09/20/2013 5:24PM

Keeneland September: Penultimate session continues upward trend

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The stage is set for a big finish at the Keeneland September yearling sale, as the bellwether auction's penultimate session on Friday concluded in the same fashion as each preceding session by posting significant gains.

A total of 236 horses sold for gross receipts of $4,103,000 during Friday's 11th session, topped by an $85,000 Broken Vow filly. With significantly more horses sold, that figure was a 127 percent increase from 2012, when 146 horses sold for $1,805,000 during the sale's 11th and final session. The average price, $17,386, soared 41 percent from $12,363 in 2012 while the $12,000 median rose 20 percent from $10,000. The buyback rate remained level at 8 percent.

With one session remaining, the Keeneland September sale has grossed $277,578,100 from 2,549 horses sold. Last year's 11-session sale finished with 2,516 sold for $219,723,000. The current cumulative average and median prices are $108,897 and $57,000, respectively, both ahead of the 2012 finals. If the Keeneland September auction finishes with a six-figure average price, it will mark just the fourth time it has reached that benchmark since the sale began in 1953. The September sale's record median is $45,000, a mark established in 2006 and matched last year.

The session-topping Broken Vow filly, purchased by Michonne Farm, is out of the unraced Storm Cat mare Ranter, dam of three winners from four starters. Out of the Grade 1-winning Mr. Prospector mare Preach, Ranter is a full sister to stakes-placed winner Tell It, dam of stakes winner Dream Nettie. Ranter is also a half-sister to Grade 2 winner and sire Pulpit, Group 3-placed Urban Poet, and stakes producer Convent.

The filly was consigned by her breeder, Claiborne Farm, which also bred her first five dams. Claiborne bred and campaigned Pulpit, and stood the prominent sire until his death last year.

The session's top-priced colt was a son of young Juddmonte Farms sire First Defence, who was bought for $75,000 by Federico Barberini, acting as agent. The colt, out of the Officer mare Major Allie, was consigned by agent Eaton Sales.

Oklahoma stallion Latent Heat finished as the leading sire by gross, with 10 yearlings sold for a total of $145,000. Three Chimneys Farm's Yes It's True was the leading sire by average among those with three or more offspring sold, with three trading for an average price of $41,333.

Bolstered by the session-topper, Claiborne was the leading consignor by average among those with three or more sold, selling four horses for an average of $51,750. Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency was the leader by gross, with 19 horses totaling $342,500.

Michael Yates was the day's leading buyer, purchasing six horses for a total of $165,000. Among those who bought three or more horses. Eisaman Equine led by average, purchasing four horses for an average of $33,750.

The Keeneland September yearling sale concludes with its 12th session on Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern.

For hip-by-hip results, click here.