Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Overbrook dispersal will rev up 2009 sales

Overbrook Farm, home to former half-million-dollar stallion Storm Cat and one of the key players in the United States thoroughbred market for three decades, will disperse all its stock in the coming months, according to Blood-Horse.com.

That should really jazz up the sales while giving buyers a rare chance to pick up nice breeding stock at something resembling recession-era prices. And when a major operation divests itself of the herd, it can shift the balance of power in the industry or even change the face of the breed as lines that once were somewhat unique to one family's breeding plans play a round of musical chairs and find new homes in other bloodstock programs.

"The retirement of Storm Cat ended a phenomenal era at Overbrook," said Bill Young Jr., whose father, William Young Sr., founded Overbrook and made it what it is today. "The dispersal will give buyers a unique opportunity to purchase (horses from) families that previously have not been available commercially."

Bill Young said he was ending the business because he wasn't interested in continuing.

"Over a period of more than 30 years, my father developed Overbrook Farm into one of the most successful and respected breeding operations in the world," he said. "The decision to disperse is a personal one. ... I simply don't have the same passion for the thoroughbred sport that my father did ..."

Too bad the Young family didn't know I was available for adoption.

Among the stock seeking new homes are three stallions: Kentucky Derby champion Grindstone (sire of Birdstone; grandsire of 2009 Derby winner Mine That Bird); A.P. Indy son Jump Start; the accomplished Cape Town (sire of champion Bird Town, half-sister to Birdstone); and a value-priced ($3,500) Mr. Prospector son of note, and half-brother to Storm Cat, Pioneering.

Some 200 other horses will be sold, including an estimated 75 broodmares, about 50 each of weanlings and yearlings, and 20 to 30 horses of racing age, though Bill Young said that his son, Chris, intended keep a few horses in a small family racing stable.

The dispersal, under direction of agent Eaton Sales, will begin at Keeneland's September yearling sale. Weanlings, broodmares and racing-age stock will be sold at the November breeding stock sale. Any remaining horses will likely be entered in the 2010 Keeneland January sale for horses of all ages.

Time to start saving those pennies ...

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