09/21/2010 9:17PM

Bidding slows at Keeneland sale's ninth session


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Bidding and prices during the ninth session of Keeneland’s 14-day September yearling sale dampened considerably on Tuesday compared to previous sessions, as the market began to show signs of weakness after relatively strong results earlier in the sale.

With 297 horses sold, gross proceeds on Tuesday were $7,995,400, for an average of $26,921. Median was $18,000. Last year for the ninth session, at a sale that had suffered steep declines compared to the sale in 2008, average was $26,919 with a median of $18,000 for 281 horses sold.

Comparisons between the 2009 and 2010 sessions last year and this year have been complicated by a reformatted sale this year, but, generally, the 2010 sessions have performed stronger than their counterparts last year. Prices for bloodstock plummeted in 2009 because of the recession and its impact on the ability of breeders and buyers to use credit to buy and breed horses.

The highest-priced horse to sell on Tuesday was a colt by Dixie Union out of the Sky Mesa mare Sky Select, who was unraced. Ben Glass, an agent for an unidentified buyer, signed the ticket after a final bid of $210,000. The colt was consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, as an agent.

Among the other seven horses who sold for $100,000 or more during the session, two horses sold for $160,000: a colt by Tiznow out of the High Yield mare Amazing Buy, bought by Greathouse Bloodstock and consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, as agent; and a colt by Macho Uno out of the General Meeting mare Dazzling Contrast, purchased by Michael Westen from the consignment of Gainesway, as agent.

During the preceding day’s sale, consignors sold 296 horses for gross receipts of $15,130,170, an average of $51,117, and a median of $39,500. Those results were far stronger than the results for the eighth session last year, when average was $35,565 and median was $25,000.

Cumulatively, through the nine sessions, 1,818 horses have been sold for gross proceeds of $181,750,100. Average price has been $99,973, and median has been $60,000. The cumulative average this year is a significant improvement on last year’s cumulative average through nine sessions of $88,433, while median last year was a much weaker $47,500 through nine sessions.

The sale, which is the largest Thoroughbred yearling auction in the world, continues through Sunday.