08/12/2011 5:16PM

VanMeter Sales becomes a player in auctions for young horses


Tom VanMeter, Olin Gentry, and Thomas Gaines have formed a new sales agency after selling their interests in Eaton Sales to that agency’s majority partner, Reiley McDonald.

McDonald also bought out the Eaton interests belonging to Arthur St. George, who is selling this year under the St. George Sales banner and is a close associate of VanMeter’s new venture. VanMeter said the agency has 66 yearlings cataloged for the upcoming Keeneland September sale in Lexington.

“They’re primarily our horses, but we’ve also recruited a few,” VanMeter said. “We’re going to be very selective. We have some for friends and clients. We’re going to be boutique. I want to be able to know the horses and see them a lot.”

VanMeter added that the new agency will sell all year, except at 2-year-old sales.

“We learned that if you do that, you’re competing against some of your best customers,” he said. “Collectively, if you add up what the 2-year-old guys spend with you at yearling sales, they turn out to be your big guys. So we’ll do everything except 2-year-olds.”

So far this season, the new VanMeter Sales has sold two yearlings at Fasig-Tipton’s July sale, a $100,000 Majestic Warrior-Thundercup colt that Silverton Hill purchased and a $57,000 Corinthian-Georgialina filly that Group 7C Racing Stable bought, and one at Saratoga, a Malibu Moon-Stormy Squall filly that Ken McPeek, agent, bought for $150,000.