Keeneland September Yearling Sale
Friday, September 29, 2017 | RSS Feeds

We recently returned from Lexington, KY having spent seven days evaluating young thoroughbreds at the Keeneland Sales grounds. This marked our 12th consecutive year participating as buyers at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, which is widely considered one of the world's premier sales offering highly sought after bloodstock and catering to American and International buyers.

For this year’s sale, Keenleland Sales restructured the catalogue offering 167 yearlings in a select Book 1 followed by another 1036 yearlings in Book 2. The shift in format front-loaded prospects with significant sire power and international appeal.

The first session saw 95 horses change hands for a gross amount of $54,000,000 averaging $570,000. As expected, Book 1 was very strong and trade would remain vibrant throughout the week. In Book 2, 586 went through the sales ring grossing $142,400,000 and averaged $243,000.

With a new format to consider, comparative year-to-year analysis is more complex and inexact. It is certain, however, that this year’s first four sessions were a good indication of a strong marketplace with vigorous competition for quality individuals. It should be noted that the last time Keeneland offered a select Book 1 in 2012, the average was $400,000; a bargain in comparison to this year’s average of $570,000.

Our team, which includes trainers Todd Pletcher and JJ Pletcher with Pedigree Consultant Alan Porter, inspected over 1000 yearlings focusing on acquiring prospects with exceptional pedigree and conformation. As you would expect, we are all thrilled to leave with four yearlings totaling $1,035,000. With a diverse and promising group of yearlings to add to the roster, we’re looking forward to exciting and fruitful racing campaigns.

Additionally, the team was thrilled to see a great representation by freshman sire Verrazano. A son of More Than Ready campaigned by Let’s Go Stables and trained by Todd Pletcher, Verrazano was very popular among the most sophisticated buyers in the Thoroughbred industry. As a leading freshman sire, yearlings by Verrazano averaged $170,000 while his two highest priced yearlings surpassed $600,000 through the first six sessions.