Maybe, Maybe Not

I promised to look at the nick ratings for the recently concluded 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale. My purpose in doing so is to compare prices for the 2010 sale to the 2014 sale to see how (if any) the landscape has changed. Below are the 2014 results.

Nick Rating          Sold            Average          Maverage          Price Index

A                           1,325          $108,770           271.13                     1.05

B                              551           $95,902            252.77                     0.98

C                              362           $86,361            237.22                     0.92

D                              444           $99,764            257.09                     1.00

F                                20           $52,075            191.50                     0.74

Not rated                117           $54,692            204.52                     0.79

Totals                   2,819          $99,312            257.64                      1.00

The first thing that jumps out at me is that 2014 had 20 F nick ratings while 2010 had zero. That is a step in the right direction.

The table above does not work out as neatly as it did in 2010. Actually, if you ignore the D prices, it does work out neatly and about as expected. That D was more expensive than B or C is a definite glitch, however, for which I have no ready explanation. Perhaps the most important thing, however, is that A is still the most expensive in all categories and that F and not rated are by far the cheapest.

Many of you were surprised at how many A nicks were sold in 2010. The table below attempts to summarize the changes in the distribution of those ratings from 2010 to 2014.

Nick Rating      2010 Sold          %          2014 Sold          %

A                           1,230           40.2              1,325          47.0

B                              628            20.5                551           19.5

C                              529            17.3                362           12.8

D                              539            17.6                444           15.8

F                                  0              0.0                 20             0.7

Not rated                133             4.3                 117            4.2

A nicks actually went up from 40.2% of the total on 2010 to 47% of the total in 2014. That is a step in the wrong direction. F also went up from zero to 0.7%. All others went down, with C being down the most (from 17.3% to 12.8%).

The next table shows the change in average prices from 2010 to 2014.

Nick Rating          2010 Average          2014 Average          Change

A                                   $78,281               $108,770                  +39%

B                                   $62,506                $95,902                  +53%

C                                   $58,054                $86,361                   +49%

D                                   $49,385                $99,764                   +102%

Not rated                     $40,518               $54,692                    +35%

Totals                           $64,811                $99,312                    +53%

The overall average was up a lot (53%) from 2010 to 2014, from $64,811 to $99,312. B was also up 53%. C was only a little lower (up 49%). D was by far the biggest upward mover (102%). A (up 39%) and not rated (up 35%) were up the least, failing to keep pace with the overall upward trend.

The next table does the same for maverages.

Nick Rating          2010 Maverage          2014 Maverage          Change

A                                 218.67                            271.13                     +24%

B                                 192.53                            252.77                     +31%

C                                 183.08                            237.22                     +30%

D                                 168.99                            257.09                     +52%

Not rated                   155.12                            204.52                     +32%

Totals                        195.63                             257.64                     +32%

The overall maverage was up 32% (195.63 to 257.64). B, C, and not rated were very close to that figure (up 31%, 30%, and 32%, respectively). D was by far up the most (52%). A was up the least (24%).

In terms of averages the spread from top to bottom in 2010 was $78,281 (A) to $40,518 (not rated). The latter was 52% of the former.

In terms of averages the spread from top to bottom in 2014 was $108,770 (A) to $54,692 (not rated). The latter was 50% of the former. F was actually lower than not rated in 2014, but since F did not exist in 2010, I decided not to use that group for comparisons.

In terms of maverages the spread from top to bottom in 2010 was 218.67 (A) to 155.12 (not rated). The latter was 71% of the former.

In terms of averages the spread from top to bottom in 2010 was 271.13 (A) to 204.52 (not rated). The latter was 75% of the former.

To recapitulate, some things changed between 2010 and 2014. F ratings did not exist in 2010 but showed up marginally in 2014. The proportion of A ratings increased from 40.2% in 2010 to 47% in 2014. Prices for D ratings increased dramatically from 2010 to 2014, for which I have no ready explanation.

But other than that, 2014 was not much different from 2010. A ratings were still by far the most expensive. Not rated was still the cheapest (along with F ratings in 2014). The spreads from highest to lowest were pretty similar in both 2010 and 2014.

Of course the real fun with all this does not even begin until three or four years from now, when I check to see how those yearlings sold in 2014 turned out. Maybe the A nicks from 2014 will fare a lot better than their counterparts from 2010 did. Maybe not.

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