What To Look For In A Weanling-To-Yearling Pinhook, With BTE Stables’ Erin O’Keefe

On the surface, the goal of pinhooking is quite simple, to make money. Beyond that, I think everyone would agree that it’s to make as much money as possible.

Each year prior to purchasing, I look at the pinhooking statistics from the previous year to see what the market trends are for the most profitable purchase point – by percentage, as well as dollars of profit.

It’s great to double your money, but if you bought a horse for $5,000 and sold it for $10,000, it’s unlikely you even covered your carry costs. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’d love to make $60,000, but if you spent $400,000 and sold for $460,000 most of your “profit” is spent on commissions.

I seek to purchase in the sweet spot that’s most likely to maximize actual profit. While a home run is a home run from any price point, it’s key to mitigate risk as much as possible. Nobody anticipated the events of 2020, but a pragmatic approach allowed for profitable pinhooking.

To achieve these goals, certain compromises are sometimes required. If I’m looking to acquire a more physically precocious weanling, that likely means compromising on sire power. This formula can be successful, particularly when staying strict within a budget. Likewise, if I’m rounding out the group with a more commercial pedigree, that may mean compromising on something like size or vetting.

When narrowing from over 1,000 weanlings, the veterinarian you work with is key. A clear understanding of what can be helped, and what won’t improve, allows for quick decisions and confident purchases.

Beyond the compromises that sometimes must be made, the main thing I look for is what I can improve.

In order to sell profitably, you must have done something to improve the “product” you’re presenting. It’s always a goal to have a pedigree update that improves the value, but those aspects are outside of your control as soon as the hammer falls and the horse is yours.

The physical improvement of the weanling to its yearling sale is a multifaceted process that can be influenced in many ways. At BTE Stables, we’re fortunate to have resources to cater to the individual horse throughout the year it’s with us prior to the yearling sale.

From a TheraPlate to a full spectrum of turnout sizes to individually-crafted feed protocols, we’re able to craft care to allow for maximum improvement. From the time the weanlings set foot on the farm to the time they head to the sale, they are treated as individuals and assessed continually. The same horse will have a different outcome based on where it was raised and prepped, and that’s something crucial to keep in mind during the selection process.

Erin O’Keefe is a partner in BTE Stables, in charge of farm management and bloodstock services. Originally from the suburbs of Detroit, Mich., she moved to Lexington, Ky. to attend the University of Kentucky’s Equine Science and Management program. A lifelong fan of Thoroughbred racing, she immersed herself in the industry, working for many prestigious farms in the Bluegrass prior to launching BTE Stables in 2019 with partner Daniel Schmidt. Learn more about BTE Stables here.

The post What To Look For In A Weanling-To-Yearling Pinhook, With BTE Stables’ Erin O’Keefe appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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