Bill Oppenheim

A Kansas native who has worked in racing journalism since 1974, he is the co-founder of the newsletter Racing Update, and served as the paper's editor until 1993, when he moved to Scotland. Oppenheim developed a reputation as an independent observer of the sales scene in the early 1980's, and he and the staff of Racing Update originated a number of methods of stallion and sales analysis which have been adopted throughout the industry. For the past 10 years he has written a weekly column for TDN, as well as reporting from the major sales. He also works as a consultant, primarily for pedigree analysis, in a private capacity.

Bill Oppenheim: The Class Of 2015

Ten of the top 15 North American or European sires by average with their first foals selling this year (F2015 sires) and four or more sold, going into the final two mixed sales of the season, Tattersalls December and Arqana December, now stand in North America; five stand in Europe. I say 'now' because the [...]

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Bill Oppenheim: Kentucky November

There weren't too many people from out of town who came for the Breeders' Cup and stayed for the whole three-week Kentucky experience, finishing with Keeneland Book 6 Friday. Keeneland CEO Bill Thomason and his team of hundreds no doubt hope to sleep in this morning after pulling off the unprecedented logistical challenge of hosting [...]

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The Name You Know: Uncle Mo

As we were discussing last week, Ashford's Uncle Mo, the 2015 Leading North American Freshman Sire by a mile heading into the Breeders' Cup, is one of nine sires with 30 or more weanlings catalogued in the upcoming November sales. But he is also the only sire with more than 40 mares catalogued in foal [...]

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Bill Oppenheim: November Weanling Sires

According to calculations by TDN's Heather Anderson, a total of 197 different sires are represented by 1,791 weanlings catalogued in the upcoming Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland November sales. Forty-two sires have 15 or more catalogued, and you will not be surprised to hear that fully one-third of them (14) are sires whose first foals arrived this [...]

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October 1

The two most important yearling sales in the world are now in the books. Both three-day sales, 443 yearlings (61.2% of 724 catalogued) sold at Keeneland September Book 1 last month for a total of $134,261,000, averaging $303,072. At this week's three-day Tattersalls October Book 1 sale, 372 yearlings (72.5% of 513 catalogued) sold for [...]

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More Stability

You really wonder sometimes: who's pulling the strings? The final statistics for the two-day Goffs Orby sale earlier this week were very similar to last year's, just as Keeneland September's 12-day marathon finished with statistics so similar to the last two years. One noticeable difference is that the clearance rate from the catalogues is about [...]

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The Return of Empire Maker

Empire Maker stood for seven seasons in Kentucky before his sale to Japan for the 2011 breeding season, and it is very good news for Kentucky breeders that he will be returning, after five seasons in Japan, to stand at Gainesway in 2016. His seven North American crops have produced thus far 48 A Runners [...]

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September Market: Steady

There's a lot to be said for market stability, and as others have commented in the last couple of days, the Keeneland September market can only be described as 'steady'. A look at the accompanying Weekly Sales Ticker confirms this: the gross for North America's most important yearling sale finished up at $281,496,100, for 2,745 [...]

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Bill Oppenheim: Middle Market Up

When all the cajoling, chirping, and yipping had died down Monday night at the end of Book 3, the needle hadn't moved at all. Last year (8 sessions) 1,588 yearlings sold in Books 1-3 for a total of $245,951,500, an average of $154,881 per horse. This year (7 sessions) 1,504 yearlings sold in the first [...]

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Bill Oppenheim: Book 1 Report

After three days of selling, Keeneland September Book 1 totals looked much the same as last year's four-day Book 1. There were 5% fewer catalogued in Book 1 this year (724 vs. 762) and 7% fewer sold (443 vs. 473). The RNA rate rose from 27.3% to 30.9%, but with fewer withdrawals the clearance rate [...]

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Bill Oppenheim: September Sires

There are 249 sires represented by 4,164 yearlings catalogued at Keeneland September, an average of 16.7 per sire. However, 102 sires have fewer than four yearlings catalogued, including 68 sires with just one each. The 147 sires with four or more catalogued average 27 yearlings each and constitute 96% of the catalogue. So those are [...]

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Keeneland September Book 1

Though Book 1 is being compressed from four days into three–so Thursday instead of Friday will be the dark day–the overall composition of Keeneland's September Yearling Sale will not really change very much from last year. The Book 1 sessions will start at 11 a.m. this year instead of noon, and instead of cataloguing 762 [...]

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