Keeneland Sept Sale Barn Notes - Monday, Sept 9

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  • September Sale by the numbers
  • Repository offers one-stop examinations
  • Prospective owners invited to September Sale
  • Buyers should note investment incentives
  • Spotlight on recent September Sale graduates
  • Sale photos/videos available on ftp site; Media Kit online




The 70th Keeneland September Yearling Sale begins today at noon, setting off a statistical avalanche that will be analyzed every which way possible to determine its success.

Here are a few numbers related to the horses in the catalog:

3,908: Number of yearlings -- 2,031 colts, 1,875 fillies, 1 gelding, and 1 ridgling.

3,200: Approximate number of sets of digital X-rays in the repository.

239: Number of sires represented.

143: Number of consignors.

46: Number of Keeneland barns used to house the yearlings.

25: Number of states, provinces and foreign countries where yearlings were foaled – Arizona, British Columbia, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ireland, Kentucky, Louisiana, Manitoba, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

Keeneland will stream the sale live on



The action inside Keeneland’s Sales Pavilion will come fast and furious today, opening day of the industry-defining September Yearling Sale, and much of it is made possible by what goes on in a quiet corner of the venue.

Tucked in a back hallway with only muffled sounds of the most prestigious Thoroughbred auction in the world going on down the corridor, the Keeneland Repository stands as perhaps the most important cog in the sale. While horsemen bid on the future stars of the industry their veterinarians pour over digital X-rays of potential purchases in the repository.

“We’ll probably have around 200 (vets) from all different countries come through here,” Repository Supervisor and Keeneland Librarian Cathy Schenck said. “We have vets from all over the world that come to the sales.”

With the 3,908 yearlings cataloged in the September Sale, the repository has been a hub of activity. Schenck and her staff of 17 part-time employees began inputting sets of digital images last week as consignors and veterinarians hand-delivered them to the repository. Schenck said roughly 98 percent of the horses in the sale will have a set of 36 X-ray images available for potential buyers and their teams to examine before the horse enters the sale ring.

Originally introduced in 1996, the repository underwent major upgrades and became digital in 2006. The cutting-edge development became a hit within the industry and remains a vital part of the process. Continual tweaks to the system have streamlined the process.

“We just got some hardware upgrades for this sale so our processing time has speeded up,” Schenck said. “For us to process a set of X-rays takes about five minutes. We open the disk, we check to make sure it has all 36 views, we check to make sure the hip number matches the paperwork and there is a dam’s name on it. We send it to our first server and that only takes a matter of barely a minute for those 36 images to get transferred. That time has been cut in half with the new hardware.”

With time always of the essence, the ability for as many as 32 people to view a single set of X-rays at the same time provides the opportunity to cover more ground and inspect more horses during the hustle and bustle of the September Sale.

“It’s been very positive,” Schenck said of the industry’s response to the technology. “It speeds up the looking. Before, we only had one set of X-rays to check out so if someone had it checked out then people had to wait and that often created a problem. They can only get one set of X-rays at a time but it’s very fast. It takes maybe five seconds to check it out so by the time they get back to their seat it’s already there for them. It’s almost instantaneous.”

As always, Keeneland expects to remain on the front edge of technology as it rapidly develops. Ultimately, consignors and veterinarians may be able to remotely deliver X-rays or view them from alternative locations, further streamlining the process.

“The next step on the check-in side will probably be a self-checkout for the vets where they would have a password, log in and they would just go to a screen and not have to come to the counter to check the X-rays out,” Schenck said.

The repository, located adjacent to the Limestone Café, is open daily from 8 a.m. until the end of the day’s session.



The Keeneland September Yearling Sale represents an exciting opportunity for Julie Cauthen, who in March joined Keeneland as Director of Owner and Client Development. Since then, she has been working to identify people who are potential Thoroughbred owners and helping with Keeneland’s efforts to educate them about the financial nuts and bolts of the industry and introduce them to its unique lifestyle.

