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Keeneland September Yearling Sale

Strong End To Keeneland September

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Strong End To Keeneland September

The Keeneland September Yearling Sale concluded its 13-day stand in Lexington Sunday with figures holding largely steady with last year’s powerful renewal of the auction. It was a very successful sale, Keeneland’s Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell summed up at the close of business Sunday afternoon.

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Keeneland September Continues to Roll

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Keeneland September Continues to Roll

Closing out its 10th day of selling, Keeneland realized increases for the fifth consecutive session of the September Yearling Sale in Lexington Thursday. During the second and final session of Book 4,276 horses sold for $9,376,000, a 3.7% increase over the gross of $9,038,600 for 291 horses sold last year. The average increased 9.3%, from $31,060 to $33,971. The median price of $25,000 remained the same as in 2013.

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Ka-ching, Ka-ching

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Ka-ching, Ka-ching

The premier session of the biggest sale of yearling racehorses in the world, Keeneland September, has just come to an end. Like Arqana’s sale in France last month, it was an encouraging marker for the recovering health of the world thoroughbred market, with the average up 7% in an almost-zero inflationary environment (at $300,535 or +-R3,300,000).

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Strong Gains at Keeneland September Book 1

Spurred by a half-dozen seven-figure horses, including two that each made $2.2 million, the fourth and final session of Keeneland September’s Book 1 concluded with across-the-board gains. All week, there was the feeling that September was in the midst of a very strong sale, with a lot of action in the $400,000 to $800,000 range, while the very top of the market was a little light.

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Keeneland September... One Hot Property

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Keeneland September... One Hot Property

In a week in which the financial world was sending out SOS signals from the Scottish referendum, lower job numbers in the States and a battling Rand, if you’d been at the Keeneland ringside in Kentucky yesterday, you’d be forgiven for believing it was a county of the moon.

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WHO WANTS TO WIN THE ARC ANYWAY

Keeneland September Yearling Sale
Keeneland September Yearling Sale

Keeneland September Yearling Sale

(Photo : Keeneland)

“LETTER FROM AMERICA”

By John P. Sparkman

Five years after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy during the 2008 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, total proceeds for the 2013 version of the sale surpassed the 2008 total with five sale days still remaining on the sale calendar. I think it is safe to say that the American breeding industry is back - at least in our own insular, persistently xenophobic fashion.

Few thoroughbred breeders and owners at the 2008 September Sale really understood what the disappearance of Lehman Brothers meant on the day it happened, but by the time the Keeneland November Sale rolled around two months later, virtually every thoroughbred they owned was worth 40% less than they had thought in September. Breeders deeply indebted to banks based on September bloodstock valuations and income projections were suddenly in very deep trouble. Although it took a few years, some were forced out of the business and many others cut back sharply.

The law of supply and demand is inexorable. American breeders were producing about 34,000 foals a year in 2008. This year they bred around 23,000, about a 33% decline since the crash.

That in itself would not explain fully the big surge in prices at Keeneland last week. Perhaps an even bigger factor is that wealthy Americans are feeling very, very good about themselves these days. Although the economic recovery that began with the election of Barack Obama has been cautious and hesitant, unemployment remains high and middle class wages are stagnant or declining, income for the wealthy has soared well past 2008 levels. Wealthy Americans have plenty of money to spend and racing is once again an attractive, exciting way to spend it.

Almost all of them, though, are interested only in spending money on horses to run in American races at American racetracks. In response to worries that European buyers are no longer very interested in American horses, one American reportedly said, in essence, “Who wants to win the Arc anyway?”

A sense of history coupled with respect for the institutions of the Old World has never been an American strong point and with wild-eyed Tea Party Republicans competing daily to proclaim themselves more genuinely, completely, against anything they choose to classify as un-American, that kind of statement is unsurprising among a class bound to lean toward the conservative in any climate. Never mind that Ted Cruz, the most wild-eyed of the Tea Partiers, and the one most obviously positioning himself for a Presidential run in 2016, was born in Canada, which is the self-same sin the Tea Partiers claim should disqualify Obama from the Presidency, despite his verified Hawaii birth certificate.

