In The Gate #452 - An Auction at Home
During this cove in nineteen shutdown. We've seen news programs originate from home. We've seen a full orchestra. Poll awful wonderful recording from their respective homes. But there's no way you could conduct a thoroughbred auction online right. I mean Cain Lynn canceled. Its April sale but wait an online sale. Really did happen. We'll explain how it was pulled off plus Santa. Anita officials are trying to get back to racing as some other tracks are doing. We'll go over the different options. They're considering on this edition of in the gate dates optimal way Roy. Silence this is in the gate. Espn's thoroughbred racing podcast. My name is Barry Abrams who can follow me on twitter at be. Abrams voice or on facebook. Barry Abrams voice. You can also get us on our youtube channel by searching in the gate. Podcast you can find us on. Stitcher soundcloud tune in the pink apple podcast APP and of course in the listen tab of the ESPN APP for the full in the gate experience. Subscribe now in the listen tab of the ESPN APP. And please take a minute to rate and review the show. Those reviews really help others find us. And maybe just. Maybe it'll help those members and America's best racing include us and the fan choice awards this November. They do have plenty of time to find us. You know well you give us good reviews. Then it's not our fault if we're not included in August of two thousand eighteen a percentage of ownership of philly named Atlanta the winner of the hamble. Tony the Kentucky. Derby of harness racing was sold online. It got us to wondering on this show about a year ago weather. A thoroughbred auction would ever be held online but our guests on that show trainer. Graham motion and bloodstock agent Brad Weis Board. Were skeptical of whether it would work. Well this covert nineteen shutdown has resulted in some things. You probably never thought you'd see huge convention centers turned into makeshift the NCAA basketball tournament abandoned the Masters Golf Tournament rescheduled for November. And the Kentucky Derby move to September maybe and then there's this authority bread auction in Australia happened online. The William English and son Easter yearling sale. Which usually takes place near Sydney happened on the Internet? This time buyers from different countries put in bids and while the average price of a yearling was off by eleven percent and the median price was down by around four percent. The fact the sale came off at all is certainly noteworthy here to tell us more about how it all worked. Is English Managing Director Mark? Webster whom we welcome for the first time here to win the gate. Let's start at the beginning. How early on did you get the idea that an in person auction might not be possible about three weeks ago? The restrictions here that have been dictated by government. Silly increasingly initially. We thought we'd rent out around a physical auction three weeks ago. But with less people on the grounds and the need to maintain social distancing so we engaged by security experts to help us understand how we could still auction with horses on the grounds and that would restrict movements of people around the facilities and literally a week before who would shoot around the option the government and all live auctions said that that made us recess very very quickly What heir options were close? We had some industry participants suggestion. We should postpone the salad run in July. With view. Perhaps by July the restrictions would be lifted that of course if we were to delay the sow. We'RE TALKING ABOUT SELLING DEALINGS. That really need to get into the training system so they can be competing. Come September October. We have not row racing season. They commenced selling them in July and not a lot of time to get them ready for racing in September October. We decided we had to really take the online option seriously. Thankfully here it unless either the last ten years we've been investing in digital technology and we have two solutions which we already used. Mortar supplement at auction business. One of them is an online bidding platform that we've been running now for nearly ten years whenever we run a physical auction with a lot of selling horses. We for ten years. We've been giving customers the option of bidding online and we would generally sell ten to fifteen percent on Lan anyhow with people that on at the sale and we also have I guess an Ebay style bidding platform as well but we can run entire auction using that whole with. Nice easy coal horses on the ground so we already have two of the solutions that we decided to use the online bidding platform and create. What we call a virtual auction and we had a week to pull it off when you say bidding online where any of those people sitting in the facility using their phones to bid on an APP or are these all people who were not on the grounds These people on the ground so we did have some clients. Beating from places like Kentucky so Marie Shida from Asian blood-soaked services was bidding from her home in Kentucky. Memory had been apps was dry and she'd inspected wholesome thumbs a few weeks before she elected to come out to Australia and put herself into quarantine. If two weeks and look at the horses on the farms ever fought days and then she flew back to Kentucky and did all had beating online from Kentucky in the middle of the not. Which was added Tom? So there are people like that people in