02/24/2017 2:16PM

Zayat Stables selling six 2-year-olds at Gulfstream

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Zayat Stables has long been an active player on the buyers’ side of the auction ring, but it plans to expand its interest on the selling end at the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream select sale of 2-year-olds in training on Wednesday.

Six horses purchased by the Zayat family during the yearling season for a combined $1.05 million are entered for the boutique sale, with more scheduled for later juvenile sales. As an operation best known for its ontrack success, the horses are not all necessarily “must-sells,” but J.B. McKathan of consignor McKathan Bros. said this season could be a first step in growing the Zayat brand in a new direction.

“They’ve done this before, but probably not at this scope,” said McKathan, who breaks the Zayats’ runners at his training center and will consign one at the Gulfstream sale. “We’ve sold horses for them before. It’s not like a big, brand-new thing.

“What I think they’re trying to do is just get a feel for the market and thinking outside the box a little bit,” McKathan added. “They even told me they might buy horses. They are very savvy businesspeople, and I think they’re just trying to get themselves in tune with what’s going on in the market in real time.”

The Zayat family will use four consignors at the Gulfstream sale, also employing Eddie Woods, Wavertree Stables, and Top Line Sales. All six horses, as well as the ones the Zayats have on offer at later auctions, started their training at McKathan Bros. Training Center in Citra, Fla., and were finished by their new consignors.

While he said the decision was owner Ahmed Zayat’s, McKathan said spreading the resources fit the scope of his operation.

“We don’t have really big consignments of horses,” McKathan said. “That’s not our style. We have boutique consignments of nice horses. We’re comfortable with that, so I didn’t want to have 10 or 15 down there or a huge amount at OBS March.”

With the Zayat family being longtime end-users in the auction market, the decision to expand its presence as a seller has also changed the dynamic among its consignors from consumers to clients.

“It’s all been good so far,” Woods said. “They’re easy to work with, and they’ve been around a long time, so they understand everything. They’re expensive horses that weren’t bought with pinhooking in mind, and it’ll be interesting to see if we can do any good with them because we’re in deep [from a yearling price perspective], but they’re really nice horses.”