The Keeneland September yearling sale is smaller and shorter this year, but it’s still the largest auction of its kind in the world. There are 3,604 horses in the catalog. The number is down 16.6% from last year’s total of 4,319.
The auction will be held in Lexington Sept. 10-21, with a dark day scheduled for Sept. 14. There will be 10 days of selling compared to 13 in 2011.
"Very simply, the catalog reflects the reduction in the size of the foal crop," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland’s director of sales. "The reduction in the size of the catalog chiefly comes from the latter days of the sale, which is where it should come from. Breeders and consignors are to be commended for doing a very good job of breeding the right mares, and for making the difficult decision not to breed those mares that cannot produce a commercially viable foal."
In a format change, the select portion of the auction (Book 1), which has 132 yearlings, has been reduced from two sessions to one, which will be held Sept. 10, beginning at 4 p.m. (EDT). The Book 2 portion of the auction, which has 915 yearlings, is scheduled for Sept. 11-13, with each session starting at 11 a.m. Following the Sept. 14 break, Book 3 will begin and each of the auction’s remaining sessions will start at 10 a.m.
"We believe this schedule fits the needs of our horses and our sellers perfectly," said Walt Robertson, Keeneland’s vice president of sales. "The tweaks are designed to better serve our clients in terms of convenience and efficiency."
Yearlings by 239 stallions have been cataloged. They include 15 yearlings from the final crop of A.P. Indy that are scheduled to be offered during the September auction’s first week. Other stallions with offspring in the sale include Bernardini , Curlin , Danehill Dancer, Distorted Humor , Dynaformer, Empire Maker, Galileo, Giant's Causeway , and Hard Spun . Among the additional stallions represented are Henrythenavigator, Indian Charlie, Malibu Moon , Medaglia d'Oro , Mr. Greeley, Pulpit, Sea the Stars, Smart Strike , Street Cry, Tapit , Tiznow , Unbridled's Song, and War Front .
Graduates of the September auction include the winners of five of the most recent six Triple Crown races (I’ll Have Another, Animal Kingdom , Shackleford , and Ruler On Ice) and four of the five most recent Horses of the Year (Havre de Grace, Zenyatta, and Curlin twice).
"Our record speaks for itself−the September sale is world-renowned for offering unique and extraordinary individuals at every level of the market,” Robertson said. “And being the largest Thoroughbred sale, it is the barometer of the health of the Thoroughbred industry."