This Year, Thoroughbred Sales Are Poised For a Comeback

Encouraging news for the horse racing world

This could be a good year for thoroughbred buyers and sellers.
McCall Alexander/Unsplash

Today, more than is the case for most Saturdays, horses will be on the minds of a lot of people. That’s because the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for this evening — the 147th time the race will be run. That, in turn, might spark thoughts on what it takes to own racehorses, a side of the sport that includes both controversy and crowdfunding. As with many things, 2020 was not exactly a banner year for thoroughbred sales. Some new data, however, suggests that 2021 could be a return to form for the industry.

That’s the gist of a new article by JohnWallStreet at Sportico, anyway. After talking with a trio of experts in the field — Randy Moss of NBC Sports, Ray Paulick of Paulick Report and Sol Kumin, owner of a number of acclaimed racehorses — the author concludes that a slump in horse sales in 2020 was part of an overall economic slump, rather than something specific to the industry.

Moss pointed out that the pandemic shutting down travel and limiting in-person activities had a significant effect on thoroughbred sales. “So much of picking out a young race horse and gauging his future ability has to do with these bloodstock agents — boots on the ground, examining the horses in person,” he told Sportico. “A lot of times they can’t necessarily tell you what they’re looking for, but they know it when they see it.”

Remove that element, then, and it’s not hard to see why other things would fall by the wayside. The whole article offers plenty of insights as to the recent past of the sport, as well as cautious optimism for the future.

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