First three days of the Keeneland Fall Yearling Sale
Today, I am noting some interesting bits from the first three days of the Keeneland Fall Yearling Sale. The first day held no surprises. Buyers were still looking for good horses at moderate prices. Only one horse sold for a million dollars. 108 horses sold for $34,451,000 whereas last year 150 horses sold for $44,642,000. Fewer horses were presented for sale, so the unsold rate was 35.7% this year compared to 31.2% last year. 25 horses sold for a half million or more compared to just 19 last year. The average price was up 7.4% and the median was up 1%.
Tuesday, the second day of the Book I sale was essentially a repeat of day one. One horse sold for $1.2 million, 25 sold in the $500,000 to 900,000 range (compared to 18 last year) and both the average and median were up by 7.4 and 12% respectively. Again fewer horses were presented for sale, and 227 have been sold in the first two days compared to 292 last year. The big flap of the day was a mistaken reserve of $1.9 set on a colt bred by Mandy Pope, a well-known horsewoman here in Kentucky. She had to buy back the horse at $1.9 million and will undoubtedly lose money when the horse is sold.
Session three on Wednesday was more exciting. A Clarkland Farm colt brought a cool $3 million, the highest price paid for a horse in the yearling sale since the 2010 sale when Mr. Beslin brought $4.2 million. In all six horses sold for $1 million or more with a colt out of Tapit selling for $2 million. The cumulative (for three days) average was up 14.6% and the median was up 20% to $300,000. This was good news for those who consigned horses. The unsold rate for session III was 24.7% and the cumulative unsold for three days was 30.66% down about a quarter of 1% from last year. Everyone was breathing easier.
The sales are more important to the health of Kentucky breeders than are the racetracks. Of course neither breeding nor racing pays much in taxes that are not returned in incentives. Kentucky has been “hornswoggled” by the racing industry for decades.
This blog is based on three articles by Alicia Wincze Hughes in the Lexington Herald-Leader
on Tuesday through Thursday, September 13-15, 2016, all on page 6A each day.