11/26/2008 12:00AM

Fees down for pair of high-priced stallions


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Thoroughbred market's continuing downturn has prompted WinStar Farm and Taylor Made Farm in Lexington to revise fees for two major sires this week. WinStar's Distorted Humor, originally slated to drop from his 2008 fee of $300,000 to $225,000, will now be on offer at $150,000. And Taylor Made stallion Unbridled's Song, initially advertised to keep his 2008 fee of $150,000, will now be available at $112,500. Breeders paying by Nov. 1 can get him at that fee, but those wishing to wait until the resulting foal stands and nurses will pay $125,000.

Taylor Made also will offer 10-percent discounts to breeders paying by Nov. 1, rather than on stand-and-nurse terms, for all of its stallions.

The WinStar and Taylor Made announcements followed a second round of fee cuts at Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Ky. It is the most recent sign that managers of even high-end stallions are moving more aggressively to attract mares after the fall yearling and breeding stock sales, which experienced steep declines in the United States and abroad.

Lane's End's most recent fee reductions included its fashionable stallions A. P. Indy, who goes from $300,000 to $250,000, and leading North American sire Smart Strike, who drops from $150,000 to $125,000.

"In the course of evaluating and monitoring the market over the last several weeks, it has become obvious that breeders demand even greater value for their breeding dollar," WinStar's announcement said regarding Distorted Humor's fee reduction. "As such, WinStar has decided to respond with a value-driven adjustment to Distorted Humor's stud fee in order to ensure the highest quality book of mares."

The bloodstock market has suffered losses this year as compared to last, with the weakness most apparent in the fall yearling and late-season breeding stock sales that took place after the global economic crisis hit Wall Street in mid-September.

Dramatic declines in England

The Tattersalls December foal sale's Wednesday session in England reflected the market conditions leading to the new round of stud fee cuts.

The second session posted a second consecutive day of staggering losses. From a catalog of just 26 fewer horses, gross fell 69 percent, the average price dropped by 57 percent, and the median fell 60 percent. The Wednesday session sold 110 horses for about $1,190,775, yielding an average of about $10,825 and a median of approximately $6,384. Buy-backs stood at 45 percent after 60 scratches. Buy-backs at the equivalent 2007 session were 35 percent.

The session-topper was a Royal Applause colt out of Sciunfona, by Danehill, who sold for about $82,992. Tim Hyde of Camas Park Stud outbid David O'Callaghan of Yeomanstown Stud for the bay colt from Ted Voute's consignment.

The December foal sale was to continue through Saturday.

Ocala revises sale figures

The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company in Ocala, Fla., has revised the results summary for its August yearling sale to reflect an undisclosed number of buy-backs that previously appeared on the sale results sheets as sales.

The revision is in accordance with a recent Florida law mandating that the state's sale companies provide updated sales results within 90 days of an auction to reflect any changes.

The revised results show two fewer horses listed as sold during the one-day select session, bringing the select summary to 113 yearlings grossing $5,633,000 and an average price of $49,850. Eight fewer horses are now listed as sold in the three open sessions, with 628 grossing $6,341,700 and an average of $10,098.

Originally, the select session was reported to have a gross of $5,778,000 and a $50,243 average, while the open session was reported to have a $6,472,200 gross and $10,176 average.

The revised figures mean that the select session saw a 42 percent drop in gross from last season, when 167 horses brought $9,679,500, and its average fell 14 percent from last season's $57,961. The aggregate for 2008's three open sessions declined 30 percent from last years four open sessions, which sold 778 horses for $9,047,400. The open sessions' cumulative average was 13 percent lower than last season's four-day figure of $11,629.

* Dual stakes-placed Shark, a son of Danzig and former 3-year-old champion filly Surfside, by Seattle Slew, will enter stud in 2009 at William Solomon's Pin Oak Lane Farm in New Freedom, Pa. D. Wayne Lukas and Jeff Thornbury trained Shark, an Overbrook Farm homebred who retires at 5 with $183,076 in earnings. He finished second in the 2007 Kentucky Cup Turf Dash and Delta Express Stakes. His fee has not been announced.