03/13/2013 3:31PM

Keeneland revamps format for September yearling sale

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Keeneland sales officials have announced a redesign of the format for the 2013 September yearling sale, which will be held Sept. 9-20.

“We continually adapt the September Sale format to meet the current needs of our consignors and buyers, and these changes reflect the ‘market of the moment,’” Keeneland vice president of sales Walt Robertson said. “This is a two-week sale that essentially spans three distinct markets. Our goal is to facilitate the process so we can engage buyers from beginning to end.”

Under the new format, the premier Book 1 catalog will span the entire four-day opening week, from Sept. 9-12. Approximately 950 yearlings will be cataloged alphabetically by dam, with sessions beginning at 12 p.m. Eastern daily.

Following the traditional "dark day" on Friday, Sept. 13, the sale continues with the Book 2 sessions on Sept. 14 and 15, with sessions beginning at 10 a.m.

The sale concludes with Books 3-6 from Sept. 16-20, with sessions beginning at 10 a.m.

“This schedule creates efficiencies, and better fits the demands of our buyers and sellers,” Keeneland director of sales Geoffrey Russell said. “The 2012 September Sale was extraordinary in the sheer number of people who attended and the exceptionally high volume of trade they generated, particularly into the sale’s final days. The strength of that second week was unlike anything we’ve recently experienced. These format changes will aid consignors in marketing their horses to their fullest potential, and allow buyers to better navigate today’s highly competitive market.”

Last year's Keeneland September yearling sale posted double-digit growth in both average and median prices, with buyback rates decreasing by 10 percent or more during six of the sale's 11 sessions. Seven yearlings sold for $1 million or more, going to seven different buyers.