09/20/2011 3:49PM

Keeneland September's first eight days' gross surpasses all of 2010 sale


With day eight of the 13-day Keeneland September yearling sale in the books as of Monday night, gross proceeds from the startlingly strong sale had already surpassed the gross from last year’s 14-day yearling auction.

After selling $12.2 million worth of yearlings on Monday, the cumulative gross through the first eight sessions was $198,638,200 for 1,631 yearlings sold, just edging the 14-day gross for the sale last year of $198,254,900. Last year, Keeneland sold a total of 3,059 horses.

The strength of the sale has been a pleasant shock to the Thoroughbred industry at a time when nearly all of the sport’s major financial indices are declining. Through the eight days, cumulative average has been $121,789, up 21.8 percent compared with last year’s average through eight sessions, while the cumulative median, $75,000, is up 25 percent over the cumulative average for last year’s sale.

On late afternoon on Tuesday, two horses had sold for $200,000 to be co-session toppers. The first, a Medaglia d’Oro colt out of the Seeking the Gold mare Delve, from the family of Bosra Sham, was bought by Bob Baffert. The second, a War Front filly out of the Housebuster mare Dominica, was bought by Glen Hill Farm.

The running average for the 160 horses sold through late Tuesday afternoon was $32,600, and median was $24,000. Keeneland officials have said that they prefer this year’s later sessions to be compared with the sessions that took place one day later last year because of a format change to this year’s catalog. Under that comparison, the running average on Tuesday was up 29.5 percent compared with the final average for the comparable session last year, and the median was up 26.3 percent.