The Kentucky Derby and the Keeneland September Yearling Sale have traditionally kept a safe distance from each other, but BloodHorse reports that the Derby's rescheduling to Sept. 5 due to the COVID-19 pandemic could also lead to a shift in the bellwether auction's start date, as well.
As it stands now, the Derby would take place nine days before the first session of the Keeneland September sale on Sept. 14. Bob Elliston, Keeneland's vice president of racing and sales, told BloodHorse that “nothing is off the table” in such uncharted waters, and Mark Taylor of leading consignor Taylor Made Sales Agency confirmed that he'd had conversations with the sales company about moving the opening day of trade closer to the Derby to capitalize on the potential customers already in central Kentucky.
Though the situation is unprecedented, adjusting a sale date to coincide with a major racing event is fairly common. The dates of the major fall mixed sales in Kentucky are often dictated on whether that year's Breeders' Cup is being held within the state, or outside of it, moving as needed to allow for travel.
Keeneland's schedule has already been significantly impacted by the pandemic, having canceled its marquee spring racing meet and the adjacent 2-Year-Olds In Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale, both slated for April.
Read more at BloodHorse.
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