Keeneland concluded Week 1 of its 80th September Yearling Sale on Thursday with a session highlighted by steady trade among a number of major buyers and the sale of colts by Curlin for $1.1 million and by Not This Time for $1.05 million. Cumulative gross sales for the first four days of the auction, when 30 yearlings sold for seven figures, reached $234 million, down slightly from the same period last year, while the average and median prices posted increases.
Week 1 featured Books 1 and 2, with more than 1,100 horses, among the sale’s finest individuals based on pedigree and conformation, in the catalog. The format was designed to offer the largest number of exceptional horses possible to major domestic and foreign buyers before the sale takes a one-day hiatus on Friday, Sept. 15.
During that span, Keeneland sold 637 horses through the ring for a total of $234,300,000, for an average of $367,818 and a median of $300,000. Compared to Week 1 of 2022, the gross dipped 1.14 percent, while the average was up 3.83 percent from $354,245 and the median climbed 9.09 percent from $275,000.
The 30 million-dollar horses equals the number sold last year and is the highest for the September Sale since 2007.
On Thursday, Keeneland sold 207 yearlings for $53,351,000, down 5.8 percent from $56,635,000 for the corresponding session of 2022 when 230 horses sold. Average price climbed 4.67 percent from $246,239 to $257,734. The median of $200,000 was nearly equal to last year’s $202,500.
“Today was a very steady, good, healthy market,” Keeneland Vice President of Sales Tony Lacy said. “We were tracking the median all through the day, and it never moved at all. It was very, very steady. I think people were overall very happy. There was some confidence that if you brought a product that people really liked, you were going to get well rewarded. There was definitely a lot of trade going on, and there was good energy. To wrap up the first week with results that equate almost identically to last year, which was an incredible sale. We look forward to this momentum carrying through into Book 3 and hopefully into Book 4 and beyond. It gives us a lot of encouragement.”
“There was great energy and big numbers today,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Cormac Breathnach said. “RNAs were a little higher, but there is selectivity creeping into the market, though it is still a very robust and healthy market with a lot of good trade and domestic interest. We had a treasure trove of $500,000 and above purchases again today. It is a great way to end the week going into the Dark Day on Friday when everyone reloads. And there are a lot of people here who haven’t had their hands up yet, so we are looking forward to the weekend and beyond.”
For an undisclosed buyer, Lauren Carlisle, agent, paid $1.1 million for a colt by Curlin out of Grade 2 winner Miss Sunset, by Into Mischief. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, consigned the colt, who is from the family of Grade 2 winner Prayer for Relief.
“He looks really fast and hopefully he proves that,” Carlisle said. “He has a really good walk and looks very athletic. We’re looking for a nice two-turn colt, and hopefully he can be that horse. I was worried that the price would be that high; I did not want it to be, but that is how it is right now.”
“Very well-balanced colt,” Taylor Made President and CEO Mark Taylor said, “and the main thing was he was very athletic, he has good angles and (is) put together. But when you see him walk, he just barely hits the ground; he just kind of floated. Very nice horse bred by Breeze Easy, which is Mike Hall and his late partner, Sam Ross. So it was a nice tribute to their program. (The colt) was well prepped coming into the sale, and really we had the easy part. We just had to show him for a couple days and let him do his thing. We’re very happy with the result.”
West Point Thoroughbreds and Talla, LEB, agent, spent $1.05 million for a colt by Not This Time from the family of Grade 2 winner Cowtown Cat and Grade/Group 3 winners Crafty But Sweet and So Perfect. St George Sales, agent, consigned the colt, who is out of winner Foreign Affair, by Exchange Rate.
“I thought he was just a dude,” West Point’s Terry Finley said. “He walked around the back ring like he owned it. He had that presence about him. When I looked at him, he was like ‘Hey, I’m the man.’
Finley said the colt would be trained on the West Coast by John Sadler.
“Mike Talla is the lead partner,” Finley said. “John Sadler loved him. He just got here a day and a half ago, and this is one he put on the top of his list. We’re excited. It is the power of the partnership. We think he is a really, really good prospect. We are almost done (buying), but we will be back Saturday and Sunday.”
Consignor Archie St George said the colt “is very nice and athletic and I hope he goes on and is a runner. He was raised at a very good farm in Audley (in Virginia). I would like to thank Terry Finley, trainer John Sadler and everyone else involved. We couldn’t do this without the buyers.”
A son of Omaha Beach who is from the family of champion Nest, winner of the 2023 Shuvee (G2), sold to Jim and Dana Bernhard’s Pin Oak Stud for $950,000. Burleson Farms, agent, consigned the colt, who is out of the Tapit mare Infraction. His family also includes Grade 1 winner Idol and Grade 2 winner Andujar.
