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 yearlings 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 the top two-year-old consignors to get the best results on the track and in the sales ring.
In pinhooking yearlings to two-year-olds, performance is the most significant part of the profit margin. In simple terms, if the horse runs fast and moves well, the upside can be very substantial.
Bradley Thoroughbreds’ weanling pinhook strategy is to buy prospects with athletic physiques that have correct conformation and commercial pedigrees. The weanling and yearling market have the same set of requirements for each individual prospect which includes physical inspection, veterinary inspection, and pedigree analysis. This differs from the two-year-old market which also requires a performance at speed on the racetrack.
The pinhook 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 in excess of 10% per year to investors.
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