Prior to every major American Thoroughbred sale, the Blood-Horse and Thoroughbred Times typically ask various consignors and buyers how they think the sale will turn out. The most recent example pertains to the Keeneland sale of yearlings that began on September 11, 2011.

Robert L. Losey, a professor in the Equine Business Industry program at the University of Louisville (KY) has developed a statistical model to attempt to predict results. He explains his model on his website. Briefly, Dr. Losey employs two variables—level of racing purses and the S & P 500 index—to forecast what the average price will be at a sale. Using data going back 20 years, these two metrics account for 80% to 90% of the variability in average price.

One of the findings is “that both the Keeneland September and the overall North American yearling averages are less variable than the major stock market averages, typically moving either up or down by about 70% of the changes in the S&P 500…”

The professor’s model is signaling that the current Keeneland yearling sale will have an average price that is one to four percent greater than in 2010.

Dr. Losey will post daily updates showing how the 2011 sale is comparing with the 2010 sale.