09/22/2017 2:21PM

Keeneland September yearling sale poised for record finish

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After gains through the first five books of the Keeneland September yearling sale, the marathon auction began its final run with the Book 6 opener on Friday, and found continued buoyancy in the low end of the market. The penultimate session posted across-the-board gains in key economic categories, and the sale is poised to finish with record returns when it wraps up Saturday.

Friday's session finished with 159 yearlings sold for total gross receipts of $2,111,900, a gain of 42 percent from 168 sold for $1,490,300 in the 2016 Book 6 opener. The session average price was $13,282, and the median was $7,500. Those represented gains of 50 percent and 100 percent, respectively, from $8,871 and $3,750 in the similar session last year. The session buyback rate was a vastly improved 10 percent, compared to 29 percent.

With one session remaining, Keeneland September's cumulative gross is $306,377,600, already ranking sixth-highest all-time in the sale’s history. The cumulative average price currently sits at $126,602, compared to the record $112,427 established in 2006. The median price is tracking at $65,000. The record in that category is $50,000, established in 2013 and matched in 2014 and 2015.

Displaying continued strength at the top of the market, a Gio Ponti filly sold for $115,000 to John Brocklebank, as agent for R3 Stables, to lead Friday's session. No horses fetched six figures during the two sessions of Book 6 in 2016.

Consigned by Penn Sales, the session-topping filly is a half-sister to Grade 3-placed The Accuser and stakes-placed Toulouse Lautrec. Their dam, the Meadowlake mare Lac Du Printemps, is a full sister to Grade 1 winner Greenwood Lake, as well as a half-sister to Canadian champion Charlie Barley and Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Success Express.

Entities with ties to the session-topping filly all led their respective categories for the session. Multiple Eclipse Award champion Gio Ponti, who stands at Castleton Lyons, finished as the session's leading sire by both gross and average among those with three or more sold. His three yearlings sold fetched a total of $139,500, an average of $46,500.

Fueled by the session topper, Penn Sales was the day's leading consignor by average among those with three or more sold, that figure checking in at $45,750 for its four yearlings. Lane's End Farm was the leading consignor by gross, with 14 sold for $246,500. Its group was led by the session's second-highest-priced horse, an $87,000 City Zip colt sold to Calumet Farm. Brocklebank made two purchases in the name of R3 Stables to finish as the session's leading buyer by gross receipts.
The Keeneland September sale's final session begins at 10 a.m. Eastern on Saturday.
For hip-by-hip results, click here:
http://flex.keeneland.com/summaries/summaries.html