LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2014) — Active trade from both domestic and foreign buyers continued to produce strong results on Tuesday at Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale, with the session highlighted by increases in gross, average and median figures and the sale of an Unbridled’s Song colt for $1.6 million.
For the session, 121 yearlings sold for $37,788,000, a rise of eight percent over last year when 139 yearlings sold for $34,886,000. The average of $312,298 was up 24 percent over $250,978 in 2013, while the median jumped 40 percent, from $200,000 to $280,000.
Through the first two sessions, a total of 241 yearlings have been sold for $70,953,000, up slightly from $69,621,000 last year when 269 horses were sold during the same period. The average of $294,411 rose 13.75 percent over $258,814 in 2013, and the median increased 25 percent from $200,000 to $250,000.
“What we saw was a continuation of yesterday – very strong, competitive, a good cross section of buyers,” Keeneland Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell said. “That’s what we’ve tried to do with this format: get buyers on the grounds, get them to look at the horses, get through all the horses and find the ones that break loose and are affordable. We see that with the sale summary from today and yesterday.”
Three yearlings brought final bids of $1 million or more on Tuesday, bringing the number of seven-figure yearlings sold so far to five.
A new top price for the sale was established when Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm of Citra, Fla., paid $1.6 million for the colt by Unbridled’s Song who is a half-brother to 2013 Preakness (G1) winner Oxbow and stakes winner Awesome Patriot.
Pope has made headlines by purchasing a number of high-profile broodmare prospects at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, such as champion Groupie Doll and Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Plum Pretty.
“I thought I’d venture out a little bit and try something different,” Pope said. “(The colt) is absolutely gorgeous. Unbridled’s Songs tend to go on and run and hopefully become stallions. Obviously, that’s what we’re hoping. It’s definitely very overwhelming for me to spend this much money on a colt.”
Burleson Farms, agent, consigned the colt, who is out of the Cee’s Tizzy mare Tizamazing, a full sister to Horse of the Year Tiznow and Grade 2 winners Budroyale and Tizdubai.
“He was always a big, growthy colt,” said Lyn Burleson, whose farm is in Midway, Ky. “Unbridled’s Song is a great sire, and he gets a really good-looking horse. The first time (the colt) ever got on a trailer was when he came here for the sale. We’ve loved him ever since he was born.”
A colt by War Front was sold to the session’s leading buyer, Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier, for $1.3 million. Denali Stud, agent, consigned the colt out of the A.P. Indy mare Score, dam of stakes-placed Timeless Tally.
“He’s the same cross as Due Diligence,” Magnier said, referring to Coolmore’s Group 1-placed 3-year-old by War Front. “He’s a good mover. We’ll take him back to Ashford (Coolmore’s farm near Versailles, Ky.). I’d say he’ll most likely go back to Europe.”
“He’s a beautiful horse, he’s by a great stallion and it’s a real pedigree,” added Denali’s Craig Bandoroff. “The mare’s an A.P. Indy mare: (the colt’s second dam is multiple Grade 1 winner) Educated Risk. It’s very hard to get them to tick all the boxes, and he ticked all the boxes.”
The session’s third-highest price of $1 million was paid for a daughter of Tapit out of Grade 3 winner Super Espresso, by Medaglia d’Oro, sold to Robert Krembil of Chiefswood Farm of Toronto, Ontario. Stone Farm, agent, consigned the filly, whose third dam is 1983 Broodmare of the Year Courtly Dee.
“To me, she’s like a pearl beyond price,” Arthur Hancock of Stone Farm said. “She’s a lovely filly. (Chiefswood) bought into a real future here. I really like this filly. So did everybody else.”
Magnier spent a total of $2.35 million for three horses to be the day’s leading buyer.
The session’s leading consignor was Gainesway, which sold 12 horses for $4.68 million.
The September Sale continues through Sunday, Sept. 21. Sessions through Thursday, Sept. 11 begin at noon ET. The entire sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.