09/17/2013 8:10PM

Keeneland September: Robust trade continues in final Book 3 session


The third book of the 2013 Keeneland September yearling sale wrapped on Tuesday just like the first two books before it, with its final session posting across-the-board improvement when matched against last year’s comparable session.

A total of 303 yearlings sold during Tuesday’s session for a gross of $16,383,000, a 41 percent jump compared with the $11,648,500 from 302 sold in 2012. The average price of $54,069 increased 40 percent from $38,571 last year, while the median spiked 50 percent, from $30,000 to $45,000.

Tara Bella Farm secured the most expensive yearling of the eighth session, purchasing an Afleet Alex colt for $280,000.

The bay colt is the third foal out of the multiple stakes-placed winning Vindication mare Blowing Kisses. Blowing Kisses is out of Grade 1 winner Hookedonthefeelin, making her a half-sister to Grade 1 winners Pussycat Doll and Jimmy Creed. This year’s Grade 1 Acorn Stakes winner Midnight Lucky is another close relative to the session-topper.

Bred in Kentucky by Betz, CoCo Equine, Lamantia and Blackburn, the colt was consigned by Betz Thoroughbreds Inc., as agent. The transaction made the colt the highest-priced foal out of Blowing Kisses to sell at public auction.

Taylor Made Sales Agency finished as the session’s leading consignor by gross, with 27 yearlings sold for a total of $1,553,000. Ben Glass, the bloodstock agent for Gary and Mary West, signed the ticket for the consignment’s top-priced horse, going to $150,000 on an Eskendereya colt from the family of 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam.

Glass and the Wests were the session’s top buyers, with four purchases totaling $500,000.

Gainesway stallion Afleet Alex was the eighth session’s leading stallion by gross, with nine yearlings sold for a combined $734,000, led by the session-topper.

First-crop sire Lookin at Lucky, who stands at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud, was the session’s leading stallion by average from those with three or more sold, moving three yearlings for an average price of $103,333. His offspring was led by a colt who is a sibling to two stakes winners, bought by Jim Ryan for $115,000.

After surpassing the final gross of the 2012 Keeneland September sale on Monday, the current sale continued to establish itself as the biggest revenue-generator since 2008. Through eight sessions, 1,711 horses have sold for a combined $253,257,000, up 23 percent over the $205,811,000 from 1,843 sold last year. The eight-day average price was up 33 percent from $111,672 to $148,017, while the median improved 36 percent from $70,000 to $95,000.

Book 4 of the Keeneland September yearling sale commences with a session on Wednesday, beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern. The sale continues through Sept. 21.

For hip-by-hip results, click here.