Keeneland Catalogues 4,294 Yearlings for September Sale

Many people thought that the catalogue for the Keeneland September yearling sale would be down significantly in size because of mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS). But the number is very close to last year's figure. The 4,294 horses listed represent a decline of only 1.7% from the 2002 total of 4,367.

"I'm very happy, but also very surprised by the fact we are down by only 73 horses," said Geoffrey Russell, Keenland's director of sales. "I think MRLS had an impact; it was devastating for some breeders. But other people stepped in and helped fill the void. I haven't checked the numbers yet, but we may have more horses from out of state. We were in contact with people from out of state more this year than we usually are. There are also some people selling horses who don't normally sell yearlings. They saw an opportunity to take advantage of the situation."

The sale will have 12 sessions (the same number as in 2002) and is scheduled for Sept. 8-20, with a one-day break on Sept. 12.

"The quality we have is fantastic," Russell said. "It's not just on the front end (during the two select sessions); we have quality throughout the catalogue."

There are 2,272 colts, 2018 fillies, and four geldings.

Last year in September, 2,934 horses were sold for a gross of $210,809,000, an average price of $71,850, and a median price of $30,000. The number rose 1.3% from 2002, but the gross and average declined 17.1% and 18.2% respectively. The median increased 20%.

Citing the negative effects of mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS), Keeneland officials cancelled this year's July yearling sale.