That should tell you all you need to know about the mood of the country right now. In other words, don’t expect rationality from us right now. You will be disappointed.

The answer to the question is, of course, that European and Middle Eastern buyers very much want to win the Arc and some of them have noticed that we are once again breeding horses that might actually have a chance, if not at the Arc, at winning a Guineas or a Champion Stakes. Last year Demi O’Byrne and Coolmore quietly began buying yearlings by Claiborne’s sensational young son of Danzig, War Front. Although he never raced on turf and never won a Grade 1, War Front’s first two crops showed brilliant ability on all surfaces, but especially turf, and, as usual, Coolmore was quick to act.

After the victories this year of Declaration Of War and War Command, owned in partnership by Coolmore and War Front’s owner-breeder Joe Allen, there was considerably more competition for War Front’s offspring. M.V. Magnier and company had to go to $2.5million for a beautiful War Front colt that topped the sale and to $1million for another who is a brother in blood to this year’s Grade 2 Super Derby winner Departing.

With Sadler’s Wells’ grandsons Medaglia D’Oro and Kitten’s Joy, plus Street Cry, Bernardini, War Front, and Distorted Humor, among others, obviously capable of siring top-class European runners, Americans may soon have a clearer idea of who wants to win the Arc, and how much they are willing to pay for a horse who might do it.

Extract from European Bloodstock News

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BIG ACTION: BIG NUMBERS AT KEENELAND

Keeneland September Yearling Sale Book 1
Keeneland September Yearling Sale Book 1

Keeneland September Yearling Sale Day 4 Top Colt - HIP 712 War Front Blading Gold Ring

(Image and Footage : Keeneland)

KEENELAND SEPTEMBER YEARLING SALE

Book 1, Day 4

Keeneland September’s power-packed Book 1 concluded yesterday with impressive increases compared to combined Book 1 and 2 results from 2012. During four days of selling, 546 yearlings grossed $153,385,000. The average rose 38.5% to $280,925 and the median was up 38.3% to $207,500. At this point in the 2012 auction, 655 head had sold for $132,853,000. The average was $202,829 and the median was $150,000. The cumulative buy-back rate stands at 27%. It was 28.7% a year ago.

“Week one was a great success,” confirmed Keeneland’s Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell after the close of business Thursday. “The goal was to get as many quality horses on the grounds and the consignors successfully helped us accomplish that. The cream of North America’s yearling crop was here and our goal is to get as many buyers on the grounds to go through them. We accomplished that. The success of the new format shows all the way through, with top-quality horses every day. There was live spirited bidding everyday on all the horses and the buyers stayed from Monday through Thursday and that is all we can ask. There was a huge, diverse buying bench, both domestically and internationally, there were new buyers, old buyers, pinhookers, end users. You name the criteria of a buyer and they were here. All our goals were accomplished.”

The 2012 total sale figure of seven million-dollar yearlings was surpassed during Wednesday’s trading and was obliterated Thursday when a further five yearlings brought seven figures. A total of 18 horses have passed the million-dollar threshold so far. Thursday’s session was topped by a colt by War Front who brought a final bid of $2.5million from Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier. The colt was consigned by Peter O’Callaghan’s Woods Edge Farm. O’Callaghan had purchased the colt for $180,000 as a weanling last November. The yearling was the second horse to pass the $2-million mark at the auction.

Amplifying the depth of the market, there were 15 individual buying groups among the 18 seven-figure yearlings. That includes three horses Stonestreet bought in partnership, one each with Regis, Gainesway and Spendthrift. Only M.V. Magnier purchased multiple seven-figure horses; the Coolmore partners have purchased four at that level.

After a pause in the action Friday, the Keeneland September resumes with Book 2 on Saturday at 10 a.m. Keeneland’s Vice President of Sales, Walt Robertson, is optimistic the strong results will continue. “People bid on a lot of horses today, but haven’t gotten a lot of money spent over the last week,” Robertson said. “They’ll be here next week. You are always anxious about the next step, but everything bodes pretty well, we hope.”

