For the second year in a row, Keeneland will not conduct its July select yearling sale, the sale company's officials announced on Friday.Keeneland first cancelled the July sale in 2003, citing the negative effects of mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS), which hit Kentucky hard in 2001. This year's announcement follows a hugely successful 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale. Its gross, the second-highest ever, exceeded the combined total for the 2002 July and September auctions."Naturally, Keeneland was reluctant to discontinue the July sale because of its importance for so many years," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales, in a prepared statement. "However, the market has dictated that it wants one sale for yearlings at Keeneland, and it's in September.
"Those buyers and sellers that have supported the July sale in the past were almost unanimous in their desire to have all yearlings sold during one sale in September," Russell continued. "At the same time, Keeneland and consignors agreed to meet annually to reconsider the possibility of returning the July sale to the schedule.""The September Sale has developed into 'the marketplace' for yearlings. Last year, days four through nine –the heart of the sale -- were all record grossing sessions, and this surge in the middle market benefited a very broad group of customers."The September yearling sale is scheduled for September 13-25. The deadline for entries is Monday, May 3.