Business at the Keeneland September yearling sale continued to roll along on a par with year-ago results during the auction's penultimate session Sept. 20 in Lexington.
The 10th session of the 11-day sale saw 225 horses sell for a gross of $3,937,500, an average price of $17,500, and a median of $14,000. In 2011's corresponding session, 291 horses changed hands for a gross of $5,131,100, good for an average of $17,633, and a median of $12,000.
The sale-topper Sept. 20 was a Divine Park colt that brought a final bid of $110,000 from Cromwell Bloodstock. Out of the Skip Away mare Window Woman, the colt is a half brother to Window Boy, who has won three races including this year's Grover (Bud) Delp Memorial Stakes and better than $100,000. Divine Park stands at Brereton Jones' Airdrie Stud near Midway, Ky.
The sale-topper was consigned by Blake-Albina Thoroughbred Services, agent. Noted consignor Hanzly Albina, "He was a good individual. Divine Park gets horses with strong physicals, and people told us this colt was the best individual of the day. We expected him to do well, but 110 was better than we thought.
"I think the last few years, which have seen lesser mares get culled, have led to better physicals in the back barns than we've seen in past years. So you have nicer horses later in the sale and people are willing to bid on them."
The colt comes from the same family as multiple stakes winner Red's Honor and graded stakes-placed Roi Charmant.
Leading owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey bought the second-highest-priced yearling on the day, going to $90,000 for an Artie Schiller colt out of Athena's Gift, by Fusaichi Pegasus . He was consigned by Canadian-based Bernard McCormack through his Cara Bloodstock, agent.
Through 10 sessions, 2,370 yearlings have found new homes for a gross of $217,976,500, off a tick from the $220,318,600 for 2,539 lots that sold during 11 sessions a year ago. The average price has risen 6% this year, to $91,973 from $86,774. The median is up from $40,000 to $50,000. The buy-back rate for the session was a low 8.5%.
The September sale concludes Sept. 21, getting underway at 10 a.m. EDT.