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

Thursday 12 September 2013

TOP COLTS

Lot #

Sire

Dam

Price ($)

Purchased By

712

War Front

Blading Gold Ring

2,500,000

M.V. Magnier

681

Tapit

Avaknowsthecode

1,200,000

Gainesway & Stonestreet Stables

846

Medaglia d’Oro

Dream Supreme

1,000,000

David Ingordo, agent

791

Distorted Humor

Copper State

925,000

Spendthrift & Stonestreet Stables

700

Street Cry

Beautician

750,000

Live Oak Plantation

770

Distorted Humor

Cindy’s Mom

725,000

Spendthrift Farm

720

Medaglia d’Oro

Bonnie Blue Flag

700,000

Willis Horton

705

Smart Strike

Belle Of Perintown

575,000

GEM Stables

664

Galileo

Another Storm

550,000

Blandford Bloodstock

667

War Front

A.P. Investment

550,000

Shadwell Estate Co. Ltd

814

Tapit

Dashing Debby

500,000

Fox Hill Farm, Tom McGreevy, agent

Thursday 12 September 2013

TOP FILLIES

Lot #

Sire

Dam

Price ($)

Purchased By

855

Tiznow

Easter Brunette

1,700,000

Solis Bloodstock

868

Tapit

Evrobi

1,000,000

Shadwell Estate Co. Ltd

779

Smart Strike

Clay’s Rocket

775,000

John Greathouse, agent

742

Malibu Moon

Caroni

725,000

John Greathouse, agent

709

War Front

Biblical Point

600,000

Live Oak Plantation

841

Street Cry

Dream Empress

570,000

John Ferguson

www.keeneland.com

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THERE'S SMOKE IN THE CHIMNEY STACK

Keeneland September Yearling Sale Day 3
Keeneland September Yearling Sale Day 3

Keeneland September Yearling Sale Day 3 - Top Filly HIP 541 Indian Charlie - Take Charge Lady

(Image and Footage : Keeneland)

KEENELAND SEPTEMBER YEARLING SALE

9 - 21 September 2013

Whisper Hill Farm’s Mandy Pope, who bought the $10 million Havre de Grace (Saint Liam) last year at FTKNOV, could well have another sale topper on her hands after going to $2.2 million for an Indian Charlie daughter of Take Charge Lady (Dehere) yesterday at Keeneland September. The filly is a half-sister to recent GI Travers Stakes hero, Will Take Charge (Unbridled’s Song) and to last season’s GI Florida Derby winner, Take Charge Indy (A.P. Indy).

The transaction highlighted a hugely successful third day of selling at Keeneland. The third session average of $310,296 (over R3million) was up 19.9% from the combined average of the first two days of selling, while the median of $240,000 was 20%. Pope, who outlasted Spendthrift’s B. Wayne Hughes to land the filly, has been building a powerhouse breeding and racing operation in recent years. In addition to Havre de Grace, she also purchased the $4.2million Plum Pretty (Medaglia d’Oro) last fall at KEENOV, and confirmed her most recent purchase will ultimately join her broodmare band.

“She’ll be a delight to have, and something to go along with Havre de Grace and Plum Pretty after she becomes a famous racehorse,” Pope smiled. “She’s absolutely beautiful. She’s from a stellar family, she’s by Indian Charlie, who sired a wonderful filly in Indian Blessing, and we hope she follows in the footsteps of her daddy and her mother and her brothers.”

The filly is the second seven-figure sales yearling from Take Charge Lady, the tough-as-nails racemare and Keeneland ace whose wins included the GI Ashland Stakes and two editions of the GI Spinster Stakes. Her first foal was the striking-but-starcrossed Charming (Seeking the Gold), a $3.2million yearling in 2006 who suffered a career-ending injury shortly into her racing days. “We were expecting right around $2 million,” Pope said of the Indian Charlie filly. “She was a standout; she was my pick of the sale.”