Europe did the same in Japan beating from around the world in terms of on the grounds. He we weren't allowed to have you know a lot of clients. He Wear Hotel here. We've got a five star hotel as part of our auction sale facility so there were three and a half gish in the hotel that were allowed to sit in these. Prada rooms either looking this house or any of that deed usually two the oxygen but other than those three everyone else was off sought. What was the conversation like with your potential buyers and sellers when you posed the idea of an online auction? Well they're all disparate to sell their stock. You know. A yield is perishable autumn there any healing for so long and they they get older every day so you know there was some of our clients. That weren't happy about the idea and decided that they would withdraw in fact Leading of ended decided to withdraw sixty horses from the sale with a view that I thought I would be better place to sell them directly off the farm and have people come to the Psalm and bought them and a few other farms with true. They drafts purely because they're in quite remote. Locations around destroyed was very busy. Go FOOTBA to go to their farms and inspect him but the farms would more accessible. We've we have breeding region here in New South. Wales called the Hunter Valley which is a Beta like Kentucky. Either there Around Lexington Kentucky where? There's a large number of stars in one place and really die. Studs all stood together and invited buys together and inspect the whole on on the properties. And that way the buys at least had some idea of what that would beating on but But I tell you video take -nology and an online repository of information reports in x-rays and scoping reports all of that help facilitate his boss who and there were particular customers that did not get to see a whole physically at all. They had to buy purely off video information confirmation videos and veteran reports and did all editing and inspections remotely ballpark figure. What percentage of those buyers got to see horses in person on those stud farms and what percentage did not look at to put an exact figure on that you know I would side the had twenty percent of the buys might not have seen the horses at all some of my had. Somebody have a look at them. Full of them and others Another oh it's still too to really assess. I do know there. Somebody's that just did not travel at all from the UK and from Japan and had to make a judgment based of say services we provide you know nothing that if you look at twenty eight. When we ran normal sil- we average throughout and fifteen thousand two yielding. This year we average three hundred and ten thousand feeling so it didn't drop that as much as a lot of people had expected the clearance fried with not as strongly normally we would clear about eighty percent of an auction sitting at sixty six percent at the moment so the clearance did suffer but that was mainly due to the fact that there are some moms that still participated in missile. Even that I didn't have a lot of on-farm inspections and what we're doing we've structured these sales. There's a ran one which we've just held and we split it to also ran to on the streets of July and on the fifth of July old. I suppose is that jury from around one or they didn't sell in round one. They can be very often again. July five getting vase more time to go and have a look at them on the phone so we really had to change the way we work. It's about using technology but it's also around splitting style now and to effectively two rounds to move vendors more time at a second to sell Mark Webster the Managing Director for Australia's English and son bloodstock auctioneers joins us here on in the gate. Now I want to get back to the money in a minute. But once the shutdown occurred were there any veterinarians who would represent buyers? Were they allowed to inspect the horses? Yes the the veterinarians were still able to get around onto calms and inspect so they would do that. Physicals on firearms before the shutdown could A lot of the radiographic with which is basically the x ray images that are taken at the lakes and say that Cetera. I've been taking a couple of weeks ago. And so they were uploaded in into the repository here in Australia. We do a lot of presell. Scoping which is basically a review of a wholesome threat to to check its brazing whether there's going to be any limitations to it. Breathing capacity when rising for those skyping reports again would on on farm and they were actually done during the restricted period of restrictions. But here in Australia at the moment if he can still move about if it's for work related purposes and bits going out and assessing is still something that's possible now even with restrictions because it's a work related matter so the vets did a really good job in up letting all of this information into digital repository and that allowed other bits that are acting on behalf of buys all around the world to log in and see all of those reports online and And advice they cons which will says they you know. They recommended purchasing and others. I should have a look now. You mentioned the international nature of this sale. Do you think you had buyer's participate who might not have otherwise because of the time and expense of travelling to Australia with now. Everybody kind of on a level playing field being online identity. A lot of new boss. We certainly there was some