Brisk commerce was the hallmark of business on the third day of Keeneland's September yearling sale Sept. 13, where spirited bidding among the industry's major buyers drove prices upward.
Led by the $1.1 million paid by Coolmore's M. V. Magnier for a colt from the final crop of Scat Daddy, the number of seven-figure horses sold during the sale's first three days rose to 11. The session topper was one of three yearlings that brought $1 million or more Wednesday.
Scat Daddy, who died unexpectedly in 2015, stood at Coolmore's Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky. The international success of his progeny has made his yearlings highly sought after at this year's September sale. A Scat Daddy yearling also topped the Tuesday session of the sale, when a colt sold to Kerri Radcliffe Bloodstock for $950,000.
Today's session-topper, the first foal out of the Tapit mare Orchard Beach, is an Ontario-bred consigned by his breeder, Anderson Farms.
"I'm more than thrilled—I mean this is over the top," Anderson Farm's David Anderson said. "It's my first million-dollar horse, and I couldn't ask for a better home for him. I just hope he goes on and does well for the connections. He's going to one of the greatest trainers in the world (Aidan O'Brien).
"As the momentum built on the last day, a lot of the proper players in the game were looking at the horse," Anderson added. "I felt like the stars were aligned for a big price, I just didn't know how much. (Scat Daddy) has been very good to me, and I got on the bandwagon late. He's just been a tremendous sire and I think it's evident with the prices of his yearlings."
"He's very lovely. Looks like he's going to be a fast horse—very good mover. He's all quality," Magnier said about the colt. "Mr. Anderson said he was the best horse he ever had on the farm, so let's hope he's right. It's a lot of money for a horse. But he's by the right sire that everybody wants, so I suppose he was entitled to it."
Magnier partnered with Peter Brant's White Birch Farm to purchase a colt by Quality Road for $1 million. Trainer Chad Brown signed the ticket for the colt, a full brother to multiple grade 2 winner Blofeld. Out of the stakes-winning Storm Cat mare Storm Minstrel, he was consigned by Indian Creek, agent.
"We thought he was one of the nicest colts all week that we saw, and then we were happy to get him," Brown said. "He's got a good pedigree. He's everything we're looking for."
"Really nice horse, extremely well received," Shack Parrish of Indian Creek said. "Today he really did everything right. I'd say (the price was) above what we were expecting—exceeded the reserve by a considerable amount."
After bidding against each other for horses, Kerri Radcliffe and Eric Fein teamed up to pay $1 million for a colt by Orb consigned by Dromoland Farm, agent.
On Wednesday, Keeneland reported 194 yearlings were sold for a total of $47,018,000, an average of $242,361 and a median of $180,000. With 346 head cataloged in the third session, 97 horses did not meet their reserves and the RNA rate was 33.3%. There was no comparable session with 2016, since this year's Book 2 consists of three long sessions through Sept. 14. Cumulatively, for the first three sessions, a total of 483 horses have sold for $149,414,000, for an average of $309,346 and a median of $220,000.
"A very good day," Keeneland director of sales operations Geoffrey Russell said. "Book 2 started off strong on Tuesday and continued through today. Having three million-dollar horses was a great bonus. The sires—Scat Daddy, Quality Road, and Orb—are good North American stock but were bought by an international market.
"The new format (a single Book 1 session followed by a three-day Book 2) is doing what we wanted it to do. It continues to show the results we expected. Buyers have been very engaged all the way through and prices have been very good."
The leading buyer Wednesday was agent Mike Ryan. He purchased eight yearlings for $2,575,000.
Lane's End was the leading consignor with sales of $4,345,000 for 19 yearlings.
The September sale continues Thursday with the third and final Book 2 session that begins at 11 a.m. ET.
2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Day 3
|Hip||Sex, Sire–Dam||Sale Price|
|578||c, Scat Daddy–Orchard Beach
Buyer: M.V. Magnier
Consignor: Anderson Farms
|804||c, Quality Road–Storm Minstrel
Buyer: White Birch Farm & M.V. Magnier
Consignor: Indian Creek
|844||c, Orb–Tally Ho Dixie
Buyer: Kerri Radcliffe Bloodstock & Eric Fein
Consignor: Dromoland Farm
|564||c, Will Take Charge–Oblige
Buyer: Willis Horton Racing
Consignor: Elm Tree Farm
|672||f, Pioneerof the Nile–R Gypsy Gold
Buyer: Ruis Racing
Consignor: Four Star Sales
|790||c, War Front–Stanwyck
Buyer: Shadwell Estate Co.
Consignor: Claiborne Farm
Buyer: Juddmonte Farms
Consignor: Summerfield, agent for Stonestreet Bred & Raised
Buyer: Shadwell Estate Co.
|514||f, Scat Daddy–Misty Lady (ARG)
Buyer: Wesley Ward
Consignor: Elm Tree Farm, agent for Stonestreet Bred & Raised
|638||c, Orb–Pure Indy
Consignor: Lakland Farm