Figures for Keeneland on a par with 2015 results

Figures for Keeneland on a par with 2015 results
By Ron Mitchell of Blood-Horse 11:40AM 25 SEP 2016

BUYERS with unfilled orders continued to shop the Keeneland September Yearling Sale on Saturday during the penultimate session as numbers for the marathon auction are nearly identical to 2015.

During the first day of the two-day Book 6 portion of the sale, Keeneland sold 168 yearlings for $1,490,300, slightly below the $1,518,800 paid for 170 yearlings during the 12th and final session of last year's sale. The session average of $8,871 was nearly equal to last year's $8,934, while the median plummeted 46 per cent to $3,750 from $7,000 last year.

Cumulatively, 2,645 yearlings have grossed $271,853,900, compared with the $281,496,100 total for 2,645 yearlings sold during last year's 12-day sale. The average of $102,780 is slightly higher than $102,549 in 2015, while the median of $50,000 remains unchanged from last year.

Randy Miles, shopping on behalf of owners looking for racing prospects and for his pinhooking ventures, said it continued to be difficult to buy the good horses, even deep into the sale, a common theme throughout the entire yearling public auction season.

"It's a very competitive market for the good horses," said Miles. "I thought demand for the quality horses would fizzle out near the end of Book 3 or beginning of Book 4 but it continued through Book 5 [ended on Friday].

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"We bought some racehorses early in the sale, and late in the sale we've been trying to buy some horses for ourselves [to pinhook]. We've only bought five and would have loved to have walked out of here with ten horses to pinhook. But the demand has been too high for the type we want to buy. But we are happy the market is strong for those horses. We would rather buy fewer horses but play in a strong market. We just have to work harder to buy horses."

Miles said the market depth at Keeneland bodes well for the October Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale in Timonium, and the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October 24-26 Yearling Sale in Lexington.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey snap up top lot

Saturday's top price of $90,000 was paid by prominent owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey for a First Defence colt consigned by Upson Downs Farm, agent. Bred in Maryland by Sagamore Farm, the colt was produced from Listen Boy, a Sagamore-bred daughter of After Market who finished second in the Caesar's Wish Stakes at Laurel Park and earned $61,950 and is a half-sister to stakes winner Monzon. The colt's extended female family includes Grade 3 winner Keys to the Heart and stakes winner and Grade 1-placed Avie's Shadow.

Second-highest price on the day and the top price paid for a filly was the $87,000 winning bid from McMahon and Hill Bloodstock, agent, for a daughter of Trappe Shot who had a significant family update since the catalogue was published. Bred by and consigned by Lakland Farm, the filly is out of the stakes-placed Songandaprayer mare Stormandaprayer, bought by Lakland for $150,000 from the Denali Stud consignment to the 2013 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.

Harlands Thunder, a two-year-old Harlan's Holiday filly half-sister to the Trappe Shot yearling filly, has placed in three stakes, including a third in the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes at Saratoga racecourse since the September Sale catalogue was published.

McMahon and Hill, agent, was the session's leading buyer, spending $111,000 for two yearlings.

Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, was the leading consignor, selling 14 horses for $135,500.

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