Keeneland realized increases average and median prices during the second day of its September Yearling Sale, led by the $700,000 paid by Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Stables for a colt by leading sire Tapit.
On Tuesday, Keeneland sold 186 horses for $32,240,000, down 1.58 percent over 2011 when 200 horses brought $32,756,500. Average price rose 5.83 percent from $163,783 to $173,333. The median of $150,000 increased 17.65 percent from last year's $127,500. Keeneland conducted only one select session compared to two select sessions in 2011. For that reason, Tuesday's second session is compared to the third session from 2011.
“It was a very, very good horse sale today; pretty solid throughout,” said Keeneland Vice President of Sales Walt Robertson.
Following two days of selling, Keeneland has sold 261 horses for $62,530,000, for an average of $239,579 and a median of $180,000. Through the first three days in 2011 (including the two-day select portion), Keeneland had sold 329 horses for $78,356,500, for an average of $238,166 and a median of $200,000.
The sale-topping Tapit colt is out of the stakes-placed mare Tempting Note, by Editor's Note. He is a full brother to Tempted to Tapit, second in the Risen Star Stakes (G2) and third in the Sunland Derby (G3).
“He was a great Tapit,” said John Moynihan, bloodstock advisor to Stonestreet, of the striking gray or roan colt. “He moved great and he showed himself great. The mare has been bred to Tapit twice and she has two stakes horses, so we'll take our shot. It was a lot of money, but the good horses are certainly bringing it.”
The colt was consigned by Gainesway, as agent for McMillin Sales and the Tapit Syndicate.
“My son, Luke, and I raised him and brought him up from a foal,” said Bruce McMillin, who owns McMillin Farm in Georgetown, Kentucky. “We knew all along he was a good horse. He just progressed and got better, and everything worked out for us.”
“People like the McMillins are the backbone of the Thoroughbred industry and for them to have a home run like this is spectacular. It's what this whole thing is about,” said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland Director of Sales.
Maverick Racing paid the session's second-highest price of $550,000 for a colt by leading sire Giant's Causeway, consigned by Gainesway, agent. Out of the winning Seeking the Gold mare Questress, the colt is a half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner and sire Pomeroy.
“He was a very nice Giant's Causeway and he looks like he has a stallion's pedigree,” said Elliott Walden, President and CEO of WinStar Farm, who signed the ticket for the colt. “He's a half-brother to a stallion in Pomeroy, who's doing a nice job (at Vinery) in Florida. So we thought he was worth taking a shot on. He's well-balanced, athletic. So we'll see what happens.
“The market is strong. We're just trying to pick up a few colts to have a chance to compliment our stallion operation,” he added. “Giant's Causeway is certainly a very nice stallion. So we're thinking about the future.”
A Tapit colt and a Tiznow filly each brought final bids of $500,000.
Demi O'Byrne purchased the Tapit colt on behalf of the Coolmore partnership. Out of the champion German mare Que Belle, by Seattle Dancer, the colt is a half-brother to graded stakes winners Osidy and Quetsche. He was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent for Malibu Farm.
“He is a nice horse; a very good mover,” said O'Byrne, who confirmed the colt would be trained by Todd Pletcher.
Shadwell Estate Company Ltd. bought the Tiznow filly from Sweezey and Partners, agent. Out of the Stormy Atlantic mare Storminthegarden, the filly is from the family of champion turf horses Theatrical (IRE) and Paradise Creek.
For the second consecutive day, Shadwell was the session's leading consignor, purchasing eight yearlings for $2,160,000.
The September Sale continues through Friday, September 21. Sessions Wednesday – Thursday, September 12-13, begin at 11 a.m. ET. The entire sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.
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