Keeneland September Sale Ends With Record-Setting Flourish

Keeneland's September yearling auction galloped across the finish line Monday afternoon in Lexington still ahead of last year's hot pace after 14 sessions.

The sale set a world Thoroughbred auction record for gross revenue for the third year in a row while upping its own mark for average price for the fourth consecutive year. The median price also set a sale record for the fourth straight year after equaling what then was the record in 2002.

"We've very, very happy," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales. "It was a spectacular sale from start to finish. Book one (in the set of the sale's catalogues) set the tone, and it (the positive momentum) continued all the way through. We had a very deep middle market, which we had anticipated. It was proven yet again that Keeneland truly is a global marketplace. We had Russians, Swedes, Peruvians, and Koreans -- a very broad cross-section of foreign buyers.

The number of horses sold rose from 3,545 last year - believed to be a world Thoroughbred auction record - to a new peak of 3,556 this year. The gross revenue increased 4.0%, from $384,349,900 to $399,791,800. The average grew 3.7%, from $108,420 to $112,427. And the median advanced 12.5%, from $40,000 to $45,000.

The buy-back rate was 22.0% this year compared to 21.4% in 2005.

A Kingmambo -- Crown of Crimson colt established a September sale record when he sold for $11.7 million.

During Monday's final session, the 180 horses sold grossed $1,466,300. Their average was $8,146, and their median was $4,600. Last year, during the final session, 154 horses were sold for a gross of $1,325,300, an average of $8,606, and a median of $5,850.