“Obviously Omaha Beach is off to a great start at stud with his first crop,” Pin Oak adviser Matt Weinmann said. “I thought he was a beautiful colt. If he’s the real deal, he’s a nice stallion prospect.”
“All through the summer he was immature, and he just came on in the last 60 days,” Lyn Burleson said. “He was stunning here at the sale. He passed all the tests and just held up to the scrutiny of the showing, which made him stand out. All the right people were on this horse, which is why he brought so much. He was a lovely horse.”
Pin Oak Stud was the session’s leading buyer by purchasing five yearlings for $2.45 million.
CHC Inc./Qatar Racing spent $875,000 to acquire a colt from the first crop of Authentic who is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Royal Charlotte. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent for Stonestreet Bred & Raised, consigned the colt, who is out of the winning Harlan’s Holiday mare Sass and Class. He is from the family of Grade 2 winner Buy the Barrel and Grade 3 winner Mauk Four.
“Beautiful colt, best Authentic I think we’ve seen,” buyer Fergus Galvin said. “Gorgeous horse, a half to a very good filly.”
Mayberry Farm spent $850,000 on a colt by Candy Ride (ARG) who is from the family of Grade 1 winners Dunbar Road, Secret Status and Fair Maiden. Out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Una Mac Cool, he was consigned by Mt. Brilliant Farm, agent.
Spendthrift Farm paid $800,000 for a filly from the first crop of Authentic who is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner General Jim. Consigned by Indian Creek, agent, she is out of the winning Curlin mare Inspired by Grace and from the family of Grade 1 winner Off the Tracks, Grade 2 winner Concord Point and Grade 3 winner Tasha’s Miracle.
“(She has) a wonderful pedigree, a wonderful physical,” Spendthrift General Manager Ned Toffey said. “That’s the kind of filly we’re trying to add: fillies with some pedigree, the kind you wouldn’t mind having around whether they run or not, but she’s got the potential to be a wonderful racehorse.”
“We were hopeful she would go north of a half million,” Sarah Sutherland of Indian Creek said. “Anytime you get in that range, it feels pretty darn good. We’re delighted. She’s a beautiful filly. There is a lot of Into Mischief in her coming through Authentic in a similar way we saw with her three-quarter brother General Jim. She’s a very smooth, elegant filly and she’s young, a May foal. She has done nothing but improve week by week by week. There is a lot of upside with this filly.”
Four yearlings sold for $700,000 each.
Mayberry Farm paid the amount for a colt by Authentic who is a half-brother to Japan Group 3 winner Shivaji and stakes winner and Grade 1-placed Tarabi. Hinkle Farms consigned the colt, who is out of Indian Bay, by Indian Charlie, and from the family of Grade 2 winner Buy the Barrel.
“We were very pleased with the result,” consignor Henry Hinkle said. “It exceeded our expectations. He was a popular colt ever since he got here, even though he was a May 26 foal. He had a lot of people on him. He’s grown into himself and he was really well received. We’re delighted with the connections that bought him because we know he will have every possible opportunity.”
Green Lantern Stables/Patrick Masson purchased a filly by Curlin from the family of Grade 1 winner A. P. Indian, Grade 2 winner Tiz Shea D and Grade 3 winner Doctor Mounty for $700,000. Consigned by Hidden Brook, agent for Woodslane Farm, she is out of the winning Malibu Moon mare Prospector’s Moon.
A filly by Munnings who is a half-sister to recent Runhappy Del Mar Futurity (G1) winner and undefeated Prince of Monaco sold for $700,000 to West Bloodstock, agent for Robert and Lawana Low. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent for Stonestreet Bred & Raised, she is out of Rainier, by Medaglia d’Oro, and from the family of Grade 1 winner Adieu, Grade 3 winners Direct Line and Rapport along with stakes winners Laurie’s Rocket, Greeley’s Rocket and Necker Island.
The fourth yearling to sell for $700,000 was a colt by Nyquist out of Grade 1 winner Romantic Vision, by Lemon Drop Kid, purchased by The Three Amigos. Warrendale Sales, agent, consigned the colt, who is from the family of Grade 1 winner Clear Mandate and Grade 2 winner Dream Scheme.
With sales of $6.7 million for 30 horses, Paramount Sales was the leading consignor.
Friday is a Dark Day at the September Sale, when no horses will be sold. The auction will resume with the Book 3 catalog on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 10 a.m. ET and continue daily through Sept. 23.
The entire September Sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.