The largest Thoroughbred auction in the world will be bigger this year than ever before. Keeneland has cataloged a record 5,553 horses for its September yearling sale in Lexington, breaking the former Keeneland and world mark for an auction of 5,161 horses for last September's sale. This year's group includes 2,898 colts, 2,653 fillies, and two geldings.
"As a consignor, I'm always worried about who's going to buy all those doggone horses," said Tom VanMeter of Eaton Sales. "But I don’t think we're looking at the downfall yet. I think the market will be healthy. But it will (eventually) reach a limit where breeders will decide not to breed so many horses and have these huge (stallion) books."
There will be 15 sales days at Keeneland, Sept. 10-13 and 15-25. All sessions will begin at 10 a.m. (EDT). A preview catalog will be available online the week of July 30 and the entire catalog will be available the following week at www.keeneland.com. Print catalogs will be mailed the week of Aug. 20.
While the September sale is known for its quantity, there also is quality in its catalog, with the select portion often producing the season's top yearling prices.
This year's book has "unprecedented strength from beginning to end," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales, in a prepared statement. "In fact, those additional yearlings we have cataloged are solid middle-market horses. Our consignors have done another outstanding job of bringing top quality individuals at every level of the market."
Stallions with yearlings in the catalog include A.P. Indy, Distorted Humor , Forestry, Mr. Greeley, Smart Strike, Storm Cat, Seeking the Gold, and Unbridled's Song.
Last year, the Keeneland September sale raised the Thoroughbred world auction record for gross revenue for the third year in a row, reaching $399,791,800. The number of horses sold, 3,556, also was believed to have been a world mark. The average price of $112,427 and median price of $45,000 both were September sale records.