09/22/2011 2:29PM

Keeneland sale slows down


LEXINGTON, Ky. – A day after Keeneland posted its seventh consecutive day of increases, prices were lower Thursday as Keeneland’s September yearling sale neared its end.

Wednesday’s session sold six yearlings for $100,000 or more, but by 3 p.m. Thursday’s 11th session had yet to reach that barrier. The most expensive horse at that point in the day was a $65,000 Pleasantly Perfect colt out of the Unbridled mare Wild Country. A March 17 foal named St. Padraig, he went to Adena Springs from consignor Paramount Sales, agent. He is half-brother to the winner Kens Cape, and his second dam is multiple graded winner Shawnee Country.

The Keeneland September sale, which ends Saturday in Lexington, still remains on pace to outperform last year’s number overall.

On Wednesday, the 10th session sold 315 yearlings for $6,969,900, yielding an average price of $22,127 and a $15,000 median. A change in the auction’s format that trimmed Book 2 from four to three days this year has made session-to-session comparisons less meaningful, as quality in the auction tends to begin stepping down gradually after Book 2. This made 2011’s day 10 closest in quality to day 11 last season. Using that comparison, gross receipt up 66 percent from last year’s equivalent session, which sold 294 horses. Average was up 55 percent, and the median skyrocketed by 67 percent. Buy-backs were down significantly from 23 percent to 14 percent.

Through Wednesday, the world’s largest yearling market had sold 2,248 horses for $215,187,500. That was 12 percent ahead of last year’s figure. The average price was $95,724 and the median was $50,000, up by 18 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

Buy-backs stood at 23 percent, down from 26 percent last season.

The September sale was to continue through Sept. 24. Continuous daily sessions start at 10 a.m. and take place in Keeneland’s sale pavilion.