LEXINGTON, Ky. — Keeneland has cataloged 4,147 horses for the 79th annual Keeneland September Yearling Sale, the world’s largest and most significant marketplace for Thoroughbred racing prospects. The auction, which covers 12 sessions from Sept. 12-24, kicks off nearly three months when Keeneland will be the focus of the global Thoroughbred industry with events that continue with the Fall Meet, Breeders’ Cup World Championships, and November Breeding Stock Sale.
The format is consistent with last year
Similar to the 2021 September Sale, Week 1 of this year’s auction will feature Books 1 and 2 during the first four days, and more than 1,100 horses judged the sale’s finest individuals based on pedigree and conformation cataloged. The aim of the format is to position the largest number of exceptional horses possible before major domestic and foreign buyers prior to the “dark day” on Friday, Sept. 16 when no sale will be held.
Yearlings cataloged to Book 1 are out of 36 Grade 1 winners and out of a total of 89 graded stakes winners overall; 50 are half-siblings to Grade 1 winners and to 99 graded stakes winners overall.
The September Sale will present the following schedule:
Book 1 – Monday-Tuesday, Sept. 12-13. Sessions begin at 1 p.m. ET. A total of 362 yearlings are cataloged over the two days.
Book 2 – Wednesday-Thursday, Sept. 14-15. Sessions begin at 11 a.m. A total of 751 yearlings are cataloged over the two days.
Dark Day – Friday, Sept. 16. No sale will be conducted.
Book 3 – Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 17-18. Sessions begin at 10 a.m. A total of 828 yearlings are cataloged over the two days.
Book 4 – Monday-Tuesday, Sept. 19-20. Sessions begin at 10 a.m. A total of 822 yearlings are cataloged over the two days.
Book 5 – Wednesday-Thursday, Sept. 21-22. Sessions begin at 10 a.m. A total of 807 yearlings are cataloged over the two days.
Book 6 – Friday-Saturday, Sept. 23-24. Sessions begin at 10 a.m. A total of 577 yearlings are cataloged over the two days.
Barn renovations and hospitality
Keeneland’s multi-year project to renovate the stable area resumed this year following a three-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021 and improvements made to The Thoroughbred Center in 2022, which meant horses who resided there relocated to Keeneland for several months while new barns were constructed. In this second phase of the renovation, Barns 20-27 now feature new roofs, re-graded walking rings, a new drainage system, upgraded LED lighting, new electrical wiring and new trees.
The September Sale will mark the return of the Saddling Paddock Chalet, which also will be in use for the Fall Meet, Breeders’ Cup and November Breeding Stock Sale. Located adjacent to the Sales Pavilion and extending the entire length of the Paddock, the Chalet will expand the number of hospitality offerings for sales clients. It will include a dining room, where a buffet lunch will be available Sunday, Sept. 11 through Thursday, Sept. 15, as well as a lounge and bar open the entire auction. Additional private conference rooms in the structure also will be available.
The world’s leading sires have yearlings in the catalog
The September Sale catalog has a total of 2,102 colts, 2,044 fillies and one gelding. Among them are 21 yearlings bred outside North America, exemplifying the auction’s international appeal to overseas breeders.
Yearlings in the catalog represent 199 of the world’s most established stallions, including American Pharoah, Bated Breath (GB), Candy Ride (ARG), Caravaggio, Constitution, Curlin, Distorted Humor, Flatter, Frankel (GB), Galileo (IRE), Ghostzapper, Gun Runner, Hard Spun, Into Mischief, Kingman (GB) Kitten’s Joy, Maclean’s Music, Medaglia d’Oro, More Than Ready, Munnings, No Nay Never, Not This Time, Nyquist, Quality Road, Speightstown, Street Sense, Tapit, Twirling Candy, Uncle Mo, Upstart, Violence, War Front and Wootton Bassett (GB).
In addition, a number of exciting young stallions are represented by their first crop of yearlings in the catalog such as Grade 1 winner Audible, multiple Grade 2 winner Catalina Cruiser, multiple Grade 1 winner Catholic Boy, multiple Grade 1 winner Divisidero, multiple graded stakes winner Enticed, Grade 1 winner Leofric, champion Mitole, multiple Grade 1 winner Omaha Beach, Grade 1 winner Preservationist, champion Vino Rosso and multiple Grade 1 winner World of Trouble.
The catalog also includes progeny of other stallions who were accomplished on the race track and whose first runners are excelling this year. Among them are Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming, Grade 1 winner Army Mule, multiple Grade 1 winner Bolt d’Oro, Grade 1 winner Girvin, champion Good Magic, multiple graded stakes winner Good Samaritan, Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year Justify, Grade 1 winner Mendelssohn, multiple Grade 1 winner Mor Spirit, Grade 1 winner Mo Town, multiple Grade 1 winner Oscar Performance, Grade 1 winner Sharp Azteca and champion West Coast.
Graduates win stakes around the world
Through Aug. 8, graduates of the September Sale have won 224 stakes globally in 2022. Victories include graded stakes across the U.S. and in Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
Leading the Grade 1 winners are two winners of Triple Crown races: Early Voting (Preakness-G1) and Mo Donegal (Belmont-G1). At premier meets this summer at Del Mar and Saratoga, graded stakes-winning sales graduates are American Theorem (Bing Crosby-G1), Big Invasion (Quick Call-G3 Presented by Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation), Cabo Spirit (La Jolla-G3), Epicenter (Jim Dandy-G2), Golden Pal (Troy-G3), Heywoods Beach (Cougar II-G3), champion Jackie’s Warrior (Alfred G. Vanderbilt-G1), Just Cindy (Schuylerville-G3), Life Is Good (Whitney-G1), Naughty Gal (Adirondack-G3), Nest (Coaching Club American Oaks-G1) and War Like Goddess (Glens Falls-G2).
Other major North American Grade 1 victories were recorded by sales graduates Casa Creed (Jaipur), Colonel Liam (Pegasus World Cup Turf Cup Invitational Presented by Baccarat), Express Train (Santa Anita Handicap Presented by Yamaava’ Resort & Casino), Jackie’s Warrior (Churchill Downs Presented by Ford), Life Is Good (Pegasus World Cup Invitational Presented by 1/ST BET), Nest (Central Bank Ashland) and Zandon (Toyota Blue Grass).
Winners of Group 1 races abroad include Country Grammer (Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline), Emblem Road (Saudi Cup) and Switzerland (Dubai Golden Shaheen Sponsored by Atlantis Dubai).
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