Keeneland's 76th September Yearling Sale, the world's largest and most important sale of Thoroughbred racing prospects, starts at noon on Monday, Sept. 9, with the first of three sessions in the prestigious Book 1. Leading owners and trainers and other prominent members of the industry from around the globe will attend the auction, which has cataloged a total of 4,644 yearlings over 13 sessions through Sunday, Sept. 22.
Year after year, the September Sale produces racehorses that succeed around the world. Through Labor Day, graduates of the September Sale in 2019 had won 312 stakes, including 42 Grade/Group 1 events. They include four-time Grade 1 winner Bricks and Mortar, leader on the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll; three-time Grade 1 winners Midnight Bisou and Mitole; respective Preakness (G1) and Belmont (G1) winners War of Will and Sir Winston; Del Mar Grade 1 winners Cambier Parc, Cistron, Nucky and Ollie's Candy; additional Saratoga Grade 1 winners Basin, Code of Honor, Covfefe, Dunbar Road, Got Stormy, McKinzie and Preservationist; and Mr Melody of Japan, among others.
“Buyers from around the world know breeders and consignors offer the cream of the North American foal crop at the September Sale and they travel here to find their future stars,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing and Sales Bob Elliston said. “The depth of the buyers, who participate at all price levels, sets this auction apart.”
Yearlings in the catalog represent 231 of the world's leading sires, including American Pharoah, Bernardini, Cairo Prince, Camelot (GB), Candy Ride (ARG), Curlin, Dawn Approach (IRE), Distorted Humor, Dubawi (IRE), Empire Maker, Galileo (IRE), Ghostzapper, Giant's Causeway, Hard Spun, Into Mischief, Kitten's Joy, Lemon Drop Kid, Lope de Vega (IRE), Malibu Moon, Medaglia d'Oro, More Than Ready, Munnings, No Nay Never, Oasis Dream (GB), Pioneerof the Nile, Quality Road, Speightstown, Street Sense, Tapit, Twirling Candy, Uncle Mo, Union Rags and War Front, among others.
Prominent stallions with their first crop of yearlings in the catalog include Air Force Blue, Brody's Cause, California Chrome, Exaggerator, Flintshire (GB), Frosted, Mshawish, Not This Time, Nyquist, Outwork, Runhappy, Speightster, Tamarkuz, The Gurkha (IRE), Tourist, Upstart and Vancouver (AUS).
Book 1 Coverage on TVG/TVG2
On Saturday, Sept. 7, TVG will air “Rising Stock,” a new hour-long September Sale preview show hosted by Christina Blacker, Gabby Gaudet and Scott Hazelton, at 9 a.m. ET.
“Rising Stock” will be rebroadcast on TVG and TVG2 on Sept. 9 at 12:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
TVG2 will present live coverage of the first three days of the September Sale from noon to 8 p.m. on Sept. 9-10 and noon to 3 p.m. on Sept. 11.
As always, the entire September Sale will be streamed live on Keeneland.com.
Format of September Sale
The first three days of the September Sale make up the premier Book 1 with a total of 569 yearlings in the catalog.
Following a “dark day” when no sale will be conducted on Thursday, Sept. 12, the sale resumes Friday, Sept. 13, for the two-day Book 2. A total of 730 horses have been cataloged to Book 2, and sessions begin at 10 a.m.
Books 3-6 cover the 3,345 yearlings cataloged to the remaining eight sessions of the sale from Sept. 15-22. Sessions also begin at 10 a.m.
The September Sale will unveil a new look for Barns 11-19 thanks to Keeneland's completion of the first stage of a multiyear project to renovate the stable area. These barns, which are near the Sales Pavilions, feature new roofs, drainage systems, LED lighting, electrical wiring, water lines, curbing and trees as well as re-graded walking rings.
Keeneland takes pride in the hospitality and customer service offered at its auctions that range from golf cart transportation around the sales grounds to a variety of business and concierge assistance. At the September Sale, clients will see changes at Keeneland designed to enhance the auction experience.
They include the return of the Saddling Paddock Chalet, which debuted in 2015 when Keeneland first hosted the Breeders' Cup World Championships. This two-story business casual setting is the new location of the lunch buffet formerly served during Week 1 of the September Sale in the Phoenix Room in the Grandstand.
This year, the buffet in the Saddling Paddock Chalet opens Saturday, Sept. 7, and for the first time will run the entire auction. Hours are 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Limestone Café in the Sales Pavilion will have an expanded menu, and additional food offerings will be available throughout the sales grounds.
September Sale is a Public Event
Every Keeneland auction is free and open to the public. Fans are encouraged to visit the Sales Pavilion to watch the sale, enjoy a variety of food options and browse the display of outstanding paintings and sculpture that will be offered at the Sporting Art Auction on Nov. 17 at the Sales Pavilion.
Other activities connected to the September Sale include:
Keeneland Bluegrass International Cup: This world-class polo match takes place at nearby Mt. Brilliant Farm on Friday, Sept. 6. Tonight, Mt. Brilliant is hosting an intimate gourmet dinner titled “Evening in the Gardens.” For tickets and information about these events, which benefit Fayette Alliance and the Markey Cancer Foundation at the University of Kentucky, visit fayettealliance.com.
Behind-the-Scenes Sales Tours: A special feature of Keeneland's popular year-round tour program, these 90-minute guided tours on Sept. 8, 16, 18, 19 and 20 will offer up to 12 guests an in-depth look at sales operations with stops at the world-renowned Keeneland Sales Pavilion and auction ring. Tours are $35 per person and begin at Keeneland's Welcome Center at 9 a.m. Click here for more information.
The Keeneland Shop: Located near the Grandstand South entrance, The Keeneland Shop has timeless equestrian-influenced apparel, jewelry, accessories, gifts and Keeneland souvenirs. The Keeneland Shop will be open Sept. 6-8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sept. 9-22 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here for more information. Shoppers also will enjoy the new Keeneland Mercantile at City Center in downtown Lexington.
Keeneland Library: Celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, the Keeneland Library is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visitors will see the exhibit “From the Vault: Jockeys,” which features 26 images dating from the late 1800s to the mid-20th century from the Library's archive of more than 1 million negatives and photographic prints. Memorabilia from jockeys Eddie Arcaro, Ted Atkinson and Bill Shoemaker accompany the exhibit, which is in its closing days. Click here for more information.
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