Vibrant trade during Tuesday’s second session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale fueled increases in gross and average price, which were boosted by the sale of 15 horses for $1 million or more. The partnership of Sonson, Woodford, West Point, LEB, agent, spent $3 million, the highest price paid at the auction since 2019, for a colt by Into Mischief who is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner and sire Outwork and from the family of recent Saratoga juvenile winner Fierceness. He was consigned by Lane’s End, agent.
Keeneland sold eight million-dollar horses Monday. The 15 horses who reached that mark today – increasing the total number to 23 – are the most for the second session of the September Sale since 2007. The momentum carried throughout the entire session as the first horse through the ring sold for $1.3 million and the second-to-last horse brought $1.25 million.
On Tuesday, a total of 111 yearlings sold through the ring for $61,595,000, marking an 8.89 percent increase from the second session last year, when 106 horses brought $56,565,000. The average of $554,910 was 3.99 percent higher than last year’s $533,632. The median decreased 8.11 percent from $462,500 to $425,000.
Cumulatively, 221 horses have grossed $116,925,000, for an average of $529,072 and a median of $400,000. The total is up 2.87 percent from last year’s $113,660,000, while the average of $529,072 increased 2.41 percent above $516,636 in 2022. The median is 11.11% lower than last year’s $450,000.
“It was a great day,” Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said. “Lots and lots of buyers, both domestic and international. Partnerships were active. The 15 top-priced horses were bought by 13 different buyers. There also was real diversity among consignors; many of them had success today. You felt the energy and enthusiasm in the Sales Pavilion and through the barns too.”
Keeneland Vice President of Sales Tony Lacy agreed.
“The depth and diversity of the market are really encouraging,” Lacy said. “It was great to see new money still here. Japanese buyers were very active today. People are saying they are enjoying themselves again. It’s good to see people happy. Look at Elm Tree having their first (seven-figure sale) and Brian Graves (Gainesway) having a banner Book 1. For Mandy Pope (breeder Whisper Hill Farm), her success at this sale is a testament to her breeding program.
“The average is up a little bit, the median is down a little bit,” Lacy added. “There was some softness in places. There’s no doubt about that. But when you look at last year’s comparable figures, we beat the gross over what was a really strong Book 1 by $3.5 million.”
The session-topping colt is out of the Empire Maker mare Nonna Mia. He is from the family of Fierceness, who won his Aug. 25 debut at Saratoga Race Course by 11¼ lengths, as well as Grade 2 winner and sire Cairo Prince.
“Beautiful colt,” Terry Finley of West Point said. “I was up at Saratoga when Fierceness won. I was awestruck by that performance. Young family (and) with Into Mischief, you don’t have to say much. He was always at Lane’s End so we knew a little about his upbringing. We are really excited and have a new group of partners who are in on him. We will try to get to the Derby in 2025.”
Selling a yearling for $3 million pleased Lane’s End Director of Sales Allaire Ryan.
“When you bring an individual like him to this sale, you hope to be rewarded and that’s what happened today,” Ryan said. “Over the past decade, of the horses we’ve raised at the farm he is right up there. He’s always been a forward individual from Day 1. He’s been a special horse for us.
“I’m just thrilled for everybody on the farm. To be entrusted (with) a mare like this for Mr. (Mike) Repole means a lot in and of itself, but to be able to raise a horse and bring him to an auction is rewarding for everybody.”
The $3 million colt was bred by Mike Repole’s Repole Stable, the session’s leading buyer with 11 yearlings purchased through West Bloodstock for $4,790,000.
“I’m trying to be the No. 1 buyer and No. 1 seller at the same sale,” Repole said. “It’s just a great sale. I love the game whether it’s claiming a $25,000 horse or buying stallions or buying mares or weanlings, 2-year-olds. I just have a lot of fun with the game.”
Gavin O’Connor, agent for John Stewart, paid $2.5 million for an Uncle Mo filly who is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Shedaresthedevil. Consigned by Denali Stud, agent for WinStar Farm Bred & Raised, she is from the family of Grade 2 winner Crafty C. T.
“She is a lovely filly,” O’Connor said. “I know the family personally; I worked for WinStar for five years. She is an unbelievable broodmare prospect. The residual value is there; we feel like we have a safe asset. (The price) was a little bit more than we wanted to go, but John is a buyer. John was on the phone, and he was giving us the clearance to keep going. We’ve had an incredible sale, and I think we are sealed up now. We’re done. We have a total of 10 (purchased at the September Sale for a grand sum of $7.75 million). For John as a first-time owner, he has a really exciting stable of horses.”
“The atmosphere has been phenomenal,” Denali Vice President Conrad Bandoroff said. “My heart was in my throat for about five minutes while that filly was selling. Keeneland has done a tremendous job. The auctioneering team did a great job with that filly in particular. The market has set a strong tone to carry on for the next week and a half.”
Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier purchased a colt by Into Mischief out of Grade 2 winner Princess Haya, by Street Cry (IRE), for $1.8 million. Consigned by St George Sales, agent, he is a half-brother to stakes winner and Grade 1-placed Lady Kate.
“He is a very good mover and Into Mischief is a very good sire and (his son) Practical Joke (who stands at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud) is doing really well at the moment,” Magnier said. “(The market) has been incredible.”
Archie and Michelle St George’s Brookstone Farm purchased the colt as a weanling at Keeneland’s 2022 November Breeding Stock Sale for $550,000.
