Closing-day first post moved to 12:30 p.m.; April Sale to begin at 6:30 p.m.
Keeneland today announced it will hold the April Horses of Racing Age Sale following the final race on Friday, April 29, closing day of the Spring Meet. Post time for the first race will move from 1 p.m. ET to 12:30 p.m. to accommodate 10 races, led by the featured $300,000 Bewitch (G3). The last race will go off at approximately 5:09 p.m., and the April Sale will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Entry deadline for the print version of the April Sale catalog is April 1. Supplemental entries will be accepted until the sale.
“Keeneland is excited for this opportunity to bridge racing and sales and capitalize on the energy of the Spring Meet,” Keeneland Vice President of Sales Tony Lacy said. “By hosting the April Sale on a race day, we will introduce some race fans to the sales arena and hopefully develop new participants over time. We also can showcase the sale before industry focus moves to Louisville and Kentucky Derby Week.”
As in 2021, the April Sale will be conducted as an integrated event, with live auctioneers at Keeneland and horses presented for sale both physically at Keeneland as well as at off-site locations, at the option of the sellers and consignors. Internet and phone bidding will be available to buyers.
“Keeneland is unique in its role as both a race track and sales company, and we want to continue to strengthen the synergy between those two operations,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing Gatewood Bell said. “The timing of the April Sale enables trainers to make adjustments to their racing stables as they move to their summer bases.”
Keeneland will award a record $7.7 million for 19 stakes to be run during the Spring Meet, to be held April 8-29. The schedule features increased purses for all stakes and significant changes to the season’s two historic classic preps: The purse of the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) for 3-year-olds on the first Saturday of the season has been restored to $1 million, and the Central Bank Ashland (G1) for 3-year-old fillies has moved to opening day of the meet and is worth a record $600,000. They are among nine stakes slated to attract the top 3-year-olds in the country. Prominent stakes for older horses are the $600,000 Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) at one mile on the grass; $500,000 Madison (G1) at 7 furlongs and $500,000 Jenny Wiley (G1) at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
Notable recent graduates of the April Sale include Grade 1 winners and millionaires Higher Power and Roy H.
Keeneland’s 2022 September Yearling Sale is slated to start Monday, Sept. 12. The November Breeding Stock Sale begins Monday, Nov. 7, immediately following the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland on Nov. 4-5.