Seven yearlings sold for $1m or more on Wednesday bring sale total to 20
Strong day of selling ends with flurry of big prices
Topped by a son of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah purchased by Larry Best's Oxo Equine for $1.4 million, the Keeneland September Yearling Sale continued to show sustained momentum during Wednesday's third session.
Keeneland reported 151 yearlings sold for $52,883,000, an average price of $350,219 and a median of $270,000. The 55 horses who went unsold represented an RNA rate of 26.7 per cent.
While exact session-to-session comparisons are difficult because this year's sale was reformatted from 2017, the cumulative figures after three sessions are tracking well ahead of last year.
From 742 head catalogued for the first three days, Keeneland has sold 457 horses for $167,338,000, compared with $149,414,000 paid for 483 head through the same period in 2017.
This year's sale has averaged $366,166 with a $280,000 median, compared with the $309,346 average and $220,000 median in 2017. The cumulative RNA rate is 27.5 per cent, with 173 lots not sold.
Seven horses were sold for prices in excess of $1m on Wednesday, bringing the number of seven-figure transactions to 20 during the first three days. There were 13 horses sold for $1m or more during the entire 2017 sale.
"The session started very strong and certainly ended with a bang," said Keeneland director of sales operations Geoffrey Russell, referring to the four horses who brought more than $1m near the end of the day.
"There is a diversity of buyers regarding those who bought the million-dollar horses and regarding where they are from geographically. There is international and domestic money at the top, which is very good for our industry."
Russell said one reason the numbers may be tracking ahead of last year is that better-quality stock has been on offer.
"I think this year's crop might be a little better than last year's crop," Russell said. "The market this year has seen better-quality horses come through, and these buyers are willing to stretch [their budgets] for them. We are fortunate that the top consignors in the world bring their horses to Keeneland."
The session-topper bred and consigned by Sierra Farm was produced from the multiple Grade 2-winning Pulpit mare Bsharpsonata, the dam of three stakes-placed runners.
Bsharpsonata was purchased by Sierra Farm for $375,000 from the Woodford Thoroughbreds consignment to the 2016 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale while carrying the American Pharoah colt in utero.
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