A new group of buyers, both local and foreign, were active Sept. 21 at the 11th session of the Keeneland September yearling sale, driving substantial gains and a high clearance rate. A dark bay son of champion sprinter Orientate brought $235,000 to top the session and close the sixth catalog of the 15-day auction.
The sale company realized increases in gross, average, and median this year, due to the considerably increased number of horses sold.
For the session, Keeneland reported 289 horses sold to gross $8,332,500. The average was $28,832, and the median was $20,000.
With 61 RNAs, the buy-back rate was 17.4%, which dropped a significant 24% from last year's session rate of 22.9%.
"I don't think we've seen that in a long time," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland director of sales.
Compared to the same session one year ago, the gross increased 47.4% when the 266 horses sold brought $5,652,000. The session average of $21,248 was up 35.7% from $90,907 in 2006, and the median increased 53.8% to $80,000.
"Today was an unbelieveably strong day," said Russell. "We got a new wave of buyers in that were refreshed and (it) invigorated everyone else that was here. The pinhookers were busy, and the Latin American and Carribbean sections were very busy, so we had a new group of buyers in to really refresh the total."
Cumulatively, 2,850 horses have been sold for 371,887,100, an average of $130,487, and a median of $67,000. Gross is down 5% and average is down 4.7% from last year, while the median has risen 11.7%. At this point in the sale a year ago, 2,867 horses had been sold for $391,359,000, an average of $136,505, and a median of $60,000.
The cumulative buy-back rate was 23.4%, an increase of 5.4% from last year's 22.2%.
Tim Ritchey, agent, acquired the session-topping Orientate colt out of the Java Gold mare Java Star. Ritchey, trainer of 2005 champion 3-year-old colt Afleet Alex, bought the Orientate colt from the consignment of Graham Beck's Gainesway, agent.
The colt is a half-brother to the multiple stakes winning Sky Classic filly La Recherche, an earner of $384,406.
A daughter of Petionville became the top-priced filly of the day when Taylor Stables bought her for $180,000 from the consignment of Pope McLean's Crestwood Farm, agent.
Out of the Unbridled mare Untangled, the bay filly is a full sister to stakes winner Political Web, and a half-sister to Panamanian champion Full (by Victory Speech), plus the stakes-placed Cozzene gelding Cozzen Vinny.
Keeneland’s September yearling sale continues through Sept. 25. Sessions begin at 10 a.m. daily.