Anne M. Eberhardt

Halftime No Relief at Keeneland Sale

Prices continue slump through Day 7.

Keeneland’s September yearling sale reached the halfway point following its Sept. 21 session, but don’t expect any marching bands or cheerleaders.

In another sobering session, Keeneland sold 277 horses for a gross of $11,091,800, a dip of 41.2% from a year ago when 284 yearlings sold for $18,864,700. The session’s average of $40,043 marked a 39.7% fall from 2008’s $66,425, while the median of $27,000 slipped 46% compared to $50,000 last year.

In the Sept. 21 session, the connections of a dual Classic winner attempted to catch lightning in a bottle twice. Trainer Tim Ritchey, on behalf of Chuck Zacney’s CJZ Stable, went to $300,000 to buy an Afleet Alex  colt, topping the day’s action. Ritchey trained champion Afleet Alex to wins in the 2005 Preakness and Belmont Stakes (both gr. I). The colt was owned by Cash Is King Stable, for whom Zacney was the managing partner.

The colt purchased by Zacney and Ritchey is out of the unraced Unbridled mare Catch the Moment, and is from the family of Epsom Derby (Eng-I) winner Secreto and multiple stakes winner Sealaunch. He was bought from the consignment of Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.

California-based conditioner Bruce Headley purchased the second-highest-priced lot when he went to $240,000 for a colt by Out of Place consigned by Threave Main Stud, agent. The colt is a full brother to Tremont Stakes victor Out of Gwedda. I.B.S. paid $210,000 for a Rock Hard Ten colt out of stakes winner Beau Watch consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.

A half-sister to stakes winner Frankiefourfingers, by Tapit , was the highest priced filly on the day when George Weaver, agent, big $185,000 for her. She was consigned by Baccari Bloodstock, and is out of the stakes-winning Citidancer mare Citi Sounds.

At the mid-point of the 14-day sale, Keeneland has sold 1,473 horses for $162,033,800, down 42.1% from last year’s $281,336,900, when 1,697 horses found new homes. The average of $110,003 slipped 33.6% from $165,785 a year ago. The median of $65,000 fell 35% from 2008’s $100,000.

The September sale continues through Monday, Sept. 28; sessions begin daily at 10 a.m. The sale is streamed live at