there. Were some clients that haven't been active for a few years. Barry the Stri in bloodstock market has really been quite hot. The last few years a little In North America and difficult to get in seventy the values have increased quite a lot and so there there's some I guess we'll be called up some older clients that had had stepped down for two years. Some of them came back in. Because I thought there'd be buying opportunities so we did get a wider range of buys Registering for the south. I'll give you an example on the stats last year at the East We had a hundred seventy individual buys requoted on the shape the buying shape this she. We had a similar number but what was more interesting is we had four hundred buys register to be with credit approval. So the thing about asked. There's there's lots of systems at where people can can be but the system we've developed. He allocates I credit limit to buy side. That somebody that might be approved for a million dollars cannot be above that title million dollars out of the close this out of the system or lock them out and that is really important for us. I leading into the south. We could see we had four hundred buys approved and we could say the amount of credit that we had approved to buys to actually use throughout the style. And what I can say is that there was a Jila Lodge. Amanda Credit approved. That didn't get spin it. The sale and that is because we sort of ran out of horses all the horses that didn't sell a one that people just didn't have time to thoroughly inspect so there really was good demands from from around the world. Overall two hundred fourteen horses sold for a total of almost forty three million in. Us dollars and as we mentioned the average price was down eleven percent just under two hundred thousand in US dollars and the median price was down by four percent. Now you started to talk about those results. What do you make of these numbers numbers? They stack up compared to last year and since their original results were published. We've been able to sell another fifteen most show horses and generate a few more million Internet way still selling horses every day. He even over the Easter Holidays We've had clients coming in and we have a functional Lama. People can just click and make an offer and by a horse after the style as well so that is all happening. I think the results than of very well. We were expecting that the value of lots suck match up by fifty percent heading into the sil- and that didn't happen. You know you when you have a look at it. It's Dan about fifteen percent not fifty percent which is Quite remarkable. I think the KS. You know making it easy for people making it accessible. I think there's a lot of bloodsucking best. Is Out there around the world that saw they says bonding opportunity. The mockup would be depressed and registered for credit. And that's why the level of registrations with so on some of them I think would feel that they've bought a bog and others feel that they like very small discount but they happy with what they purchase and then might be some out there. They see the market. Just wasn't soft enough for them. They were bargain-hunting in the Balkans Wednesday to be had once this Cova. One thousand nine shutdown is over. I don't think horsemen and horse. Women will water replace in-person auctions with online auctions at least not all the time but is there a sector of the blood stock market that could be potentially handled online in the future? Of course there's a whole range of different bloodstock. We we run regular UH auction. So you're onto auctions. Amman way horses literally just uploaded online ebay stall auction where there's no can here involve the horses. It just listed people can beat over a period of five days on this way during that here in Australia now and with at this point the only ones in the world any thoroughbred okay news in the world that offering that style of auction. I said anything is scope for that in North America. I also I think the skype in North America for what we call a virtual auction which is where you still say auction era and the video. But you've got a digital platform that's county up the bids and managing credit approval and Making sure that there's Good security around that the bidding process and so we've got both of those systems and the quad came to help other opinion foams around the world to use technology. Where does the listening to this interview? Right now feel free to contact us. We we have English bloodstock. Which is our auctioneering but we also have another company called addicts technology which which. I also had shared that particular company and all I do is provide technology services that they're in a position to help other oceaneering around the world to do this and I really think everyone really needs to put in place measures so that one even during physical auction that can supplement it with technology and allow customers to be from around the world regular customers to have confidence in those auction houses. They don't always need to travel to be so so they can use it at every auction. And we've been doing that now for ten years. I do find it surprising that this other firms around the world still don't even have that ability when ugly. It's pretty straightforward. We have seen the future Mark Webster of English and son Bloodstock. Thank you so much for sharing this with us very interesting development here Chris. Thanks for your interest