“I’m kind of speechless at the moment,” Archie St George said. “We’re just very fortunate to have a horse as good as him. (His attributes are) his mind and physically he’s a great horse. He’s by a top-class stallion. He’s just a very nice horse. I’d like to thank (buyer) Coolmore and their partners and wish them the best of luck. A lot of work has gone into the horse. I’d like to thank the lads at the farm and my wife, Michelle, Roger O’Callaghan and his dad.”
West Bloodstock, agent for Robert and Lawana Low, paid $1.35 million for a son of Not This Time who is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner and $2 million earner Bell’s the One and Grade 3 winner King Cause. Airdrie Stud Raised and Offered consigned the colt, whose dam is the Street Cry (IRE) mare Street Mate and from the family of Grade 2 winner Tap Day.
Two horses brought $1.3 million apiece.
Sinandigain Stable spent the amount on the first horse in the ring, a filly by Tapit out of Lady Take Charge, by War Front, who was cataloged by Gainesway, agent. At Keeneland’s 2015 November Breeding Stock Sale, Mandy Pope purchased Lady Take Charge, whose dam is Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Take Charge Lady as a weanling for a North American record $3.2 million.
Gainesway was the session’s leading consignor with sales of $11,310,000 for 17 horses, including five horses for $1 million or more. On Monday, Gainesway sold three million-dollar horses, including the $2.3 million session topper.
“I don’t believe we’ve had this many $1 million horses in one location before,” Gainesway General Manager Brian Graves said. “It’s been a fantastic market, and we’ve been very fortunate they’ve landed on our horses. (Gainesway Sales has) worked hard for 20 years to do the best job we can for our clients. We’ve worked hard and had success for our clients over the years; hopefully, that’s why they continue to support us.”
Larry Best’s OXO Equine paid $1.3 million for a colt by Constitution consigned by Indian Creek, agent. Out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Solo Uno, he is from the family of Grade/Group 2 winners Tom’s Ready and Jean Gross.
“I thought he was one of the best colts in the sale,” Best said. “I paid more than I would want to. This particular auction, I’ve never seen one quite this strong. I knew he was going be around $1 million to get him. He’s a beautiful specimen of a Constitution. He looks very racy, very athletic. When you buy colts it’s a high-risk game. When you saw some of the other colts that I liked in the sale, they went for $2 million-plus. There is only so much money I want to invest in a colt. This was a good shot. We’ll see how it works out.”
M.V. Magnier paid $1.25 million for a colt by Gun Runner from the family of champion Queena, Grade 1 winners Chic Shirine and Brahms, Grade 2 winner Chief Havoc and Grade 3 winner La Reina. Consigned by Gainesway, agent, he is out of the Arch mare Special Event.
Four yearlings sold for $1.2 million apiece.
Peter Fluor and K.C. Weiner’s Speedway Stable acquired a daughter of Gun Runner from the family of Grade 1 winner and sire Dialed In for the amount. Consigned by Jody and Michelle Huckabay’s Elm Tree Farm, agent, she is out of the Mineshaft mare Mama Yay and is a half-sister to stakes winner Empire House.
“Kind of emotional,” Jody Huckabay. “We have been doing this 35 years, and this was our first million-dollar horse. It’s a big deal. We thought she was a very good filly and obviously a lot of people thought she was nice, but you never know.”
Agent Marette Farrell signed the ticket.
“It is a pedigree that Peter Fluor himself loved,” Farrell said. “It is an amazing pedigree as we know. The pedigree is one of the key inner-circle families. We now have three stallions – Collected, Roadster and Corniche – so we are trying to do things with a view towards buying fillies (to breed to them). We were the underbidder on this filly when she sold as a weanling. So we followed her and saw her here. She is so athletic and so light on her feet and has an amazing demeanor. I believe she is a runner, and I hope Peter and K.C. are lucky with her.”
A son of Into Mischief who is the first foal out of multiple Grade 1 winner Serengeti Empress, by Alternation, sold for $1.2 million to CHC Inc., Maverick Racing and Siena Farm. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, consigned the colt.
Selling to Hartley/De Renzo and BC Stables for $1.2 million was a filly by Into Mischief out of Silver Colors, by Mr. Greeley, consigned by Gainesway, agent. The filly is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Eskimo Kisse. Her second dam is Racing Hall of Famer Winning Colors.
Selling to M.V. Magnier for $1.2 million was a colt by Into Mischief who is a half-brother to Grade 1 winners Gift Box and Gina Romantica along with Grade 2 winners Stonetastic and Special Forces. Out of Special Me, by Unbridled’s Song, he was consigned by Machmer Hall Sales, agent for Machmer Hall I.
Spending $1.15 million, Mike G. Rutherford acquired a daughter of Volatile out of multiple Grade 1 winner Love and Pride, by A.P. Indy, who was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent. A half-sister to stakes winners Bella Runner and Princesinha Julia, the filly is from the family of champion and leading sire Bernardini.
Two yearlings each sold for $1.1 million.
Donato Lanni, agent for SF/Starlight/Madaket, spent the amount on a colt by Into Mischief who is a half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Guarana for the amount. He was consigned by Gainesway, agent.
Selling to Shadwell Racing for $1.1 million was Star of Bombay, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro who is a half-sister to 2023 Lake Placid (G2) winner Aspray. Out of the Galileo (IRE) mare Up (IRE), she was consigned by Lane’s End, agent.
Grandview Equine paid $1 million for a colt by Curlin out of champion Songbird, by Medaglia d’Oro. From the family of Grade 2 winner Ivanavinalot and Grade 3 winner Mico Margarita, he was consigned by Gainesway, agent.