LEXINGTON, KY (Sept. 10, 2017) – On a sunny, fall-like Sunday morning with temperatures in the low 60s, consignors of horses cataloged to Monday’s premier Book 1 opening session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale commented on the high traffic their consignments have received since the horses started being shown Friday.
Chris Baccari, Baccari Bloodstock: “Our horses have been out 90 times each. They have been shown even more than I thought they would. Our goal is to bring superstars to this sale. We aggressively buy the best foals we possibly can. Our Book 1 horses have been specifically targeted for this part of the sale.”
Craig Bandoroff, Denali Stud: “We’ve never shown more; they (prospective buyers) are just wearing them (the horses) out. We’ve had horses hitting 150 shows (each), and this is Sunday so they’re probably going to hit 200. They’ve looked at this group as hard as I’ve ever seen them look at a group of horses. I’ve seen a real good mix of people – more Europeans than we’ve seen, more Japanese than we’ve seen. Maybe they’re all waking up to realize we have some good horses over here.”
Brutus Clay, CEO, Runnymede Farm: “I think it was a creative idea for the new structure (single session Book 1 in reformatted Week 1). It very well may solve that problem of who goes first. There’s a lot of people here and there’s good traffic. It’s just up to the individual horses. The market has been strong so far this year and hopefully it will continue. We’re excited.”
Conor Doyle, Bedouin Bloodstock: “We’ve had great traffic, lots of activity, plenty of international participation. There seems to be a good appetite (for horses) among people. We’re anticipating a big sale starting tomorrow.”
Tommy Eastham, who owns Legacy Bloodstock with his wife, Wyndee: “One thing unique to Keeneland is that you hear every accent in the world. Every accent and every continent is represented here. The Keeneland sales staff puts out great effort to get (buyers) here.
“This is a very positive time to be in the horse business. I think this is going to be a really good sale. There are a lot of people wanting to own good horses. It is cool to be a horseman right now. Some entertainment venues might have dropped in popularity but people are getting back to the beauty of horse racing.”
Brian Graves, director of public sales, Gainesway: “It has been busy. We have been doing ‘all shows’ in both this barn and (Book 2 horses) at the same time. There seems to be a good appetite for horses and probably busier than I have seen in recent years.”
Tanya Gunther, Glennwood Farm: “We’ve been busy. We’ve had more than 70 shows per horse per day, which is a lot – means you’re not stopping. We were really, really hectic Friday and Saturday; now it’s more second, third, fourth looks. These are our best physicals and our best pedigrees. It’s nice to have horses of that quality and that caliber that you can bring to Book 1 at Keeneland. We’re happy to be here.”
Walker Hancock, president, Claiborne Farm: “We’re very busy. We’ve had over 600 shows the past two days for five horses, so that tells the tale. A lot of enthusiasm and excitement, so we’re expecting a big sale.”
Bridie Harrison: “It is very nice to be in Book 1 with three very nice horses. We started showing on Friday morning and have been extremely busy.”
Ann Archer Hinkle, owner/director of bloodstock services, Hinkle Farms: “We were really busy Friday and expecting yesterday to slow down a little bit, but yesterday was just as busy. Having the half-brother to (champion and Kentucky Derby-G1 winner) Nyquist and the only Orb in Book 1 has given our consignment some buzz. We’ve seen some big players coming to look at our consignment. It’s exciting to see some of the best owners and bloodstock agents and trainers coming out and looking at your horses because you hope they might like yours. You hope the best for your horses and want them to end up in the best possible hands.”
Hunter Houlihan, director of client development, Darby Dan Farm: “We started showing Friday and we have been very, very busy all three days. We are happy to see a whole lot of people from a whole lot of different places. All the different buyer groups are represented here, so we are pretty excited. We have great weather and Keeneland always takes great care of everybody.”
Mark Hubley, president, KatieRich Farms: “We have had a lot of interest. (Hip 20) has been shown more than 100 times since Friday afternoon. A Book 1 horse has to have everything—pedigree, physical, good throat, good X-rays, good everything and he fits the bill. All year we look forward to selling in the early Keeneland books – it is our bread and butter. We try to have fun and enjoy it.”
Pam Robinson, who owns Brandywine Farm with her husband, Jim: “We started showing Friday morning and have not slowed down. Jim and I have been selling horses for 42 years because it is our passion. We raise what we consider an athletic horse and when they win, we have repeat customers coming back to look at our consignments.”
John Sikura, president, Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency: “We’re proud of our horses. We’ve been showing them to lots of people from all over the world. That’s all you can expect to get the exposure. We’re confident that everybody is here. The sales year has been successful for pinhookers and others. There’s strength in the marketplace. A public auction is always some suspense and intrigue, and that’s what makes it fun.”