Lexington, Ky – The Keeneland September Yearling Sale, the worldâ€™s premier Thoroughbred auction, closed Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, with results nearly equal to 2013, continuing a healthy trend toward market stability.
Gross receipts for the 13-day sale, held Sept. 8-21, totaled $279,960,500. A total of 2,819 yearlings were sold versus 2,744, for $280,491,300, in 2013. The average price of $99,312 was down 2.8 percent from $102,220 last year. The median remained the same as last year, at $50,000.
â€śThe success of this sale flows from the fact that we continue to operate in a fair, realistic market,â€ť said Keeneland vice president of sales Walt Robertson. â€śWe had a significant improvement in results the last two years. Now weâ€™re seeing consistency and stability in the market, which fuels optimism, heightens buyer confidence, and spurs competition.â€ť
Trade in the upper middle market, defined as horses sold for $400,000 or more, proved exceptionally strong despite 113 fewer horses cataloged. Thirteen yearlings sold for $1 million or more, including two for the sale-topping price of $2.2 million each, compared to 18 last year. Altogether, 121 yearlings brought $400,000 or more each versus 105 sold in that price range in 2013.
Further indication of the saleâ€™s strong performance lies in the fact that during the first weekend and week 2 of the sale, the highest-priced yearling of each session exceeded the top price for the corresponding session in 2013. In each of those sessions, a yearling sold for $100,000 or more.
â€śThere was all-out competition for horses from start to finish, and buyers were more determined to go home with horses,â€ť said Keeneland director of sales Geoffrey Russell.
In addition to the U.S., Europe and Dubai, buyers from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Japan, Korea, Russia, and Central and South America were also active at the sale.
John Ferguson, bloodstock adviser to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai, was the saleâ€™s leading buyer, acquiring 22 yearlings for $7.88 million. The second-leading buyer was Ben Glass, agent for leading U.S. owners Gary and Mary West, who purchased 29 horses for $7,805,000.
This year colts by two of the worldâ€™s most successful stallions each brought the sale-topping price of $2.2 million. The first was a son of War Front consigned by Claiborne Farm and purchased by M.V. Magnier. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoumâ€™s Shadwell Estate Company Ltd. bought the second top-priced yearling, a half-brother by Tapit to Breedersâ€™ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner New Yearâ€™s Day, consigned by Clearsky Farms, agent.
For the third consecutive year, Tapit, who stands at Gainesway, in Lexington, was the saleâ€™s leading sire, with 36 yearlings that grossed $21,725,000. The average price for his yearlings was $603,472, the highest average for a sire at the September Sale since 2007, when 23 yearlings by A.P. Indy sold for an average of $858,043.
Moyglare Stud Farm paid $1.5 million for the saleâ€™s top-priced filly, a daughter of Medaglia dâ€™Oro and a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Nereid. She was consigned by Royal Oak Farm.
During Sundayâ€™s final session, Keeneland sold 178 horses for $1,913,300, for an average of $10,749 and a median of $6,000. There was no comparable session for last yearâ€™s 12-day sale. Lisa Orth paid the dayâ€™s top price of $120,000 for Fort Hope, a colt by Fort Prado out of the Vindication mare Zindi. The colt was consigned by MJK Bloodstock, agent.
Keenelandâ€™s next sale will be the November Breeding Stock Sale, to be held Nov. 4-14.