Anne M. Eberhardt

Brisk But Lower Trading at Keeneland

The yearling market continues its slump but trading was brisk on Sept. 19.

Kentucky bloodstock agent Mike Ryan was active during the Sept. 19 session of the Keeneland September Yearling sale, having purchased four of the top five highest-priced horses of the day.

Ryan’s top purchase was a $475,000 Bernstein colt, out of the unraced Stravinsky mare Life Happened. The colt is from the family of graded stakes winners Miss Slewpy and Disco Rico and was consigned by Moreau Bloodstock International Inc.

“This colt is a really nice individual. Our inspection team loved him when they saw him in Florida,” said Keeneland director of sales Geoffrey Russell. “We felt this was the right session to showcase him in, and we are delighted with the sale.”

For complete results from this sale, including Hip-by-Hips and cumulative sale results, click here.

In all, Ryan bought 11 horses during the fifth session of the sale for a total of $2,420,000. His other top purchases included two $350,000 colts — one colt by Afleet Alex , out of Meadowlake mare Swift Princess, and from the family of stakes winners Swift and Classy and Gold Wonder; the second colt by Stormy Atlantic , out of an Unbridled's Song daughter named Underworld. The Afleet Alex colt was consigned by Dromoland Farm as agent, while the Stormy Atlantic colt was offered by Peter O’Callaghan’s Woods Edge Farm as agent.

John C. Oxley bid $330,000, the day’s fourth-highest price, for a filly by Tapit  out of Mayan Milagra, by Menifee, consigned by Moonestone Sales, agent. Rounding out the top five was a $320,000 colt by Tiznow , out of the Wild Rush daughter and stakes winner Tingwithasting. The colt was consigned by Woods Edge Farm as agent.

The session overall provided more overall declines. Keeneland sold 238 horses for gross receipts of $18,439,500, a decrease of 39.89% from 2008 when 280 horses brought $30,677,000. The average of $77,477 was down 29.28% from last year’s $109,561, while the median of $60,000 was down 33.33% compared to $90,000 in 2008. The buy-back rate for the day was 33.5%.

“Today was a good session,” Russell said. “There was some excitement, some spirited bidding and some significant returns on pinhooks. There is great interest in horses, but at a lower dollar amount.”

Through day five of the 14-day sale, Keeneland has sold 15.7% fewer horses (941) to date than it did to this point of the 2008 sale (1,117 horses). Gross sales are currently $136,099,000, down 42.18% from last year’s $235,375,700. The average of $144,632 decreased 31.36% from $210,721 at this point in the sale a year ago. The median of $100,000 is down 33.33% from $150,000 in 2008.

The September Sale continues through Monday, September 28; sessions begin daily at 10 a.m.