09/16/2012 8:32PM

Keeneland September: Sixth session produces across the board gains

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Keeneland’s September yearling sale continued its pattern of gains Sunday when the sixth of 11 sessions posted increases across the board.

Sunday’s session grossed $21,625,000 for 281 yearlings, up 5  percent from last year’s total for 292 horses at the 2011 Sunday session. Average also increased, rising 9 percent from last year’s $70,462 to $76,957, and median price gained 20 percent as it climbed from $50,000 at last year’s Sunday session to $60,000 this year. Session buybacks were 23 percent, slightly better than last year’s 24 percent at the equivalent session. 

Winchell Thoroughbreds bought Sunday’s session-topper, a $370,000 Elusive Quality colt out of Distinctively, a daughter of 1994 champion 3-year-old filly Heavenly Prize. KatieRich Farms sold the bay May 25 foal. His dam, an Awesome Again mare, is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Good Reward and Grade 2 winner Pure Prize, both stallions. She’s also a three-quarters-sister to Just Reward, the dam of Grade 1 winner Persistently.

Sunday’s top-priced filly was a  $270,000 Empire Maker daughter of Grade 3 winner Wacky Patty, by Formal Dinner. Bluewater Sales, as agent for GEM Stable, bought the bay filly, a Jan. 25 foal. Mulholland Springs was the seller.

Cumulatively through Sunday, the auction had sold 1,232 yearlings for $180,269,000, a total that was running behind last year’s gross of $186,405,000 for 1,325 at the equivalent Sunday session.  But the cumulative average on Sunday was up 4  percent over last year at $146,322 versus $140,683, and the $100,000 cumulative median was level with last year’s figure through the Sunday session. Cumulative buybacks through Sunday were 26 percent, level with figures  at last year’s Sunday session.

Last year’s sale featured a larger catalog and an additional select session, two as opposed to one this year under a reformatted auction. 

The sale   continues through Friday  at the Keeneland sale pavilion in Lexington. Sessions start daily at 10 a.m., and the auction sessions are available online via live streaming at www.keeneland.com.