09/12/2017 7:51PM

Keeneland September moves into Book 2 with spike in average

Keeneland photo
A Scat Daddy colt sold for $950,000 to lead the first session of the Keeneland September yearling sale's Book 2 portion.

Healthy trade continued as the revamped Keeneland September yearling sale moved into its Book 2 catalog on Tuesday. The segment’s first session, topped by a $950,000 Scat Daddy colt, posted favorable returns compared with last year’s second book.

Books 1 and 2 of this year’s Keeneland September sale are arranged with an ultra-select, single-session first book followed by three Book 2 sessions before the auction’s traditional dark day. By comparison, last year’s sale featured a three-day Book 1, followed by the dark day, then two Book 2 sessions.

Tuesday’s session closed with 194 yearlings sold for revenues of $48,221,000, resulting in an average price of $248,562 and a median of $200,000. That average price represents a 55 percent gain from the 2016 Book 2 opener, which checked in at $160,736. The figure is currently tracking 67 percent above the 2016 Book 2 cumulative average of $148,672

Tuesday’s buyback rate closed at 34 percent, compared with 31 percent in the 2016 Book 2 opener, and 33 percent for last year’s Book 2 overall.

At the top of the market, six horses sold for $750,000 or more.

“Our goal this year was to get the sale off on a good mark, which we did last night [in Book 1], and I think the enthusiasm continued very favorably today,” Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland’s director of sales operations, said. “The cross-section of buyers was very good, both domestically and internationally, and a good cross-section of sires [sold] very well.”

Bloodstock agent Kerri Radcliffe purchased the session topper, a $950,000 colt from the final crop of late sire Scat Daddy, in the session’s waning hips on behalf of Phoenix Thoroughbreds.

The chestnut colt is the first foal out of the stakes-placed Mr. Greeley mare Miss Lamour, and hails from the family of Grade 1 winner Serape, English Group 1 winner Hawkbill and Grade 3 winner Batique.

“I was waiting all week to find a Scat Daddy colt, I saw him, I fell in love with him, and I had to buy him,” Radcliffe said. “He’s a bull of a horse. He actually reminded me a lot of [Group 2-winning Scat Daddy filly] Acapulco at the 2-year-old sales, so I hope he’s as good as she was at Ascot.”

:: KEENELAND SEPTEMBER: Real-time analysis and streaming video ::

The colt was bred in Kentucky by the Helen K. Groves Revocable Trust, which also bred Miss Lamour, second dam Batique, and third dam Serape. Gainesway consigned the colt, as agent.

“He’s a beautiful horse,” Michael Hernon of Gainesway said. “He came up like he was terrific in the back ring, so composed and classy. He’s just a special horse.

“I thought that was a very good price for him, but he might look inexpensive next year,” Hernon continued. “I think he’ll be a really good 2-year-old.”

Internationally-successful sire Scat Daddy, who was based at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud until his death in December 2015, was Tuesday’s leading sire by gross, with 16 horses sold for $4,565,000, including the session-topper.

Hill ‘n’ Dale’s Violence, among this season’s leading freshman sires, was the top sire by average sale price among those with three or more sold, with four horses bringing an average of $523,750. His most expensive yearling was an $850,000 full brother to stakes winner Buy Sell Hold, who sold to the partnership of Radcliffe and Three Chimneys Farm.

Taylor Made Sales Agency finished the day as the leading consignor by gross, with 24 yearlings sold for a total of $6,215,000. Leading the way was a $750,000 War Front filly bought by Cheveley Park Stud Ltd.

Godolphin led the day’s buyers, with seven purchases totaling $3,180,000. The most expensive of the group was a $650,000 colt by Dubawi, who stands at the global operation’s English stallion base.

At the end of two sessions, a total of 289 horses have changed hands for revenues of $102,396,000. The average sale price sat at $354,311, the median sits at $255,000, and the cumulative buyback rate is 34 percent

The Keeneland September sale continues Wednesday with the second session of Book 2. This portion of the sale, running through Thursday, begins each day at 11 a.m., Eastern. After the auction’s dark day on Friday, the sale resumes daily through Sept. 23, with a 10 a.m. start time.

For hip-by-hip results, click here.