Preparation: Key for Conrad Bandoroff of Denali Stud

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

 By Meredith Daugherty 

Excerpt from Bloodhorse Daily 

Sale Spotlight: Conrad Bandoroff shares his insights on marathon sales 

 A graduate of the Godolphin Flying Start program, Conrad Bandoroff has been involved in the Thoroughbred industry his entire life. Now the Vice President of Denali Stud, the operation founded by his parents Craig and Holly, he has 91 horses consigned this year to the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. A methodical and personable salesperson, Bandoroff is a proponent of treating every day at the sale like a clean slate. 

BloodHorse: What is Denali’s process coming in to sell at a marathon auction like the Keeneland November sale?

Conrad Bandoroff: A lot of it is preparation and doing your homework. We have a process that we go through to make sure that we have as much information on every horse as we can. Whether it’s pulling the PP’s of any of their relatives that are running, or if it’s the horse we’re selling. Information is key. We want to be able to have and know all of that information so we can share it with our prospective buyers as well as for ourselves. We need to know what we have. It’s one of those things I think everyone appreciates when they can come to you and ask, “This mare didn’t get in foal last year, what happened? Can you give me some of the background?” or we can say to them, “Hey this mare isn’t here, but make sure that you get a photo of the foal because it’s really nice”. 

The other thing is that we sell a lot of horses in these long sales. It’s about not getting overwhelmed. You have go book by book. You get through one day and then you wipe the slate clean and it’s on to the next day. It’s a mentally and physically draining process. We do our best to try and prepare as best we can. You get through one day, you don’t have any time to rest on your laurels, and go on to the next. 

BH: Can you think of any favorite or standout horses you’ve sold or prepped through the years?

CB: In the past we’ve sold Uncle Mo through this sale and a lot of high profile mares like Playa Maya, the dam of Uncle Mo. There are quite a few that come to mind, but it’s always about the next one and trying to find the next one. There are others who have a lot more time and resources dedicated to recruiting so what makes us proud is when our long term relationships with clients bear fruit and we get to represent some of our great clients who have produced a champion or have a mare with a big update or a great filly retiring off the track. Those are the moments that are special for us. 

BH: Are there any “Do’s” and “Don’ts” you’ve learned? 

CB: A “Do” is definitely remember that it’s a long haul. You have to stay hydrated, drink water, get rest and remember to try and have fun. Don’t take it too seriously.

BH: What do you think it takes to build a successful consignment from the ground up? 

CB: I’ve had a great role models in my parents. They built Denali from nothing and I’m really proud of where Denali is today. I think one of the best things I’ve learned from watching my dad and mom is how hard they work. The easiest place to sell a horse is in the ring but I think one thing that has distinguished by dad throughout his career is how much effort he puts into—when a horse doesn’t get (sold) in the ring—doing his best to try and get that horse done for the client whether it’s a $1,000 horse or a $900,000 horse.