Berry. We've seen a few tracks be able to conduct racing without spectators of course during this corona virus shutdown. We'll Santa Anita soon be one of them after the break. We'll tell you how officials they are trying to make it happen. Welcome back to win. The Gate as of this recording only a handful of tracks in the United States have been able to conduct horse racing of any kind oaklawn Gulfstream despite the opposition of the vice mayor of Hallandale Beach. Where the track is located Tampa Fonterra Park in Nebraska Remington Park and Oklahoma and low Salam Mito sneer Anaheim California low? Sal has been running racist with no spectators. Both thoroughbreds and quarter horses have appeared in these races. Santa Anita had continued to run races for two weeks after most of the world shut down on March eleventh and Twelfth then on Friday March twenty seventh as preparations were being made to start the day's card the Los Angeles County Health Department abruptly stopped said Anita's racing operations. The Department allowed morning training to continue but racing in the afternoon then came a report last week. By the website horse racing nation that Santa Anita officials might try to transfer some of its race states to Los alamitos the article quoted a statement from the thoroughbred owners of California which said that Orange County where Los Alameda is located continues to treat both racing and training as an essential activity now. It appears that the low south scenario will not be happening so options are there for Santa Anita to try to get back up and running for that. We welcome back to win the Gate Art Wilson. Who writes about the sport for the Southern California News Group which includes the newspaper? The San Gabriel Valley Tribune. So what happened with the proposed transfer of dates from Santa Anita to Los Alamitos? Well you know Barry. I'm not quite sure who initiated those talks but in talking to Jack Liebau the vice president of Los Alamos He indicated to me that there were never any substantial talks that it never really got to the serious stage and There had been no substantial talks and there were none to be scheduled in the future and He told me that on the record and then also told me Any switch from the dates from Santa Anita too low. Sal was not going to happen and that's a direct quote and then of course. I talked to a few other people who gave me a little bit more that we're familiar with what was going on. But they wanted to speak off the record because they weren't authorized to speak about it first of all. I hope your social distancing from those I can hear in the background. What kind of racing is happening? Now at Los Al Right now you have the Quarter horse racing which You know they have that Friday through Sunday nights three nights a week and then once in a while they'll have like four and a half furlong races which have the like the very cheap claiming horses twenty five hundred dollars climbers now Saturday night. They added five. Eight hundred. Seventy Yard races for thoroughbreds. They're open to both thoroughbreds and quarter horses But in these five races on Saturday night there were only thoroughbreds. Who entered an eight hundred? Seventy yards is just a TAD shorter than four. And a half for long. You can have quarter horses and thoroughbreds racing against each other in a sanctioned race. As long as it's eight hundred seventy yards yes. Why wouldn't Dr? Edward allred the owner of low sal. Want these dates from Santa Anita. If he could get them with a chance for some found money well what one source told me and this was off the record but he said. I could use it. If I didn't name who was. There was basically to people who went off the record for two different reasons why this isn't going to happen. Number one is in the past. San Anita has tried to deny los Alamos racing dates. They have three meets a year. Los Alameda and they're usually anywhere from two weeks to three weeks in length and Santa Anita wants those dates. They don't think Los Alamos should have them. They don't have a turf course Blah Blah Blah. And so that's one the number the second reason is that And going back to the first reason berry is what the person told me is why would also? Alameda does want to do a favor to owners who were trying to take away dates from them. That's number one number. Two is Alameda is in the process of trying to just have self preservation. They don't want the spotlight coming down on them with the Orange County health board with the racing and so they're just trying to stay in the background. You know not too much spotlight or attention on them so they can continue their quarterhorse. Flash thoroughbred need at night a recent report on the blood horse website states that said Anita officials are as of this recording trying to arrange a meeting with La County health officials to convince them to allow racing to resume without spectators as of this recording. Where does that efforts stand? As far as I know the meeting is supposed to take place on Saturday this coming Saturday and Aidan Butler. Who was the acting? Head of strategy groups? California Racing Division has now been gone on record as saying. I'M NOT GONNA take no for an answer so Santa. Anita is continuing to press the La County Health Board to let them over you open wrestling the Alameda Health Board to let Golden Gate Reopen. But then I also read and I've also heard that the La County Health Board is holding