Pope maintains a broodmare band of about 25 at Whisper Hill, and has a racing stable of about 45 horses. She both sells and races, and she said the commercial breeder in her was encouraged by the sharp upswing in the market at September. “But what I hope, and this is a very important thing going forward, is that stud farms don’t get stupid and go crazy on stud fees now,” she said. “It seems like every time as a breeder we can get our head above water and get some nice horses and pay our stud fees, the market goes up and then it becomes insane again for the breeders.”

No consignor at the Keeneland September sale has sold more seven-figure horses than John Sikura’s Hill ‘n Dale, which has accounted for a trio of $1 million-plus transactions. That includes the sale-topping $2.2million Indian Charlie x Take Charge Lady filly, as well as yesterday’s $1.7million Medaglia d’Oro x Supercharger colt. Hill ‘n Dale also sold Tuesday’s $1million Smart Strike x Serenading colt. “We thought we had break-out horses, and every horse sold and met our expectations,” Sikura said of his elite group. “And a few exceeded our expectations.” He continued, “I think there’s optimism in the market, and there’s a lot of participation. The people here are finding the good horses and spending their money when they land on the same ones. There’s a lot of competition, and the prices are reflecting that.”

Wednesday 11 September 2013

TOP COLTS

Lot #

Sire

Dam

Price ($)

Purchased By

523

Medaglia d’Oro

Supercharger

1,700,000

Spendthrift & Stonestreet Stables LLC

515

Tapit

Succcessful Outlook

1,550,000

Regis Farms & Stonestreet Stables LLC

496

Galileo

Starlight Dreams

1,400,000

MV Magnier

640

Tapit

Above Perfection

725,000

McCalmont Bloodstock, agent for Jon Kelly

479

Distorted Humor

Soul Search

600,000

Shadwell Estate Company, Ltd

Wednesday 11 September 2013

TOP FILLIES

Lot #

Sire

Dam

Price ($)

Purchased By

541

Indian Charlie

Take Charge Lady

2,200,000

Whisper Hill Farm LLC

446

Tiznow

Silken Cat

1,750,000

Borges Torrealba Holdings

463

Indian Charlie

Smart Surprise

625,000

Borges Torrealba Holdings

470

Distorted Humor

Social Page

575,000

Live Oak Plantation

554

Scat Daddy

Tempting Note

550,000

Bridlewood Farm

www.keeneland.com

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KEENELAND SEPTEMBER YEARLING SALE 2013

Keeneland September Yearling Sale Day 1 - Top Filly HIP 19 Medaglia d'Oro - Flying Passage
Keeneland September Yearling Sale Day 1 - Top Filly HIP 19 Medaglia d'Oro - Flying Passage

Keeneland September Yearling Sale Day 1 - Top Filly HIP 19 Medaglia d’Oro - Flying Passage

(Image and Footage : Keeneland)

“THIRSTY TOO”

The biggest racehorse sale in the world got underway at Keenland, Kentucky, on Monday, and continued the worldwide trend of rising prices, only this time the average was up a whopping 32%. With a revised format and a Book One sale that stretches over four days, it’s not entirely comparable with last year’s figures, simply because each day sees of the order of 20% fewer horses through the ring, and an aggregate on opening day that was up 5%. However, it’s the job of gurus like Bill Oppenheim to work those numbers and divine a result which is as close to “actual” as mathematics will allow, and on the bare outcomes and Bill’s analysis, an average of 32% up sounds just about spot-on.

Improved trade in racehorses has been a feature of the thoroughbred world for the past two years now, and while there are not enough economic indicators to explain it, it certainly appears that the emergence of new powers in the Middle East and a re-invigorated Europe, are driving the bulk of the investment at the top end of the market. Horsemen will tell you that there is a trickle-down effect on the market in these circumstances, with the bigger domestic players finding it difficult to compete at the very top, and having to compete harder in the next tier, and so on.

