September Sale soars beyond 2017's total in solid seventh session
1,433 lots have fetched turnover of $326,287,200
There were no breakout horses, but the Keeneland September Yearling Sale reached a milestone during Monday's seventh session as the sale's gross - with six sessions remaining - went over the total for last year's 12-day auction.
From 2,225 head cataloged through Monday, Keeneland reported 1,433 yearlings had been sold for gross receipts of $326,287,200 (£248,506,855/€279,269,215) for a cumulative average price of $227,695 (£173,420/€194,885) and a median price of $150,000 (£114,245/€128,420).
The 491 yearlings that have gone unsold represents a cumulative RNA rate of 25.5 per cent. The gross to date is the highest for the sale since 2008 when 3,605 head grossed $327,999,000.
The total for last year's 12-session September sale was $307,845,400 for 2,555 head sold at a record average of $120,487 and record median of $57,000.
During Monday's session, 289 head grossed $22,360,500, up 21.6 per cent over the $18,385,000 figure for the comparable session in 2017. The average price rose 16.2 per cent from $66,612 to $77,372 and the median price of $55,000 was up ten per cent over last year's $50,000 figure. The session RNA rate was 20.4 per cent.
The session-topper was a striking son of Empire Maker acquired by St Elias and Zayat Stables, with JJ Crupi, acting as agent, for $450,000.
Bred and consigned by Gainesway, the colt is out of the Mr Greeley mare Duke's Dream, a daughter of Grade 3 winner Successful Outlook. A daughter of Orientate, Successful Outlook has also produced Grade 1 winner Sweet Lulu, Grade 2 winner Anchor Down, and Grade 3 winner Iron Fist.
St Elias' Vinnie Viola said Ahmed Zayat, who raced one of Empire Maker's top sons in Pioneerof The Nile, thought the bay colt closely resembled that millionaire who went on to sire Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
"We liked the horse and Mr Zayat and his team liked the horse, so we decided to do it together," Viola said. "Mr Zayat and James Crupi, who short-listed Pioneerof The Nile, both said this horse looked just like Pioneerof The Nile. We thought the horse would bring $300,000-$500,000. We thought he was a good value."
"He was just a nice individual," said Crupi, seated in his regular spot in the back walking ring. "He looked like a runner, with everything in the right place,"
The session had a distinctly different vibe as the level of trade mirrored the decidedly smaller buying base than had been present during the first six sessions, but there was solid trade in the six-figure price range.
There were three yearlings that shared the day's co-second-highest price of $400,000.
A Quality Road colt consigned by War Horse Place and purchased by Ben Glass, agent for Gary and Mary West, hails from the female family of Grade 2 winner and sire Rockport Harbor and Grade 2 winner Regally Appealing. The colt was bred in Kentucky by Ghost Hollow Farms.
"He was a really nice colt," Glass said. "He presented himself well in the barn and he presented himself well in the ring. That was probably my last bid. He was well-placed here because of his female family. He was big dog here."
Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm went to $400,000 for a Medaglia D'Oro filly consigned by Baccari Bloodstock. Bred in Kentucky by Chester Price, Anne Price, and Seclusive Farm, the filly is a half-sister to multiple Grade 3 winner Thiskyhasnolimit. The filly's second dam is Grade 1 winner Cara Rafaela, who produced champion and prominent sire Bernardini and was voted Broodmare of the Year in 2006.
"She's beautiful and she had a great pedigree, so there was nothing to dislike about her," said Fox Hill's Victoria Keith. "That was exactly what we thought she'd bring."
The third $400,000 yearling Monday was an Into Mischief filly from the consignment of Select Sales, agent for Machmer Hall Farm.
Eisaman Equine was the session's leading buyer, spending $605,000 for four horses.
The day's leading consignor was Lane's End, which sold 33 yearlings for $2,967,000.
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