In terms of catalogue size, this year's Keeneland November breeding stock sale probably will be one for the record books. Keeneland officials said that approximately 5,500 entries have been received for the sale, which already has the distinction of being the world's largest Thoroughbred vendue.
The Central Kentucky auction, which will begin Nov. 5, definitely will take 14 days to complete and might even stretch to an unprecedented 15, depending on the number of horses that are withdrawn before the catalogue goes to press.
The number to beat is 1998's total of 4,915. That year, roughly 5,100 entries were received, and the sale was 14 days long. In 1999, when 4,864 lots were catalogued, the November sale recorded the highest gross revenue of any Thoroughbred auction in history: $317,666,000. The number sold, 3,461, exceeded the previous record of 3,377 in 1998.
"The market is hot, and people want to sell," said Rogers Beasley, Keeneland's director of sales.
This year's Keeneland September yearling auction, which began on Sept. 11, had its largest catalogue ever, with 4,652 lots.