Updated 2 months ago
During Tuesday's second session of the 70th Keeneland September Yearling Sale, four horses sold for $1 million. Through the first two sessions of the sale, eight yearlings have been sold for seven figures, exceeding the seven sold during the entire sale last year. (Early during the Wednesday session, the sale recorded its ninth million-dollar yearling when a Tiznow filly who is a half-sister to champion Speightstown sold for $1.75 million.)
On Wednesday morning, several consignors and buyers talked about the sale:
Bill Farish of Lane's End Farm, leading consignor through first two sessions: "After the first two days, we're very happy with how (the sale is) going. There seems to be a very good, deep market, a lot of different buyers. ... (We've seen) the most looks per horse that we've seen maybe ever in September, particularly the Tuesday horses because they had an extra day of showing. We had several that had over 200 looks. They're getting pretty exhausted when you're showing them that much."
George Isaacs of Bridlewood Farm: "It certainly appears to me the market's coming back. It's good trade for the buyer as well as the seller, and I'm just happy to be here. Bridlewood has a new owner (John C. Malone), and we're going to develop a program for him one horse at a time."
Brereton C. Jones of Airdrie Stud, who sold the $1.3 million session-topper, a filly by Bernardini, on Tuesday: "The market's got every right to be strongly opinionated on what they like and what they don't like. I totally understand that. I'm tickled to death because I think we got a very fair price for the filly, and she is just fabulous physically. I wouldn't change a thing about her - not a single hair."
Let's Go Stables LLC on Facebook: "Nothing today at Keeneland, we were under bidder on three horses. You better be tied on if you plan on buying a good individual in book 1."
Hugo Merry, who bought the $1 million Malibu Moon filly, the final horse in the ring on tuesday: "We're (working) to find really well-bred fillies that jump through all the hoops with the vetting and the conformation and the walk and the pedigree. This one fit it for us, so we're very happy."
Mike Ryan, agent: "I think it's a great sale. There are a lot of good horses, and if you have what they like, what they want, you get well-paid. A lot of depth of quality, and there's a horse for everybody here. It's a good crop of yearlings. We've had a great summer. Horses are well-grown, plenty of size, plenty of scope, plenty of substance."
Tom VanMeter of VanMeter Sales, who sold a $1 million Tapit colt on Tuesday: "I think the market's good. It's deep and lots of interest back here. We really like the new format and the late starts. We used to start - when, 10? Well, we'd be swamped on sale day. We'd have 50 lookers and four areas to show the horses. It's maybe a little more walking for (the prospective buyers), but I really like it."
FOOTBALL HALL OF FAMER TAKES IN SALE
The September Sale is a showcase for the who's who of the Thoroughbred world, but the excitement of it also draws star power from all walks of life, including a National Football League Hall of Famer.
Terry Bradshaw, a four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, joined Twin Creeks Racing's Randy Gullatt and Steve Davison in the Sales Pavilion for much of Tuesday's session. The group was also on the Keeneland grounds on Monday and planned to remain through at least Wednesday's third session of Book 1.
"Oh, it's a big deal," Bradshaw said of the September Sale. "I enjoy it."
Bradshaw has long been involved with American Quarter Horse halter horses but has branched into the Thoroughbred industry with Davison, whom Bradshaw used to babysit during his collegiate career at Louisiana Tech. Bradshaw has been part of the partnership that owns Grade 1 winner Graydar and raced multiple Grade 2 winner Mission Impazible.
On Tuesday, the group purchased Hip 227, a colt by Unbridled's Song out Miss Mambo. Gullatt signed the ticket on the yearling.
"Another Unbridled's Song (offspring)," Davison said, referring to the sire of Graydar and Mission Impazible. "We're kind of partial to them."
Bradshaw joked Davison and Gullatt may need to keep a close eye on him through the remainder of the September Sale. He nearly bid on another yearling on Tuesday but resisted the urge.
"There was an Unbridled's Song filly that came in," Bradshaw said. "Four socks, big blaze, looked like (graded stakes winner and deceased stallion) Master Command. Nobody was bidding on her. I've never bought a horse here and I didn't want anybody laughing at me, but I almost - almost - bought her."
LONE BOOK 1 HORSE SELLS TODAY FOR MAYNARD FARM
Richard Maynard's Maynard Farm of Lexington, whose three-horse consignment to the September Sale includes one horse in Book 1 that sells today, has good reason to feature a maple leaf in its logo. Maynard bred two-time Canadian Horse of the Year Chief Bearhart from his foundation mare, Amelia Bearhart.
Out of a half-sister to Mr. Prospector, Amelia Bearhart also produced Grade 1 winner Explosive Red and stakes winner Ruby Ransom, dam of Grade 2 winner Strut the Stage and Group 3 winner Sacred Song, as well as Stormy Bear, the Storm Cat mare who produced Maynard's Wednesday yearling, Hip 507.
"He's a really nice (son of)) Malibu Moon out of a great family," Steve Pederson, Maynard's son-in-law, said." He's real strong and athletic."
The farm has been selling at Keeneland September since 2007. That year it sold Ibn Al Nafis, a half-brother to Hip 507 by Distorted Humor, to John Ferguson for $1.9 million. In 2007, Maynard Farm, agent for B.A. Mann, sold Grade 1 winner Island Sand in foal to A.P. Indy for $4.2 million at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.
"We have good optimism, and we've been fortunate over the years," Pederson said. "We really like this colt and we think he'll do well. It's been a good market for Malibu Moon."
AROUND THE RING
Nick Nicholson, former President and CEO of Keeneland Association, will deliver the keynote speech at the 47th International Conference of Horseracing Authorities on Oct. 7 at the France Galop offices in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. Nicholson will speak about the conference's main topic, "Developing and Promoting International Competition," but will also discuss challenges and other important issues he encountered during his career in horse racing.
SPOTLIGHT ON SEPTEMBER SALE GRADUATES
Keeneland September Yearling Sale graduates made headlines on Dubai World Cup Day 2013 on March 30 at Meydan Racecourse.
Animal Kingdom, winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, burnished his racing resume with a win in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1). Owner Team Valor International paid $100,000 for Animal Kingdom, who was consigned by Denali Stud, agent, to the 2009 September Sale (click here to see auction video).
Reynaldothewizard scored two group wins in March at Meydan, winning the Mahab Al Shimaal (G3), followed by the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1). The son of Speightstown sold for $400,000 to Hartley/De Renzo at the 2007 September Sale. He was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent (click here to see auction video).