LEXINGTON, KY (Sept. 16, 2017) – The positive energy from Week 1 of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale carried forward as the sale resumed Saturday following a one-day break, with competition among leading buyers for top-quality horses spurring strong trade, topped by the sale of a colt by Pioneerof the Nile for $525,000 to Steven W. Young, agent.
Keeneland sold 253 yearlings for $31,392,500 on Saturday, for an average of $124,081 and a median of $100,000.
Through the first five days of the 12-day sale, Keeneland has sold 934 yearlings for $228,037,500, for an average of $244,151 and a median of $172,500.
“Today’s session started off very quickly and successfully, and that energy went all the way through day’s end,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell said. “The prices were very fair and the bidding was quite spirited at times. People are still hungry to buy.
“The transition into the next group of buyers has gone very well,” he said. “We still have some buyers staying over from the first week, and now we are seeing some new fresh faces participating. If a good, special horse entered the ring, there was plenty of money for it.”
Saturday’s high seller, consigned by Gainesway, agent, is the first foal out of Bella Fafa (BRZ), by Elusive Quality, and from a family of group winners in Brazil.
“He’s a really nice horse,” said Young, who purchased the colt for an undisclosed client. “I thought he was a Book 1 horse. He cost about what we thought he would. (It seemed like) everyone in the Pavilion bid on him once. (Bidding) is very competitive for good horses. Whether you lead them up there in the first 100 hips or (later in the sale), there is money if it is a really good horse.”
The session’s highest-priced filly is a daughter of Trappe Shot sold to Ron Winchell’s Winchell Thoroughbreds for $480,000. Consigned by Elm Tree Farm, she is a half-sister to stakes winner Mr Palmer and from the family of Grade 1 winners Behrens and Commentator. Her dam, In Truth, is by Quiet American.
“She was way more expensive than I thought she would be,” Winchell said. “We were looking from a perspective of eventually breeding, so it was more than just looking at a racehorse. Maybe we will breed her to Gun Runner (the 2017 Stephen Foster-G1, Whitney-G1 and Woodward-G1 winner Winchell Thoroughbred owns with Three Chimneys Farm). We’re looking long term.”
“(We sold the filly) for breeder Nancy Shuford of North Carolina, one of our longtime clients,” said Jody Huckabay, who owns Elm Tree Farm with his wife, Jody. “She couldn’t go to a better home.”
Elm Tree Farm, agent, also consigned a colt by First Samurai out of stakes winner Coastal Sunrise, by Congrats, purchased by Mr. and Mrs. J.S. Moss for $475,000. He is from the family of Grade 2 winner Ruler’s Court and Grade 3 winner Wall Street Wonder.
Oussama Aboughgazale’s International Equities Holding paid $460,000 for a colt by Stormy Atlantic consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent. He is the first foal out of the Unbridled’s Song mare La Quintessa, a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Mi Sueno. La Quintessa and Mi Sueno are out of Grade 1 winner and millionaire Madcap Escapade.
“He really stood out as a good-walking, athletic horse,” Frances Relihan, Aboughgazale’s bloodstock manager, said. “We are trying to buy good physical specimens that move well. We thought we might have been able to get him at a little bit of a lower price, but with his physical he really stood out. We had to push a little bit to get him but we wanted him.”
More Than Ready is the sire of the $450,000 filly sold to Don Adam’s Courtlandt Farm. Consigned by Lane’s End, agent for Kinsman Farm, she is out of the winning Quality Road mare Quality Rose and from the family of Grade 1 winners Dancing Spree, Furlough and Fantastic Find.
“She is a beautiful filly from a great young family,” Courtland manager Ernie Retamoza Jr. said. “We bought (yearlings during Week 1 of the September Sale), and now we are gathering up some good physicals from good families. We love More Than Ready. He is a racehorse sire. On the weekends, his horses run all over the country and all over the world. We are concentrating on fillies in this book.
“She will go with me to Courtlandt Farm in Ocala and then ultimately to (trainer) Mark Hennig at the track.”
Mike Ryan, agent, was the leading buyer on Saturday, spending $3,350,000 for 16 horses.
Gainesway sold 21 yearlings for $4,140,000 to be the day’s leading consignor.
The September Sale continues through Saturday, Sept. 23, with all sessions beginning at 10 a.m. ET. The entire sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.