As a continuation of the posts and comments from the past couple of days, I’m following up with a short list of things that I advise buyers to consider when coming to the sales to purchase young athletes for prospective racing.
My first suggestion is to prepare as much beforehand as they are comfortable with. Some buyers are so busy that going to the sales is a vacation. If so, just take a break and talk to your advisers once on the grounds. For those with more free time, preparing for a sale can be one of the great joys in selecting horses.
It’s like Christmas morning … and you get to pick out your own presents.
The sense of anticipation and enjoyment of the process is important in buying racehorses. If a buyer isn’t having a good time, why isn’t he on a golf course? Or flying a plane? Or fishing for trout? Come on, man. Life’s too short.
One part of preparation for the sales that everyone MUST undertake is getting to know their advisory team. No matter how busy a buyer is, if he or she is unwilling to get to know the principal advisers and to participate in the endeavor to whatever extent he or she wishes, the buyer is doing a disservice to himself or herself.
One huge reason for that is that the vet involved in making calls on radiographs and endoscopic exams needs to know what the buyer really wants. Does the buyer want to pinhook? Race 3-year-olds for the classics? Go to Europe for racing on turf? Each of those uses allows differing degrees of latitude for accepting certain findings.
Therefore, if the vet doesn’t know the buyer, he is likely to play it safe, call things more conservatively, and the buyer is going to miss some good horses. It’s a given: the more you like a horse who shows up with “vet issues,” the more certain he will be a nice racehorse.
And only a solid professional relationship will allow everyone to assess what might be the outcome with the vet issues in question.
The final suggestion is — after looking at lots of races and lots of good horses — to develop an eye out for what you really like. You’re the buyer, and it’s your money.
If a buyer has a strong liking for a young athlete, who’s to say it won’t turn out as well as one that I or any other adviser selects. Be forgiving of moderate faults (all good horses have them), ignore old wives’ tales, and have fun any time you can.
It’s a great game.