Storm’n Indian, purchased for $2.05 million by John Ferguson for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, was the highest-selling lot during the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, which concluded on Monday, September 28. From the last full crop of leading sire Storm Cat, the colt is the first foal out of champion mare Fleet Indian, and one of four yearlings to command $1 million or more during the sale.

Ferguson, on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed, was the sale’s leading buyer, purchasing 34 yearlings for $13,980,000. For the sixth consecutive year, Taylor Made, agent for the colt’s seller, Summer Wind Farm, ranked as the leading September sale consignor, selling 324 yearlings for $26,488,600.

The 14-day sale added up to $191,859,200, with the average price of $60,734 down 33.25 percent from $90,984 in 2008. A total of 3,159 yearlings were sold compared to 3,605 a year ago.

“The last two weeks have been very challenging for everyone,” said director of sales Geoffrey Russell. “Consignors are selling in the middle of a readjustment compounded by the global financial crisis and buyers are limited in their expenditures due to lack of available credit.

“The good news is that even though buyers were highly selective, bidding during the sale remained competitive and quality yearlings were difficult to buy.”

Russell also noted signs of improvement, including positive economic indicators in financial markets around the world for 2010.

International buyers such as Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, have been a driving force in yearling markets for over a decade. In 1997, when Keeneland yearling prices began their rapid ascent, the average price on 2,844 head was $54,384.

“Keeneland’s long-term international efforts in legacy and emerging markets provided a consistent return from start to finish,” said Russell. “We take great satisfaction that based on their success with Keeneland graduates, buyers from emerging markets are participating earlier in the sale. They know that the Kentucky Thoroughbred is the most competitive product in the world.”