Keeneland Book 1 graduates to be eligible for $500,000 bonus
Pool of $1.5 million to be shared by elite winners
Keeneland's September Yearling Sale, its reputation freshly varnished by Arrogate, will have a new structure in 2017 - and a lucrative new rewards programme oriented not to quantity, but to quality.
Those who either buy or sell Book 1 graduates, sold in a select session of 200 on September 11, will tap into a $750,000 bonus pool for Grade 1 or Group 1 winners. This fund will be doubled to $1.5 million when they race as three-year-olds, to cater for the next crop of juveniles. A special double incentive will be offered for elite prizes won on Keeneland's home racetrack, and also for the Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes.
The scheme, announced by the historic Lexington house on Wednesday, will cap bonuses at $500,000. Unlike those offered elsewhere, it trades heavily on Keeneland's reputation as a place to find elite runners.
"The Book 1 Bonus was created to reward sellers and owners from the sales ring to the winner's circle," said Bill Thomason, Keeneland's president and chief executive. "This unique Book 1 Bonus, in concert with our changes to the Book 1 Sale format, is an extension of Keeneland’s mission to reinvest in the thoroughbred industry and to promote excellence in the sport."
Book 2 will comprise daily sessions of 350 lots over three days, with a regrouping day on September 15 followed by an unbroken eight-day marathon.