Even though the Keeneland September yearling sale is nearing its end, it still has plenty of momentum. During the 10th of its 14 sessions, the median price grew 46.2% from a year ago while the gross revenue advanced 32.4%. The average price also increased significantly Sept. 22 in Lexington, rising 30.4%.
“The amount of energy here and the amount of interest we’ve had in our horses have been 100% stronger than they were last year,” said Tommy Eastham of Legacy Bloodstock. “It’s been nice to come to the back walking ring and have people wanting to know more about your horses. Instead of having to go get the buyers sitting on the wall, they’re coming to get you.”
The 275 yearlings that sold grossed $6,921,900 and averaged $25,171. The median was $19,000, and the buy-back rate was 25.5%.
Last year, when 271 horses were sold, the gross was $5,229,200. The average was $19,296, and the median was $13,000. The buy-back rate was 23.7%.
“The economy is getting a little bit better and that helps,” Eastham said. “But we also had a little good news in sales prior to this one, and we had more good news here starting in Book One (of the sale catalog). I think there has been a kind of change in the mindset. In anything in life, your attitude sometimes will determine your performance, and I think the attitude has been positive for buyers and sellers alike.”
Shari Eisaman of Florida-based Eisaman Equine was enthusiastic as she shopped for pinhooking prospects.
“The buying is going great,” she said. “We’re having to spend a little bit more to get a really nice horse—maybe $10,000 or $15,000 more than I wanted to spend—but we’re getting good individuals with good pedigrees bought.”
Fillies brought the top three prices during the 10th sessions. A daughter of Closing Argument was the most expensive, selling for $155,000 to W.D. North Thoroughbreds, a Florida pinhooking operation. Her consignor was Lyn Burleson’s Burleson Farms, agent.
Produced from the unraced Out of Place mare Fit Right In, the New York-bred bay yearling is a half sister to Rightly So (by Read the Footnotes), who has won the Ballerina Stakes (gr. I) and the Bed o’ Roses Handicap (gr. III) this year and was a two-time added-money winner in 2009.
W.D. North Thoroughbreds also purchased the session’s third-highest-priced yearling, a $105,000 filly by Proud Citizen that is the first foal out of stakes winner Candy Jo (by Maria's Mon). Consigned by Four Star Sales, agent, the chestnut Kentucky-bred yearling is from the family of grade II winner Sweet and Ready.
A Latent Heat filly, which is a member of her sire’s first crop, was the second-most-expensive horse sold, bringing $150,000 from Kim Valerio, agent/Walnut Green Bloodstock. Consigned by Jim and Pam Robinson’s Brandywine Farm, agent for Rob Whiteley’s Liberation Farm and Brandywine, the bay Kentucky-bred yearling is out 1995 Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT) winner Grand Charmer (by Lord Avie).
The filly also is a half sister to Flirtatious (by A.P. Indy), who is the dam of Wait a While (by Maria’s Mon), the champion 3-year-old filly of 2006. Other family members include 2009 champion and 2010 classic winner Lookin At Lucky and his half brother, grade II winner Kensei.
The September auction’s cumulative results through 10 sessions included a gross of $188,672,000 for the 2,093 horses that sold. The average was $90,144 and the median was $50,000. Compared to 2009, the number sold declined 9% from 2,299, but the gross increased 2.2% from $184,571,800. The average rose 12.3% from $80,284 while the median advanced 25% from $40,000.
The buy-back rate fell to 26.4% from 28.9% last year.
The Keeneland sale is scheduled to run through Sept. 26, with each session beginning at 10 a.m. (EDT).