Saturday's session topper was a filly by Tapit that brought $475,000.

Saturday's session topper was a filly by Tapit that brought $475,000.

Keeneland Photo

Keeneland Sale Figures Remain Strong Saturday

Session-topping Tapit filly goes for $475,000 to Robert LaPentas Whitehorse Stable.

Keeneland’s September yearling auction in Lexington, Ky., continued to produce strong numbers Sept. 14 as selling moved into Book Two and the open portion of the sale.

The fifth session of the 12-day auction produced a $475,000 session topper and kept the sale on track to outperform 2012’s financial returns.

The Saturday session sold 280 yearlings for an aggregate $35,308,000, for a $126,100 average and a $112,500 median. Buybacks were 24.5%, up from 2012’s figure of  21.2% from last season.

Cumulatively, the 2013 auction’s first five days have sold 826 yearlings for a total of $188,693,000, with an average of $228,442 and a $175,000 median.

Keeneland reformatted the September sale this year, extending the select portion of the sale from one day to four, which makes year-to-year comparisons of individual sessions difficult. The cumulative session figures provide a better guide, and, by that calculation, it appears the 2013 sale is on pace to rise from last season’s performance. Through Saturday, the 2013 cumulative gross was up 18.9% from last year, partly due to an 8% larger catalog.

But the five-day average and median also were up 36.9% and 45.8%, respectively.

Cumulative buybacks were 27.2%, as compared to 26.5% a year ago.

"I think the sale continued as we had hoped," Keeneland Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell said. "The format of Book One (which covered Sept. 9-12) left a lot of buyers unable to fulfill their orders, and they came out swinging today. The consistency of the prices was very, very strong."

Saturday’s session topper was a filly by the auction’s leading sire by gross, Tapit . Robert LaPenta’s Whitehorse Stable purchased the gray or roan filly from the Gainesway agency. Foaled March 5, 2012, the filly is out of the Carson City mare Seeinsbelieven. That makes her a half sister to stakes winner Aquapazza, and she hails from the family of graded winners Softly, Coragil Cat, and Til Forbid.

Whitehorse Stable also bought the session’s highest-priced colt, a $420,000 Tiznow  youngster out of the grade III-placed Touch Gold mare Caroline’s Gold. An April 20 foal, his second dam, the Turkoman mare Sweet Damsel, is the dam of Colonel John, who also is by Tiznow. Taylor Made Sales agency was the consignor.

The top filly and colt were among five yearlings to bring $400,000 or more at the session.

Whitehorse led all buyers by gross expenditures, with six purchases totaling $1,835,000, and also by average (three or more purchased) with an average $305,833.

While Gainesway stallion Tapit continued to lead as the overall top sire by gross, with 36 yearlings sold for $15,280,000, the fifth session’s leading sire was Mineshaft . The Lane’s End stallion had six yearlings sell for $1,462,000. Tapit led the session by average (three or more sold) with five yearlings bringing an average of $257,000.

Gainesway was the session’s leading consignor by gross after selling 25 horses for $4,840,000, and Baccari Bloodstock led by average price (three or more sold) with four yearlings averaging $210,000.

Saturday’s session was the first day of the weekend Book Two portion of the auction, which came on the heels of the select sessions. Those sessions produced strong numbers that outpaced last year’s first week and included a $2.5 million War Front -Blading Gold Ring colt that Coolmore’s M. V. Magnier bought from the Woods Edge agency. Selling resumed Saturday after the traditional Friday dark day.