Gross sales for Keeneland September yearling sale exceeded $300 million for the first time since 2008, when Hip 3313 (an Afleet Alex colt) sold for $16,000 during the Sept. 21 session of the 12-day auction.
Thursday 's 10th session marked the final day of Book 5, with 255 yearlings sold for a total of $6,557,100, an average of $25,714 and a median of $15,000. The 58 head that did not sell represented an RNA rate of 18.5% and brought the sale total to 832 (26.9%) unsold.
With two sessions left in the sale, 2,261 yearlings have grossed $304,265,700, for an average of $134,571 and a median of $75,000.
Through 10 sessions a year ago, before the sales company changed the format, there were 2,215 yearlings sold for gross receipts of $266,614,200, an average price of $120,388 and a median of $65,000.
Waves Bloodstock acquired the most expensive horse Thursday, when it paid $180,000 for Hip 3499, a colt by Violence .
The sale of the colt marked a successful return to the sale's arena for Duncan and DeeDee Lloyd, who consigned the colt under the banner of their Village View Farm.
The chestnut colt is out of the winning City Zip mare All About Allison, who the Lloyds bought for $1,000 at the 2012 Keeneland January mixed sale. She went on to earn $103,141.
Gabriel Duignan, who signed the ticket on behalf of Waves Bloodstock—a pinhooking partnership that includes Ciaran Dunne of Wavertree Stables—said Violence was a big drawing card.
"Violence looks like he's going to be a hell of a sire and he's sold well this week," Duignan said. "That was part of the attraction."
All About Allison is one of two mares the Lloyds maintain at their 75-acre farm near Versailles, Ky.
Duncan Lloyd said he went to see Violence for a possible mating with another mare, but when he saw that the Hill 'n' Dale Farm stallion was built and looked like All About Allison, the decision was made to breed her to the stallion.
"I really loved watching him race and his turn of foot," Lloyd said of Violence, this year's second-leading first-crop sire. "I went to look at him for my other mare and he and All About Allison looked like brother and sister."
The Lloyds previously consigned under the Village View name but were away from the sale scene for some 15 years, preferring to race the horses they bred, with Duncan Lloyd training some of them.
They decided to re-enter the sales arena with the Violence colt.
"He was such a nice colt I decided to sell him myself," Duncan Lloyd said.
The day's second-highest seller was a colt from the first crop of Fed Biz sold to Superfine Farms for $160,000. Consigned by Stuart Morris, agent, the colt is out of the Congrats mare Virtuously and from the family of Canadian champion Larkwhistle.
Ben Glass, agent, was the leading buyer Thursday. He paid $270,000 for two horses.
Warrendale Sales, agent, was top consignor, selling 16 yearlings for $581,000.