In July at Del Mar, Ca., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y., The Keeneland Association and an experienced owner co-hosted dinners for prospective owners, who received invitations to the events that asked, “If you’ve always dreamed of having a professional athlete in the family …”.

The first dinner was for 27 guests at the Pamplemousse Grille across from Del Mar race track. The co-host was Jeffrey Strauss, who owns the restaurant and is a member of the Donkey Island Racing partnership. The second dinner was for 18 guests at Prime at Saratoga National, the restaurant at the Saratoga National Golf Club near Saratoga Race Course. Its co-host was Peter Deutsch, CEO of Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, who led guests through a wine tasting and shared his experiences as a racehorse owner.

Guests at both events watched a video titled “A Life Like No Other” about the thrills of racehorse ownership that features testimonials from owners and breeders Helen Alexander, Paul Buhlman, Jerry Crawford, Kevin Plank, Leonard Riggio, Satish Sanan and William Shively.  They also received an accompanying coffee table-sized introductory guide to the sport.

Keeneland invited the guests at the Del Mar and Saratoga dinners to attend the September Sale to learn more about the industry. Cauthen said Keeneland recognizes that efforts to nurture new owners will take time.

“We want people to get involved in the sport thoughtfully and carefully so racehorse ownership will be a satisfying experience for them and their families,” she said.

Cauthen said additional dinners for potential new owners are being planned for Keeneland later this year. Future locations for events nationwide include Miami, Phoenix, and major cities in Texas. Also in development are a website dedicated to new owners and additional collateral materials to support the program.

People interested in investing in Thoroughbreds are invited to call Cauthen at (859) 254-3412 or email her



Here are black-type, first-dam updates for Book 1. For a full list of updates, visit






Proud Citizen




Tale of the Cat

Forty Love



Dixie Union





Hoh Buzzard (IRE)




Hoh Buzzard (IRE)



Medaglia d'Oro

Home From Oz




Honey Ryder



Dixie Union




Raven's Pass





La Comete



Bluegrass Cat

Mary Coughlan



Broken Vow

Mary Coughlan



Gone West

Midway Squall



Even the Score

Mining My Own




Prospective buyers at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale can prepare by learning more about the 2013 investment incentives. These incentives permit small businesses to write off or expense certain amounts of the cost of qualified depreciable property. Yearlings can be an example of such property.

For new qualified depreciable property purchases, buyers may be able to write off half of the cost through 50% Bonus Depreciation. For new or used property purchases, buyers may be able to write off a generous amount of qualified depreciable property through the $500,000 Expense Allowance.  In either case, the property must be purchased and placed in service in 2013.

Buyers should consult their tax advisers and download more information about both incentives here.



This summer, September Sales graduates shone on the world stage.

Elusive Kate, champion filly at 2 and 3 in England and champion filly at 2 in France, accounted for two Group 1 wins this summer, with victories in the Ethihad Airways Falmouth at Newmarket and the Prix Rothschild at Deauville (click here to see auction video). Blandford Bloodstock purchased the Elusive Quality filly for $70,000 at the 2010 September Sale, where she was consigned by Clovelly Farms.

No Nay Never, based at Keeneland throughout much of the summer with Wesley Ward, became the first American-trained winner of Deauville’s Prix Morny (G1) in August. The Scat Daddy colt also won the Norfolk (G2) at Ascot in June. No Nay Never sold as a weanling at the 2011 November Breeding Stock Sale, and as a yearling at the 2012 September Sale, where he was bought by Cromwell Bloodstock from consignor Paramount Sales, agent (click here to see auction video).


In addition, the Sales section of Keeneland’s website – -- contains a wealth of useful information, including a catalog search feature:

A Media Kit about the sale, including statistical information and biographies of leading consignors and buyers, is available at:

The entire sale will be streamed live on Highlights will appear on Keeneland’s Facebook and Twitter page (hashtag #keesept).



Keeneland Association, Inc. 4201 Versailles Road
Lexington, Kentucky 40510
Telephone: (859) 254-3412 Toll Free: (800) 456-3412 Fax: (859) 255-2484

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