Saying he did not want to be the man who killed the Keeneland July yearling sale, Geoffery Russell, Keeneland director of sales, said the decision to put the annual summer auction on a one-year hiatus was a difficult one. Russell, and Tom Thornbury, assistant director of sales, addressed the February meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club on Tuesday night.
"Due to the effects of MRLS (mare reproductive loss syndrome) the available number of yearlings and mature yearlings were just not here," Russell said. "We look forward to bringing it back next year at full strength."
Russell said all focus should be on moving the September sale forward. The September sale will have two closing dates, March 3 and May 1, so attention can be placed on moving horses into the select sessions.
"If we need four days of select sessions, then we will have four days of select sessions. However, according to information we have received from The Jockey Club, the September sale will also see smaller numbers, but we are here for you guys." Russell said.
Russell and Thornbury also welcomed all consignors and buyers with input in how to better the 2004 July sale to stop by the Keeneland offices for discussions.
"We only set the stage. The buyers and consignors produce the show," Russell said.