Mood Upbeat as Keeneland Juvenile Auction Approaches

Based on the results of earlier juvenile auctions, Keeneland's select sale should generate some very big numbers Tuesday in Lexington. So far, every major select sale of 2-year-olds in training in 2004 has experienced increases in gross revenue, average price, and median price. In addition, prices for individual horses have reached world record levels.

Keeneland's prospects for continuing the boom look good. The catalogue has horses by the commercially hot first-year stallions Fusaichi Pegasus, Stephen Got Even, and Chief Seattle. There also are plenty of offspring by such successful proven sires as Gone West, Saint Ballado, Touch Gold, Stravinsky, and Unbridled's Song.

"We're very pleased with our catalogue; it's one of the strongest on pedigree that we've ever put together," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales.

There also are several other reasons to be optimistic.

"The horses worked very well during the first under tack show (on April 5)," Russell said. "There were some very fast times, and the times also were very consistent. The activity in the barn area has been good, and there are considerably more requests for DVDs and videos this year than there were last year. We're just keeping our fingers crossed and looking for a good sale."

Included in the catalogue are 11 horses owned by the late Jeanne Vance that are being dispersed. Eaton Sales is the agent for the two 4-year-olds, five 3-year-olds, and four juveniles. The group includes recent winners Ecclesiastic and Inducement. Ecclesiastic, a 3-year-old son of Pulpit, broke his maiden by four lengths at Keeneland on April 2. He is a $500,000 graduate of the 2002 Keeneland September yearling sale. Inducement, a 3-year-old son of Danzig, broke his maiden by 1 1/4 lengths at Gulfstream Park on April 1. He is a $700,000 graduate of the 2002 Keeneland September auction.

The second and final under tack show for Keeneland's April sale is scheduled for Monday, starting at 10:30 p.m. (EDT). The auction begins Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. (EDT).