LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 11, 2013) – The final horse through the ring during Tuesday’s second session of the 70th Keeneland September Yearling Sale sold for $1 million to become the fourth yearling of the day to bring seven figures. Through the first two sessions of this year’s sale, eight yearlings have been sold for seven figures, exceeding the seven sold during the entire sale last year.
“The fact that there are eight million-dollar horses so far is very rewarding, and I would say that’s because the market has improved,” said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland Director of Sales.
During the Tuesday session, a total of 139 yearlings sold for $34,886,000, for an average of $250,978 and a median of $200,000. Keeneland reformatted the September Sale this year, expanding Book 1 to comprise the first four sessions of the sale. As a result, there are no comparable session figures for 2012.
Through the first two sessions, a total of 269 yearlings brought a grand sum of $69,621,000, for an average of $258,814, and a median of $200,000.
“Once the buyers got their feet wet, it seemed like they worked pretty hard today,” said Walt Robertson, Keeneland Vice President of Sales. “The sellers certainly had a gauge of the market today that they didn’t have yesterday.”
Topping today’s session was a $1.3 million filly who is a half-sister to champion and Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Proud Spell, sold to Lane Seliger of Baumann Stables of Amarillo, Texas. Brereton C. Jones’ Airdrie Stud consigned the Bernardini filly, who is out of the winning Langfuhr mare Pacific Spell.
“Her bloodlines were very, very attractive and very deep, and I think (they) will be well supported in the future,” Seliger said. “I think the price was a little higher than we wanted to spend, but we’re not disappointed.”
Seliger, who said his operation is “relatively new to racing,” paid $1.3 million for Grade 1 winner Nereid at this year’s Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale. He said today’s purchase would be trained by H. Graham Motion, who also has Baumann’s 2011 Keeneland September Sale purchases in his care.
The session’s final yearling was the million-dollar Malibu Moon filly consigned by Mill Ridge Sales, agent. Hugo Merry Bloodstock purchased the filly, a half-sister to Grade 1 stakes winner Power Broker, for Andrew Rosen, who races in the U.S. and Europe.
“A lot of nice fillies we’ve bought here over the years,” Merry said, referring to Rosen’s Grade 1 winner Icon Project and Grade 3 winner First Passage. “So we’re just hoping this one’s half as good. We’d heard people were on this filly – nearly everyone was on her – so we thought we might have to go a bit more. We’re very happy to get her at that price.”
Two colts each brought $1 million. The first was a son of Tapit purchased by M.V. Magnier. Out of the Beau Genius mare Pretty ‘n Smart, the colt is a half-brother to Grade 3 winners Heart Ashley and Ashley’s Kitty. He was consigned by VanMeter Sales, agent.
“Very nice horse,” Magnier said about the colt. “(He) moved very well. We’re going to bring him back to Ashford (Stud near Versailles, Ky.) and decide from there as to what we’re going to do with him. We’re going to bring (the September Sale purchases) all back to Ashford and decide from there – leave some here and take some back to Europe. We’ll decide in a couple of days.”
The second million-dollar colt was a son of Smart Strike out of Canadian champion Serenading, by A.P. Indy. Consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, he is from the family of millionaire Brilliant Speed, winner of Keeneland’s Toyota Blue Grass (G1) in 2011. Trainer Mike Puhich, agent, purchased the colt for Dr. Mark Dedomenico of Washington and partners.
“(He’s) just a really classy, gorgeous horse and he’s by a top stallion — we fell in love with him and decided we wanted to try to get him,” Puhich said. “Jerry Hollendorfer, our trainer, he’s gonna probably stay in for a piece of the horse, and that’s the type of horse he wants. … We’re excited about it.”
After the first two sessions, the sale topper remains the $1.5 million Medaglia d’Oro filly sold Monday. Out of Flying Passage, by A.P. Indy, she was purchased by the Niarchos family’s Flaxman Stables Ireland Limited.
The session’s leading buyer for the second day was Shadwell Estate Company, Ltd., who acquired eight yearlings for $3,010,000.
The leading consignor was Lane’s End Farm, who sold 18 horses for $5.73 million.
The September Sale continues through Saturday, Sept. 21. Sessions through Sept. 12 begin at noon. The entire sale is streamed live at www.keeneland.com.