firm that nothing's going to be held until may fifteenth at the earliest so. I think that the Saturday meeting is going to be key and personally. I'm not real optimistic. That the health boards going to give in. But we'll see anything can happen. I Guess Art Wilson of the Southern California newspaper Group joins us here on the gate Santa. Anita officials are arguing that it takes fewer people to pull off a race in the afternoon than it does to train horses in the morning which is still permitted if this meeting. We're talking about actually takes place. What chance do you think there is that the La County Health Department puts a ban on training rather than allowing racing very ups? The puzzling part about this all. Because I've heard that in the mornings there's at least a thousand people right around that number with the horses and when they have the afternoon racing there's about one tenth that many people so it doesn't make any sense to allow the training and then not allow the racing and Santa Anita Management has bent over backwards. Everyone's wearing masks their social distancing. They have hand sanitizers everywhere. So they're trying to show the county health board. Hey it doesn't make any sense to ban afternoon racing and allow the training to go on in the morning especially when the backstretch workers health plan and healthcare all depends on the live betting the money that is Game by the afternoon racing. That's all been shut off. And so the backstretch workers or they're in grave danger right now. Well let's step back for a minute here when you talk about those backstretch workers. How is the cove nineteenth situation at Santa Anita as of this recording? No one has tested positive. It's an Anita so the cloven nineteen virus and. That's another puzzling issue. You know I know that a worker I believe the backstretch worker at Belmont. Park dusted positive. A couple of weeks ago and died Santa Anita no one has tested positive for the virus and I also believe that no one up at Golden Gate. Fields has tested positive for the virus. So that's another puzzling aspect. I haven't talked to one person in the industry who doesn't believe strongly that some certain animal rights groups have played a big part in Santa Anita. Getting shut down. I can't even start to get into that. I have nothing substantive on which to go but I will ask this del. Mars beloved summer meat is scheduled to start on July eighteenth. Now we're still over three months away from that of course but the question is at what point before the start of the meat. Do you think decisions need to be made. Most importantly about whether trainers should crank up their horses to be ready to run their. Yeah that's a good question. I mean I was GONNA get in contact for a future column either this week or next week with Joe Harper out of Del. Mar and talk to him about that. I would think just off the cuff. At least a month six weeks where decision we would have to be made on that you know right now. Things are are looking a little bit better. As far as the whole country goes with this New York which was the epicentre. The numbers are starting to show a positive side. So I'm not sure really. I would have to ask Joe Harper that but certainly what you say bury the the horsemen need an to know. Hey we're GONNA ship there or not you know. And they have that ship and wind program from horses out of state a lot of times. Come in and you know. Get a bonus for if they haven't had their most recent race in California so that's kind of a another whole can of worms dealing with the del Mar situation. Well we are glad that you are safe and healthy art Wilson. Thank you so much for bringing us up to date here. The beat goes on as this shutdown continues at any time. You stay safe are thanks once again to Art Wilson at Demark Webster. At the time that we're recording this. No decision has been made about when to run the preakness or Belmont. We know the Kentucky Derby as a set for Labor Day weekend but could the other two racist. Keep the same spacing or not. It's really up to NBC. The triple crown broadcast partner and the issue really is Notre Dame football on the would be preakness day September nineteenth. They have an afternoon. Game Against Central Michigan could've shift later past nightfall if so then three weeks after that October tenth is clear for the Belmont stakes because Notre Dame that day already has a night game scheduled against the Stanford Cardinal and the breeders. Cup would still be four weeks away. So weird is it is to run the triple crown with changing leaves. The schedule works with. Just one little tweak. It's worth it to continue. The nearly szeswith centennial tradition of determining the best three year olds we seek. You can get us on our youtube channel by searching in the gate. Podcast you can find on Stitcher soundcloud tune in the pink apple podcast Herath and of course in the listen tab of the ESPN APP for the full indicate experience. Subscribe now in the listen tab of the ESPN APP. And please take a minute to rate and review the show. Those reviews really help others find US including the geniuses at America's best racing who may or may not include in the fan choice. Awards this November. Maybe with your help we'll get that done. And you can follow me on twitter at Abrahams voice on facebook at Barry Abrams voice. That's in the gate for this week. I'm Barry Abrams. We hope you're safe and healthy and we'll see you next time.