The 71st Keeneland September Yearling Sale took a day off Friday and resumed Saturday with the sale of a colt for $600,000, while overall figures held steady from the corresponding session last year.
“There was good strength at the top of the market and plenty of interest all the way through,” Keeneland Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell said. “The quality of horses kept buyers' interest until the end of the session. The first horse in the ring sold for $425,000, and the final two yearlings brought $250,000 and $160,000.”
Saturday marked the fifth of 13 sessions of the sale. A total of 294 yearlings sold for $35,634,500, down slightly from last year's $35,308,000 for 280 horses. The average of $121,206 dipped 3.88 percent from $126,100 in 2013, while the median of $100,000 decreased 11 percent from $112,500.
Through the first five days of the sale, 767 horses sold for $177,787,500, down 5.78 percent from $188,693,000 for 826 horses in 2013. The average of $231,796 was up from $228,442 last year. The median of $180,000 rose 2.86 percent from $175,000.
On Saturday, stallions represented by their first crops of yearlings sired the four top-priced horses.
“As the sale goes on, there is more interest in the younger sires,” Russell said. “In Book 1, buyers go for more established sires such as Tapit and War Front. Here, people are willing to take a shot on the younger stallions.”
Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms paid the session-topping price for the Trappe Shot colt of the winning Deputy Minister mare Winning Call. She is the dam of Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Tapizar, by Trappe Shot's sire, Tapit. The yearling was consigned by Gainesway, agent.
“Obviously, we're looking for horses to compete at the very top level, and he is a three-quarter brother to a Breeders' Cup winner,” Garrett O'Rourke of Juddmonte said. “Whether it's classics or Breeders' Cups, that's the level that Prince Khalid likes to be involved in.”
At $575,000, the highest-priced filly was the daughter of Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Super Saver out the winning Touch Gold mare Touch Me Once, dam of stakes-placed Gold Megillah. Consigned by Allied Bloodstock, agent, she was sold to Alex and JoAnn Lieblong.
“I've had a little luck with (Super Saver),” Alex Lieblong said. “I have (Grade 2 Toyota Saratoga Special winner) I Spent It and (Saratoga maiden winner) High Dollar Woman (both by Super Saver), so they kind of got me hooked. She's as nice looking as the ones I've already had; very honest horses. (Super Saver) has treated me good so far.”
Pioneerof the Nile sired the session's third-highest-priced yearling, sold to Maverick Racing for $425,000. Sweezey and Partners, agent, consigned the colt, who is out of the winning Pulpit mare L. A. Devine and was the first horse in the ring.
Trappe Shot also sired the day's fourth-highest-priced yearling, a colt out of the Crafty Friend mare Foxy Friend who brought $385,000 from Crupi's New Castle/J.J. Crupi, agent. Baccari Bloodstock, agent, consigned the colt.
The session's leading consigner was Lane's End, which sold 34 yearlings for $4,768,000.
Jim and Susan Hill were the day's eading buyers, spending $1,215,000 for nine horses.
The sale continues Sunday and runs through Sunday, Sept. 21, with all sessions beginning at 10 a.m. The entire sale is streamed live on Keeneland's website.
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