09/18/2013 8:32PM

Keeneland September: Trade remains strong into Book 4

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Even as the offerings meander farther from the select sessions of Book 1, it remains difficult to purchase a horse in a competitive market at the Keeneland September yearling sale. The numbers proved that as the sale moved into Book 4 on Wednesday.

A total of 311 yearlings brought $11,179,500 during Wednesday’s ninth session of the Keeneland September sale, topping last year’s ninth-session gross of $8,169,500 from 302 sold by 37 percent. The average sale price of $35,947 was an improvement of 33 percent over $27,051 last year, while the median rose 35 percent from $20,000 to $27,000. The buyback rate during the ninth session was 13 percent, up slightly from last year’s figure of 10 percent.

Wednesday’s trade was led by a Kitten’s Joy colt, who drew $185,000 from Cromwell Bloodstock, agent, late in the session.

The chestnut colt is the second foal out of the winning Stephen Got Even mare Esther Got Even, who is from the family of Italian champion Miswaki Tern, Grade/Group 2 winners Via Borghese and El Angelo, and Group 3 winner Porto Varas. He was consigned as agent by Dromoland Farm.

Bred in New York by N.Y. Kitten Foals LLC, the colt was a $100,000 purchase as a short yearling at the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale earlier this year.

Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency was the leading consignor by gross on Wednesday, with 24 horses sold for $938,000. Its roster was led by a $110,000 City Zip filly, who was purchased by Jet Horse II.

The leading buyer was Lothenbach Stables, Inc, which picked up six yearlings for a combined $447,000, topped by a $130,000 Mineshaft colt.

First-crop stallion Discreetly Mine was the ninth session’s leading sire by gross, with eight yearlings sold for a total of $352,000. The top-priced horse by the Lane’s End stallion was a $130,000 filly that was purchased by Morton James Racing.

Ramsey Farm stallion Kitten’s Joy was the day’s top sire by average price with three or more progeny sold,. He was represented by three yearlings moved for an average price of $105,000, led by the session-topper.

Through nine sessions, a total of 2,022 horses have sold for revenues of $264,436,500, an increase of 24 percent over the $214,039,000 generated from 2,145 sold to this point in 2012. The average price after nine days was up 31 percent from $99,785 to $130,780, while the median grew 54 percent from $50,000 to $77,000.

Book 4 of the Keeneland September sale continues Thursday at 10 a.m. Eastern. The sale runs through Sept. 21.