Book 4 concludes with Union Rags colt on top as strong sale continues
Bullish trade continued to fuel the Keeneland September Yearling Sale on Thursday as spirited bidding led to double-digit increases in key metrics, mirroring a trend seen since the sale started last week.
Keeneland reported 272 yearlings sold Thursday for $9,019,400, up 37.6 per cent over the $6,557,100 total during the comparable session a year ago when 255 changed hands. The average rose 29 per cent from $25,714 to $33,160, and the median increased 46.7 per cent from $15,000 to $22,000. The session RNA rate was 20.5 per cent with 70 not sold, compared with 18.5 per cent last year when 58 went unsold.
There were 14 yearlings sold for six figures, compared with a dozen during the comparable session a year ago during the final session of Book 4.
Cumulatively, from 2,998 yearlings offered to date, Keeneland reported 2,259 sold for $368,264,600, up 21 per cent over the $304,265,700 total after ten sessions in 2017. The average price is up 21 per cent from $134,571 to $163,021, and the median has increased 13.3 per cent from $75,000 to $85,000. The RNA rate is trending at 24.6 per cent, compared with 26.9 per cent last year.
A Union Rags colt purchased by agent Ben Glass for Gary and Mary West for $250,000 from the KatieRich Farms consignment topped the tenth session.
The second-highest price of $200,000 was paid by Bill Rucker Jr. for Hip 3215, a Goldencents colt consigned by Terrazas Thoroughbreds, agent. Bred in Kentucky by Albert G. Bell and Joyce E. Bell, the colt is out of the stakes-placed Tale of the Cat mare Sinister Tale.
Trainer Jeremiah Englehart said the colt will be owned by Rucker, Al Gold, and Johns Martin.
Englehart said part of his motivation for buying the colt was the advice of Webb Carroll Training Center-based Travis Durr, who accompanied the trainer to the sale and had broken Goldencents for his racing career.
"(Durr) told me he looked just like Goldencents," Englehart said, adding that he was glad to see the colt cataloged on the tenth day of the sale. "I was glad to see him this late in the sale because it was a small consignor and it was one of their better horses. I was prepared to go higher, but it's always nice when you can get it for less."
With three sessions remaining, the sale remained resilient as the better-quality individuals continued to attract buyer attention, with plenty of buyers inspecting the horses to be sold Friday through Sunday.
"The barn activity has been fantastic, and I think it will continue," said Hunter Simms, partner and director of bloodstock services for consignor Warrendale Sales. "There are some clients that are going to have very good sales and some clients that are going to have just OK sales, depending on the type of horses they have in those given books. The pedigree is going to be lighter, the sire power is going to be lighter, but good physicals bring plenty of money in these books. If you have a good physical, buyers are willing to pay for it."
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