You get what you pay for.
That’s generally true whether you’re shopping for vacuum
cleaners or racehorses.
You can run down to the local Wal-Mart and find an upright Bis
sell vacuum for $49, and it might let you think you’re cleaning
your carpets and floors. But if you truly want a deep clean, you
might have to spend up to 10 times that amount for a high-end
Miele Classic.
Or so I’m told. I’m not in the dirt business, so what do I know
about vacuum cleaners?
Let’s look at racehorse prospects instead, where the num
bers suggest the same thing: the more you pay, the better the
chance you’ll get a superior result.
Thoroughbreds aren’t cheap, and almost anyone who has
owned one will tell you it’s a tough business. If you want to clean
up, buy a vacuum.
However, if you want to have fun, you enjoy competing, have dis
posable income and would like to have a chance to get a return
on your investment (and get some tax breaks along the way),
buying a racing prospect is a great idea.
Many statistical studies have shown that horses coming out of
2-year-old sales compare favorably to graduates of weanling or
yearling sales. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand
why. A 2-year-old auction horse may be weeks or months away
from its first race, and it has shown that it can stand the rig
ors of training – something a younger horse that’s never had
a saddle on its back has yet to demonstrate. This horse has
already cleared some of the obstacles that prevent a weanling
or yearling from ever getting to the races.
The Price of a Graded Stakes Winner
By Ray Paulick
April 19-20, 2016
So, if you’re buying horses at a 2-year-old auction, you are
ahead of the game already. But you are paying a premium for
that edge.
How much of a premium do you pay at a 2-year-olds in training
sale? Surprisingly, it’s not that high. Let’s compare the 3-year
average and median prices of yearlings sold from 2013 to
2015 with the three-year average and median for 2-year-olds
in training during those same three years.
— From 2013 to 2015, a total 19,182 yearlings sold for an
average price of $65,115 and median of $25,000.
— From 2013 to 2015, 7,541 2-year-olds in training sold for an
average price of $71,339 and a median of $32,000.
The 2-year-old prices were 9.6 percent higher in average and
28 percent higher in median. Remember, though, that the

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