LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 11, 2017) – Keeneland’s reformatted Week 1 of the September Yearling Sale produced eight million-dollar-plus horses and fueled significant increases in trade during Monday’s opening premier Book 1. Leading the action was a $2.7 million Tapit filly purchased by Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier to be the most expensive yearling sold at public auction in North America this year and the highest-priced filly sold at the September Sale since 2008.
For the session, Keeneland sold 95 yearlings for a gross of $54,175,000, up 56.89 percent from the $34,531,000 posted for the opening session of last year’s three-day Book 1. Substantial increases also were recorded in the session average of $570,263, up 78.36 percent from last year’s $319,731, while the median price of $500,000 was 86.92 percent higher than $267,500 in 2016.
Eight million-dollar horses were sold in today’s session, one less than were sold during last year’s entire September Sale. The top 10 highest-priced horses were purchased by eight individual interests representing both U.S. and foreign buyers.
“The first day, Book 1 session far exceeded our expectations,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing and Sales Bob Elliston said. “We had a couple of goals for this new format. First and foremost, we wanted to create momentum from the very beginning that we hoped to take through the entire sale. Second, we wanted to have as many good horses as we could (during Week 1) for this international buying group.
“Mission accomplished on No. 1. If you look at the numbers, the average today was $570,263. The average for the entire (three-day) Book 1 last year was $347,471. That is a 63% gain on the average and 66% gain in the median ($500,000 versus $300,000) from last year’s Book 1.”
Keeneland revised the format of the September Sale to increase the number of upper-market horses presented to prospective buyers during Week 1 of the sale. A total of 167 elite yearlings were cataloged for today’s exclusive one-day Book 1 session, which will be followed by 1,036 top-quality yearlings over the next three days in Book 2. As a result, a total of 1,203 yearlings are cataloged during Week 1 before the sale takes a one-day hiatus (on Friday) versus 607 during the three-day Book 1 that made up Week 1 of the 2016 auction.
“We put as many good horses as we could in front of these folks, and there are incredibly good horses coming up in the next three days of Book 2,” Elliston said. “The fireworks are not over, I promise you that. There were a lot of buyers who went home without their orders filled and they are not satisfied. These breeders are bringing incredible horses back for the Book 2.”
The September Sale continues through Saturday, Sept. 23. Tomorrow marks the first day of the three-day Book 2 with sessions beginning at 11 a.m. ET. The entire sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.