When Keeneland's radically reformatted September yearling sale moved into another phase with Book 2 Sept. 12, there was a predictable downturn in prices from Monday's blockbuster Book 1—but there was no drop-off in competition for the horses on offer Tuesday.
Keeneland reported 194 horses sold during the session for $48,221,000, an average price of $248,562 and a median of $200,000. From 345 cataloged for the session, there were 99 horses that did not attain their reserves, resulting in an RNA rate of 33.8%.
There was no comparable session with 2016, since this year's Book 2 consists of three long sessions through Sept. 14. Combined with the 167 offered in Book 1, a total of 1,203 yearlings are cataloged before the sale takes a one-day hiatus Sept. 15, compared with 607 during the three-day Book 1 that made up the first week of the 2016 auction.
Through two sessions, Keeneland has sold 289 yearlings for gross receipts of $102,396,000, an average price of $354,311, and a $255,000 median.
"(There was) very lively trade today," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales operations. "The whole goal in the layout of the September sale this year was to get it off on a good mark, which we did last night, and I think the enthusiasm continued very favorably today.
"We wanted to build up excitement and enthusiasm and today (we had that) all the way to the very end. The cross-section of buyers at the top end was very good, both domestically and internationally."
While there were no seven-figure transactions Sept. 12 compared with the eight sold Monday, many of the same participants who helped boost Book 1 receipts to $54,175,000 were in play for Book 2's opener, including Sheikh Hamdan's Shadwell Estate Company, Kerri Radcliffe, Coolmore's M.V. Magnier, Godolphin, and Peter Brant's White Birch Farm, among others.
The session-topper, a son from the last crop of deceased stallion Scat Daddy, seventh on the 2017 leading sires list, was purchased by Kerri Radcliffe for $950,000 on behalf of Phoenix Thoroughbreds. Consigned by Gainesway as Hip 506, the colt is the first foal out of the stakes-placed Mr. Greeley mare Miss Lamour, a daughter of the multiple grade 3-winning Storm Cat mare Batique. He was bred in Kentucky by the Helen K. Groves Revocable Trust.
"I was waiting all week to find a Scat Daddy colt that I loved; I saw him and had to have him," Radcliffe said. "He's a beautiful horse. He's got gaskins upon gaskins. He actually reminded me a lot of (Scat Daddy's group 2 winning filly) Acapulco. I hope he's as good as she was at Ascot."
"He looks the part—fast, early," said Gainesway's Michael Hernon. "He is a beautiful horse. He was so composed—classy. He is a special horse. This is why you breed them. Scat Daddy has had a great year and this is the end of them, unfortunately. I thought that was a good price for him, but he might look inexpensive next year. I think he will be a really good 2-year-old."
Just minutes before buying the Scat Daddy colt, Radcliffe partnered with Three Chimneys Farm to take home a son of second-leading first crop sire Violence for $850,000, the day's third-highest priced yearling. Violence, a grade 1-winning son of Medgalia d'Oro, stands at Hill 'n' Dale, where he has stood for a $15,000 fee since 2014.
Produced from the stakes-winning Unbridled's Song mare Melody Lady, the colt is a full brother to Buy Sell Hold, one of three stakes winners to represent Violence in his first crop to race. Consigned as Hip 489 by Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency, the colt was bred in Kentucky by Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings and Stretch Run Ventures.
"He looks fast and racey," Radcliffe said. "He's everything you want in a horse. He was such a beautiful individual we did expect to pay a lot for him. He is so athletic-looking. He looks like a racehorse."
"He was a lovely horse, a beautiful mover, and the best horse on the farm," said Hill 'n' Dale owner John Sikura. "He showed himself well and is full of class."
The colt was the second big-ticket Violence yearling sold during the session. Earlier in the day, a Violence colt out of the Harlan's Holiday mare Holiday Bertie who had been acquired for $70,000 as a weanling was bought by Oussama Aboughazale's International Equities Holding for $725,000 from the Warrendale Sales consignment.
The day's second-highest price of $900,000 was paid by Shadwell for a colt from the first crop of Airdrie Stud's sire Cairo Prince . Consigned as Hip 391, the colt who is a half brother to grade 1 winner Sam's Sister was bred by Airdrie owner Brereton Jones and consigned by Jones and Airdrie.
He is out of Kittery Point, a winning daughter of Include . The extended family includes grade 1 winners Sweet Talker, Include Me Out, and Check the Label.
"This is one that has been a star from the start and one of the ones that get you excited," said Airdrie's Bret Jones. "He is from a (female) family that is the best family we have. It was a very competitive bidding duel."
A son of Pioneerof the Nile , Cairo Prince won the Nashua Stakes (G2) at 2 and the Holy Bull Stakes (G2) at 3. He stood for $15,000 this year and was priced at $10,000 in 2015 when the current yearling crop was conceived.
The Keeneland sale continues Sept. 13, with a session that begins at 11 a.m. ET.
With additional reporting by Alicia Hughes