Keeneland concluded its September Yearling Sale on Monday, September 25, with a world record for gross sales and a sale record for a yearling.

Gross receipts for the 14-day sale totaled $399,791,800, an increase of 4 percent over 2005. Record totals were driven in part by the sale of 32 yearlings that each sold for $1 million or more, highlighted by the sale of a Kingmambo-sired colt for $11.7 million to John Ferguson, on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum of Dubai. Consigned by Burleson Farms, the purchase eclipsed the previous record of $9.7 million paid last year by Sheikh Mohammed of Jilal. The Kingmambo colt, out of a stakes winning Seattle Slew daughter, was the second highest priced yearling sold at public auction, ranked just behind Seattle Dancer, who sold for a $13.1 million record at the 1985 Keeneland July Selected Yearling Sale.

“The select portion of this sale was stronger than last year and set the tone for the rest of the sale,” said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland’s director of sales. “However, the success of this sale was built on the middle market,” he added. “We graded deeper into the middle market this year and really made this a conformation class. Our consignors worked hard with us to understand and make adjustments, and they were rewarded with a stronger sale.”

The sale’s average price of $112,427 on 3,556 head was up 4 percent over the 2005 figures of $108,420 on 3,545 head, while the median rose 12.5 percent, from $40,000 to $45,000. 

“We saw great range and depth in terms of buyers this year,” Russell noted. “There was strong participation from both domestic and international pinhookers. And we were gratified to see horsemen from such countries as Russia, Sweden, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Korea, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, among others.”

For the eighth consecutive year, John Ferguson, bloodstock advisor to Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum, topped the buyer’s list, signing the ticket for 12 of the 32 yearlings that brought $1 million or more. Counted among his purchases were the four highest priced yearlings – the record $11.7 million Kingmambo colt; a $9.2 million colt from the last crop of Danzig; a $8.2 million Storm Cat colt consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency; and a $5.7 million Mr. Greeley colt consigned by Vinery Ltd. Taylor Made Sales Agency led the consignor’s list, selling a total of 406 horses for $58,108,800.