Keeneland sold 2,933 horses for $210,802,500 during the 12-day September Yearling Sale, which ended on Saturday.It was the fourth highest total in the history of the auction but down from $254,190,600 for 2,895 horses sold during last year's sale. The 2001 sale was interrupted one day by the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.This year's average was $71,873 and the median was $30,000 compared to $87,803 and $25,000, respectively, a year ago. The number of horses, 906, which failed to reach their reserve bid was down significantly from 1,108 in 2001."There was an obvious adjustment in the market," said Keeneland's Director of Sales, Geoffrey Russell. "At the highest level there was less competition for horses. Conversely, bidding was very competitive in other segments of the market, all the way to the end of the sale."Keeneland sold 15 horses for $1 million or more, topped by the $2.5 million paid by Demi O'Byrne on behalf of Coolmore and Michael Tabor for a chestnut colt by Storm Cat out of Clear Mandate.During the 2001 September Sale, 27 yearlings brought $1 million or more. The high price last year was $6.4 million paid by O'Byrne for a son of Storm Cat and Halory.Despite the decline in gross and average, Russell said: "There are reasons to be optimistic. From the perspective of the buyer and seller both, the sale was based on economic reality."Consignors allowed their horses to sell and buyers paid prices with a realistic opportunity for return on their investment from racetrack purses."
During Saturday's final session, Keeneland sold 154 horses for $1,268,400, an average of $8,236 and a median of $5,500. At the corresponding session a year ago, 162 horses brought $1,207,200, an average of $7,452 and a median of $5,000.Top price of the session was $45,000 paid by Stonerside Stable for a chestnut colt by Beau Genius out of Annul, by Conquistador Cielo. McKee Stables, Inc. sold the half brother to stakes-placed Brief Bliss.