy on the public market. When I was buying on the public market, I was having to put all this information together myself. Since we trade so often on the private market, we just figured it was a natural extension to do it the right way on the consignment level. I think it’s worked out really.”

Providing that kind of in-depth information can encourage buyers to come out and look at horses they might not otherwise have considered, according to Crow.

“If you don’t put the horse in front of people, they can’t buy it,” she said. “We have a horse in Book 2 who ran a zero Thoro-Graph and I can say the GI Ballerina S. was won with a 1 1/2 this summer. So, this horse never ran in a graded stakes, but she ran a good enough number to win a Grade I race. So it’s just putting that information in front of people and hopefully that makes them come back to the barn and take a look at something they might have missed otherwise.”

For Crow, the results speak for themselves.

“I think it’s obvious that we’re shaking things up,” she said. “We went eight for eight and they all sold well. I think it’s because we are able to value these horses properly because we are shopping on the private market and public market everyday. So it’s easy for us to come in here and know what these horses are worth and set reasonable reserves. We know what we can expect them to bring since we study the market so closely.”

Elite’s initial forays in the public sales arena have been supported by some of the biggest players in the industry.

“I think the whole week is a tribute to the clients who supported us,” Weisbord said. “Obviously, any time you start something new, there could be some people who say, ‘Let them

be successful before we give them a chance.’ So I have to give major credit to the teams of SF Bloodstock, Sol Kumin, China Horse Club, Michael Dubb, Bobby Flay, Donegal Racing and others for stepping up and supporting us initially. The biggest names in the game trusted us to get their product sold and, with a clearance rate of 100%, the team set terrific reserves and the buyers have trusted what we’ve brought to the market.”

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