The top lot, a very smart, well-related daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, was signed for at $1.5 million by Alan Cooper, who was a guest here with us quite recently. Alan is a son of the former BBA Ireland Chairman, Tom Cooper and a nephew of the enigmatic and brilliantly talented one-eyed horseman, Basil Cooper, who, from his old base at what is now Bruce Le Roux’s Spring Valley Farm, bred and trained the fine racehorses Speciality (second in the Durban July and a winner of the Durban Gold Cup) and another Gold Cup ace, The Malster. To this day, Lester Piggot claims The Malster was his greatest ride. Alan is the racing manager for the Niarchos family of shipbuilding fame, who are locally connected with the success of stallions Mogok and Judpot.

*(click here to see extract from Duff’s Turf Guide on Lester’s ride.).

KEENELAND SEPTEMBER YEARLING SALE

Monday 9 September 2013

TOP COLTS

Lot #

Sire

Dam

Price ($)

Purchased By

110

Unbridled’s Song

Irish Smoke

1,100,000

Regis Farms

61

War Front

Guide

1,000,000

MV Magnier

145

War Front

La Laja

875,000

Shadwell

18

Candy Ride (Arg)

Flying Dixie

700,000

Regis Farms

216

Giant’s Causeway

Mining My Own

675,000

Zayat Stables LLC

Monday 9 September 2013

TOP FILLIES

Lot #

Sire

Dam

Price ($)

Purchased By

19

Medaglia d’Oro

Flying Passage

1,500,000

Flaxman Stables Ireland

80

Malibu Moon

Hollywood Story

1,350,000

Northwest Stud

29

Tiznow

Foxy Danseur

400,000

Regis Farms

101

Tiznow

Indian Snow

400,000

Ben Glass, Agent

48

Malibu Moon

Gold Rush Queen

350,000

Woodslane Farm

72

Malibu Moon

Hidden Expression

350,000

Live Oak Plantation

Tuesday 10 September 2013

TOP COLTS

Lot #

Sire

Dam

Price ($)

Purchased By

325

Tapit

Pretty ‘n Smart

1,000,000

MV Magnier

426

Smart Strike

Serenading

1,000,000

Mike Puhich, agent

360

Distorted Humor

Ready’s Gal

850,000

Shadwell

235

Street Cry

Modification

725,000

Juddmonte Farms

353

War Front

Rag and Bone

650,000

DL O’Byrne

Tuesday 10 September 2013

TOP FILLIES

Lot #

Sire

Dam

Price ($)

Purchased By

291

Bernardini

Pacific Spell

1,300,000

Baumann Stables LLC

438

Malibu Moon

Shop Again

1,000,000

Hugo Merry Bloodstock

262

Smart Strike

Mystery Trip

500,000

Solis Bloodstock

225

Unbridled’s Song

Miss Kilroy

460,000

Borges Torrealba Holdings

394

Pulpit

Ruthian

450,000

John McCormack Bloodstock

422

War Front

Seeking Simplicity

410,000

Live Oak Plantation

Wednesday 11 September 2013

TOP COLTS

Lot #

Sire

Dam

Price ($)

Purchased By

523

Medaglia d’Oro

Supercharger

1,700,000

Spendthrift & Stonestreet Stables LLC

515

Tapit

Succcessful Outlook

1,550,000

Regis Farms & Stonestreet Stables LLC

496

Galileo

Starlight Dreams

1,400,000

MV Magnier

640

Tapit

Above Perfection

725,000

McCalmont Bloodstock, agent for Jon Kelly

479

Distorted Humor

Soul Search

600,000

Shadwell Estate Company, Ltd

Wednesday 11 September 2013

TOP FILLIES

Lot #

Sire

Dam

Price ($)

Purchased By

541

Indian Charlie

Take Charge Lady

2,200,000

Whisper Hill Farm LLC

446

Tiznow

Silken Cat

1,750,000

Borges Torrealba Holdings

463

Indian Charlie

Smart Surprise

625,000

Borges Torrealba Holdings

470

Distorted Humor

Social Page

575,000

Live Oak Plantation

554

Scat Daddy

Tempting Note

550,000

Bridlewood Farm

www.keeneland.com

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