After a break Friday, the Keeneland September yearling sale resumed Saturday and picked up right where it left off, continuing to produce strong results that were way ahead of last year's pace.
The 273 horses sold during the auction's fifth of 14 sessions grossed $23,330,000 and averaged $85,458. The median price was $70,000. Last year, during the same session, 274 horses sold for a gross of $20,694,500, an average price of $75,527, and a median of $50,000.
"There's still plenty of money out there from all corners," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales. "There's American money obviously, but there's also still a lot of European money here from different buyers. Now, we're starting to see a transition of people coming in that we haven't seen before (at this sale) like Harry and Tom Meyerhoff."
The cumulative figures for this year are 1,171 horses sold for a gross of $255,073,000, an average of $217,825, and a median of $125,000. Last year, through the same point, 1,130 horses had sold for a gross of $218,918,000, an average of $193,733, and a median of $100,000.
"In these sessions (immediately following the first four days)," Russell said, "we start seeing the mom-and-pop breeding farms, and so the increases, especially in the median, help them. And that is very important because they are the bread and butter of our industry. Yes, we're all delighted to sell an $8-million horse. But we want the industry to be solid and strong. We want people to have successful sales across the board."
The fifth session's top-priced horse was a $550,000 colt from the first crop of 2001 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos
. The colt is the first foal out of the 6-year-old Meadowlake
mare Lac Du Printemps, who is a full sister to grade I winner Greenwood Lake
. She also is a half-sister to Breeders' Cup Juvenile Stakes (gr. I) winner Success Express (by Hold Your Peace) and Canadian champion Charlie Barley (by Affirmed).
Californians Bob and Beverly Lewis bought the Monarchos colt, with trainer Bob Baffert signing the sale ticket. Woods Edge Farm (Peter O'Callaghan) consigned the colt as agent.
"I like gray horses anyway, and I have a lot of respect for Monarchos," Baffert said. "He (the colt) is also from a strong family. He met all my criteria of what I like in a horse. He has a presence about him."
David Bowman and Dr. Carl Chan bred the colt in Kentucky.Results, leading buyer, leading consignor, leading sire lists from Keeneland