Keeneland is the world’s largest Thoroughbred auction house, and we take pride in our history of selling more champions and stakes winners than any other sales company.
During the past decade, Keeneland graduates have accounted for nearly half of all winners of the Triple Crown classic races. Keeneland has sold 19 Kentucky Derby (G1) winners — including 2012 winner I'll Have Another and 2011 winner Animal Kingdom — and 21 Preakness (G1) winners, the most recent being 2013 victor Oxbow. Eighteen Belmont (G1) winners have gone through the Keeneland auction ring, including 2013 winner Palace Malice.
Since the inaugural Breeders' Cup in 1984, Keeneland sale graduates have dominated the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, counting among them Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winners and Horses of the Year Havre de Grace (2011), Zenyatta (2009), Curlin (2007), A.P. Indy (1992), Black Tie Affair (1991), Sunday Silence (1989) and Alysheba (1988). In 2013, these Keeneland sales alumni captured Breeders’ Cup events: Beholder (Distaff-G1), London Bridge (Marathon-G2), Mizdirection (Turf Sprint-G1), New Year's Day (Juvenile-G1) and Secret Circle (Sprint-G1),
Yearlings purchased at Keeneland have excelled on the world stage as well, winning major stakes in Europe, South America, Russia, Asia and beyond. In 2013, Elusive Kate was a Group 1 winner in England and France; No Nay Never won the Darley Prix Morny (G1) in France; and Reynaldothewizard captured the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1).
Though our founders expressed the idea of a sales facility in the 1930s, it wasn't until 1943 that horses were first sold on the grounds.
Prior to World War II, many Kentucky breeders shipped their yearlings to Saratoga, N.Y., each summer to be sold at auction. But in 1943, a wartime restriction on rail transport forced breeders to keep their yearlings at home. So began Keeneland's first yearling sale, held under a tent in the track paddock. From that inaugural sale came Hoop, Jr., winner of the 1945 Kentucky Derby.
Today, we conduct four sales annually. Our two signature sales are the September Yearling Sale and the November Breeding Stock Sale. We also hold a January Horses of All Ages Sale and an April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale. The July Selected Yearling Sale was discontinued in 2003.