Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale resumed Wednesday, the first session of the two-day Book 2 catalog, featuring strong participation from a mix of foreign and domestic buyers and the sale of an Uncle Mo colt from the family of Grade 1 winner and sire Twirling Candy for $950,000 to Mayberry Farm.
During today’s session, 185 yearlings grossed $40,861,000, for an average of $220,870 and a median of $180,000. Through the first three sessions of the auction, Keeneland has sold 394 yearlings for $126,076,000, for an average of $319,990 and a median of $250,000.
Book 1 spanned three days in 2019, with Book 2 beginning on Day 4 of the sale. For that reason, comparisons to last year’s corresponding session are not available.
“In a time where there was such uncertainty about how much international participation there would be, we’re really happy with it,” Keeneland President-Elect and Interim Head of Sales Shannon Arvin said. “We’ve seen a very diverse base of buyers, and they’re participating in different ways. We continue to have a lot of activity on the Internet – today the most of any day so far with 150 bids and six horses sold.”
During last year’s first session of Book 2, 16 horses brought $500,000 or more. Today, 12 horses reached that mark.
“Given the year of COVID, I think that’s a strong statistic,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell said. “Last year was a surreal market, one of the strongest September Sales we have had in long time. The whole feel of the market was very strong last year. To replicate that even in a normal year would have been difficult. So for what we are doing at the moment in an unusual year, we are very appreciative of our sellers and our buyers who are here to make this market.”
The session topper, who was bred by Three Chimneys Farm, is out of the Smart Strike mare Bella Rafaela, a half-sister to the aforementioned Twirling Candy as well as to Grade 2 winner Ethnic Dance and Grade 3 winner Dubai Sky.
“He was a really nice colt and, in what has proven to be a pretty selective market, it’s great to see him jump through all of the hoops and do well,” Three Chimneys COO Chris Baker said. “He’s in good hands to do well, so we are excited about that.”
David Ingordo signed the ticket for the colt.
“I saw this horse at Three Chimneys Farm a few weeks before the sale,” Ingordo said. “He is one of the best prospects I saw and I probably looked at fifteen-hundred (yearlings) on the farms before the sale. He was my personal top pick. We have Twirling Candy (at Lane’s End, where Ingordo is bloodstock agent), and he looks like the family. This is the horse we wanted to have.
“If you bring a good horse up here and it jumps through the hoops, you get rewarded,” Ingordo added. “We have found it very competitive to buy horses. We try to buy the best horse, and we have our price in mind. We know we have to stretch for the better ones. My clients are usually their own entities. So it is one person’s finances, in some instances, against many people’s finances.
“The hardest thing is adjusting to the partnerships (that bid against us). When you are bidding for one person against an entity that is many headed and many ‘walleted’, we have to figure out how to adjust.”
Among Mayberry’s other purchases today was a $775,000 colt from the first crop of Gun Runner out of Grade 1-placed Sweet Shirley Mae, by Broken Vow. Consigned by Baccari Bloodstock, the colt is a half-brother to stakes winner Mae Never No (IRE).
Mayberry was the session’s leading buyer, spending $2,385,000 on five horses.
The session-topping Uncle Mo colt was consigned by Gainesway, agent, which sold 20 yearlings for $6,755,000 to lead all sellers on Wednesday. The farm also consigned a colt by Into Mischief who sold to West Bloodstock, agent for Repole Stables and St. Elias Stable, for the session’s co-second highest price of $875,000. The colt is out of the Tiznow mare Mimi’s Tiz, a full sister to stakes winner Summer House and from the family of Grade 3 winner Custom for Carlos.
Additionally, Gainesway, agent, sold the session’s top-priced filly, a daughter of Tapit to Whisper Hill Farm for $500,000. Out of the Forestry mare, Redwood Dancer, the filly is a half-sister to Australian stakes winner The Virginian and is from the family of champion and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner Flanders.
“I just feel fortunate that we’re here and have the opportunity to sell horses,” Gainesway General Manager Brian Graves said. “Keeneland has done a good job to make it work. My hat is off to Keeneland for making it easy for people to bid in every way. I think that is really necessary this year. There are people at home all over the world and Keeneland has made it easy for them to conduct business and that is fantastic.
“I can’t say we expected to be leading consignor,” Graves added. “We’ll take it gladly.”
Demi O’Byrne went to $875,000 to acquire a colt by Into Mischief out of the Divine Park mare Divine Heart, a half-sister to Grade 1 winners Include Me Out and Check the Label. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent for Watercress Farm, consigned the colt.
A colt by Quality Road out of Revel in the Win, by Red Bullet, fetched $870,000 from B-4 Farms. Consigned by Summerfield, agent for Stonestreet Bred & Raised, the colt is a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Poker Player and stakes-placed Coleman Rocky and War Treaty.
Shadwell Estate Company Ltd. purchased two of the day’s top-priced horses, paying $800,000 for a Speightstown colt who is a full brother to stakes winner and Grade 1-placed Dawn the Destroyer and was consigned by Elm Tree Farm, agent for Stonesteet Bred & Raised. Shadwell also acquired a colt by Into Mischief for $700,000. Consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, he is a full brother to the Grade 2-placed filly Classy Act. Out of the Distorted Humor mare Acting Class, the colt is from the family of champion and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Tempera.
Donato Lanni, agent for SF/Starlight/Madaket, signed the ticket for a Candy Ride (ARG) colt consigned by Claiborne Farm, agent, for $760,000. He is out of the Grade 1-placed Tapit mare Draw It and is a half-brother to 2020 Rebel (G2) runner-up Excession.
A colt by Uncle Mo out of multiple graded stakes winner Kauai Katie, by Malibu Moon, brought a bid of $700,000 from M.V. Magnier. He was consigned by Denali Stud, agent for Stonestreet Bred & Raised.
The September Sale continues Thursday with the second of the two-day Book 2 that begins at 10 a.m. ET.
TVG2 will have a live broadcast of Thursday’s session. The entire September Sale, which runs through Sept. 25, also is being shown on the Watch TVG app, which is available on Amazon Fire, Roku and connected Apple TV devices. The Watch TVG App also features TVG, TVG2, Racebook, race track feeds and more.
The entire sale also is being is streamed live at Keeneland.com.