The term “pinhooking” is an old Kentucky tobacco term used when a speculator would buy a farmer’s young plants and later identify them with a pinned note at market. Buying the plants low and selling high would return substantial profit for the speculators. In terms of thoroughbred auctions, pinhooking describes the practice of buying yearling horses at auction or privately, overseeing their breaking and training, and eventually re-selling them as race-ready two-year-olds in training. The same practice can be done with weanlings to resell as yearlings.
Bradley Thoroughbred’s Peter Bradley has been in the pinhooking game for over thirty years. When selecting prospects, Bradley’s aim is to find yearlings that have good conformation, with pedigrees that are precocious and speed-oriented. Once purchased, the yearlings are sent to Ocala to be trained and prepared for the two-year-old in training sales. BT works in conjunction with top horsemen Eddie Woods, who put Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown through his early paces and talented partner Angela Mellerick.
In pinhooking yearlings to two-year-olds, performance is the most significant part of the profit margin. In simple terms, if the horse can run fast and moves well, the upside can be very substantial.
The pinhooking game is one of market trends, performance, and placement. BT has experience finding the right individuals, conditioning them according to the individual, and putting them in the most advantageous spot for sale. Over the life of the company, BT Ventures has returned an average of in excess of 17% per year to investors.
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