Link to press conference video (speaking are Keeneland President & CEO Bill Thomason and Vice President of Racing & Sales Bob Elliston)
LEXINGTON, KY (April 12, 2017) – Keeneland, the world’s leading Thoroughbred auction house, today introduced enhancements to its September Yearling Sale, to be held Sept. 11-23. Highlighting the new features is the Book 1 Bonus, which offers lucrative cash rewards to sellers and owners of yearlings sold in the premier Book 1 sale that win Grade/Group 1 stakes during their 2- or 3-year-old campaigns. Sellers and owners of yearlings that win a Keeneland Grade 1 stakes or the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) will earn double rewards. Keeneland also announced that the Book 1 sale will be held as a single evening session on Monday, Sept. 11, and that a series of exciting special events surrounding the September Sale will kick off on Sunday, Sept. 10.
“The Book 1 Bonus was created to reward sellers and owners from the sales ring to the winner’s circle,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “Keeneland is committed to selling the best horses in the world in a setting unlike any other. This unique Book 1 Bonus, in concert with our changes to the Book 1 sale format, are an extension of Keeneland’s mission to reinvest in the Thoroughbred industry and to promote excellence in the sport.”
In year one of the Book 1 Bonus, Keeneland will commit a $750,000 rewards pool for graduates of Book 1 of the 2017 September Sale that will race as 2-year-olds in 2018. In 2019, year two of the program, and each year thereafter, Keeneland will commit $1.5 million to the pool to reward Book 1 graduates of 2017 and 2018 racing as 2- and 3-year-olds. Rewards will be capped at $500,000 per horse and excess funds will carry forward to the following calendar year (see attachment for details).
Book 1 Bonus Program
- Keeneland will offer cash rewards from a Book 1 rewards pool to both the seller and owner (at the time of the race) of all Book 1 graduates that win a Grade/Group 1 stakes in eligible countries as a 2- or 3-year-old (2-year-olds are eligible in 2018; 2- and 3-year-olds are eligible in 2019).
- Sellers and owners of horses that win a Grade 1 stakes (or Keeneland’s Toyota Blue Grass-G2) in the U.S. and Canada or a Group 1 stakes in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Great Britain, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa and United Arab Emirates are eligible to participate in the rewards pool.
- Sellers and owners (at the time of the race) earn double rewards if their Book 1 graduates capture a Grade 1 stakes or the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland.
Format Change to Week 1 of the 2017 September Sale
- The sale will open Monday, Sept. 11, with a single select Book 1 session in the evening and will feature approximately 200 exceptional yearlings.
- Book 2 will catalog a total of 1,050 yearlings and will extend over three days, Tuesday, Sept. 12 through Thursday, Sept. 14, with 350 horses offered daily in alphabetical order by dam.
- No sale will be conducted Friday, Sept. 15.
- Selling will resume Saturday, Sept. 16 and continue through Saturday, Sept. 23.
“We’ve listened to our customers and made adjustments to the structure of the sale to meet their needs,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing and Sales Bob Elliston said. “In addition to the format change for Week 1 of the sale, we are working with consignors to streamline stabling and the flow of activity in the barn area. We want to evolve our sales operations to enhance the overall experience for our clients.”
Keeneland will celebrate the September Sale with world-class special events and enhanced culinary and hospitality offerings.
“Keeneland is the gold standard for Thoroughbred sales,” Thomason said. “We continually seek ways to elevate our racing and sales operations and to achieve success not only for Keeneland but for our sellers and owners. We are partners with the same goal: to sell, buy and race horses at the highest level of our sport.”
The September Sale is the world’s most important Thoroughbred sale, with its sales graduates accounting for more Grade 1 stakes wins than all other North American sale companies combined. In 2016, September Sale graduates won 212 graded stakes, including 65 Grade/Group 1 wins highlighted by the winners of all three Triple Crown races and eight Breeders’ Cup races, and six Eclipse Award winners.