The results of the June 30 Highlander Stakes (G1T) at Woodbine couldn’t have been more timely for the ELiTE sales agency of Bradley Weisbord and Liz Crow.
Highlander winner Long On Value was sold by ELiTE for $100,000 at last year’s Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, and runner-up Lady Alexandra was a $375,000 graduate of ELiTE’s first-ever consignment to the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Selected Horses of Racing Age Sale.
With strong support from its clientele, including some of the top owners and breeders in North America, ELiTE emerged from last year’s sale on top the leaderboard, with 11 of 12 offered selling for $2.799 million.
When the horses of racing age sale is renewed July 9 at the Fasig-Tipton sale grounds in Lexington, Weisbord and Crow will be represented by 18 well-bred, well-conformed racehorses in hopes of building on last year’s results in the sale ring that translated into success on the racetrack.
All 11 horses from the ELiTE consignment last year have run. Seven were stakes horses, four were graded stakes horses, and three were grade 1 stakes horses.
“We started a year ago and no one had heard of our brand, so I’m extremely proud of our staff and the support we’ve received from our clientele,” Weisbord said. “We took what I thought was a basically stagnant sales model and wanted to spice it up with new ideas that I thought would help us sell horses. By returning in year two, it shows our clients were happy with their sales results.”
In addition to the ELiTE Passport—an expansive presentation of every aspect of the 18 horses in the consignment that includes analysis of the individuals’ past performances as well as projected future engagements—this year Weisbord and Crow have brought in Acacia Courtney, the on-air analyst at Gulfstream Park, to record videos of the horses on offer as an extension of the printed pamphlet.
Also new this year, ELiTE has had radiographic exams made of each horse in the consignment, all part of its continued effort to assure clients that they are getting the best representation for their products and for buyers to have as much information as possible about their prospective purchases.
“There are two angles to look at with pre-sale vetting before they get to the sale grounds,” Weisbord explained. “One, you avoid the shock factor with the seller and don’t waste their time shipping the horse knowing you can’t sell the horse. Two, it gives the buyers confidence that although they will do their vetting, when they come by our draft, they will know all these horses have passed our vet.
“It is an extremely competitive marketplace,” Weisbord said. “We don’t discount commissions because we feel our sales model tends to get you extra bids since it gives the buyers the information they need to have confidence in buying from us. This is a place where you can have confidence shopping, and the results from last year spoke for themselves.”
While ELiTE’s partners pride themselves on their innovative sale techniques, Weisbord said such success would not be possible without the strong backing of their clients providing them with quality stock.
“We’re extremely thankful for the clients’ support to give us the product,” Weisbord said. “Like a trainer’s life, for a sales person the No. 1 job is recruiting. You can’t sell slow horses with bad pedigrees or bad physicals. That’s where it all starts and ends. They have to have good pedigrees, good conformation, and vet clean. Then we can go to sell, educating the market about what they’re worth. If you don’t have the stock, you don’t have a shot.
“I’m very cognizant that the owners giving us their best stock helps us lead these sales in averages, and what we are selling them is a boutique and extremely creative concept like the ELiTE Passport that was the first to put into a pamphlet everything that encompassed that horse, as well as hard work.”
Among the accomplished stakes horses in the ELiTE consignment this year is grade 1 winner Wake Forest (Hip 566). An 8-year-old German son of Sir Percy, Wake Forest has won or placed in 15 of 24 starts, with earnings of $943,691, while being campaigned in the U.S., Canada, France, Italy, and Germany. Included among his victories are the 2016 Man o’ War Stakes (G1T), the 2017 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2T), and two group 3 wins in Germany.
ELiTE also is offering My Miss Tapit (Hip 485), a stakes-winning, grade 2-placed Tapit filly described by Weisbord as “a gorgeous physical with a big family, proven runner in career best form,” and Lady Lucy (Hip 465), a daughter of Into Mischief the consignor said “is the fastest 2-year-old filly in the sale.”