Keeneland Prepares for First Internet Auction

Through Friday, almost 50 buyers had registered with Keeneland for its new Internet auction system, which will be used for the first time Sept. 15-16. The first sale will involved horses that fail to meet their reserve prices during the Keeneland September yearling sale, which begins Sept. 11.

"I've never seen a software rollout go as smoothly as this one did," Keeneland president Nick Nicholson said.

The Internet auction system was developed by Keeneland in partnership with The Jockey Club Information Systems. After the first sale (horses will be posted Sept. 15, and sold the following day), others will follow Sept. 19-20, and Sept. 24-25.

Consignors will inform Keeneland as to which horses they want sold through the online auction. Obviously, the participation level hinges on the number of RNAs.

The auction site is accessible through Keeneland's Web site ( Buyers and agents for buyers can register and establish credit online. Anyone who isn't registered to bid can track the process online.

"From a staff standpoint, we recognize it's a first-time effort, so we're trying to stay calm and relaxed," Nicholson said. "We'll certainly listen to buyers and consignors (for their thoughts on the process)."