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Keeneland September Yearling Sales Hip 141

An Unbridled's Song half-brother to Ashado topped the first day of the Keeneland September Sale when selling to Demi O'Byrne for $925,000



Keeneland ends
with major declines

Overall Keeneland September comparative figures ($)

 Year  Cat  Off  Sold  % sold  Aggregate  Average  Median
 2009  5,189  4,360  3,159  72.5  191,859,200  60,734  22,000
 2008  5,555  4,795  3,605  75.2  327,999,100  90,984  37,000

KEENELAND''s mammoth September Yearling Sale may have been a distant memory for the likes of Sheikh Mohammed and John Magnier as it reached its conclusion with a top price of $35,000 on Monday afternoon but the dramatic downturns in Lexington will impact everybody in the bloodstock business.

After 14 sessions and 5,189 catalogued lots, the sale turned over $191,859,200 for 3,159 sold, a drop in aggregate of 41.5 per cent on 2008.

The $60,734 average fell by 33.2 per cent and the $22,000 median by 40.5 per cent. The clearance rate picked up through the sale to a respectable 72.5 per cent (compared to 75.2 per cent last year).

It was a huge hit to take in one year and the lowest Keeneland total yearling sale turnover since 1995 (up to 2002 the select July Sale also took place). That year grossed $176,571,300 and averaged $56,126 at the combined July and September fixtures.

Fasig-Tipton, now under Dubai ownership, had managed to divert some of this year's best yearlings to its boutique Saratoga sale in August and that event saw turnover increase by around $16.5 million to $52,549,500, although the difference makes barely a dent in the Keeneland deficit of $136 million.

Kentucky's bloodstock industry, which has traditionally operated on a far higher scale than its European counterpart, looks set to undergo a period of transition and stallion masters face little option other than reduce stud fees significantly for 2010.

In his press statement, Keeneland's sales director Geoffrey Russell felt that the American banks, who have proved reluctant to provide credit to those in the horse business this year, played a part in the downfall.

"The thoroughbred industry, like all markets, has been deeply impacted by the global financial meltdown which is unlike anything we've seen before," said Russell.

"The last two weeks have been very challenging for everyone. Consignors are selling in the middle of a readjustment compounded by the global financial crisis and buyers are limited in their expenditures due to lack of available credit.

"The good news is that even though buyers were highly selective, bidding during the sale remained competitive and quality yearlings were difficult to buy."

Keeneland September $1m lots

 Breeding  Consignor  Buyer  Price
 c Storm Cat - Fleet Indian  Taylor Made  J. Ferguson  2.05m
 f Medaglia d'Oro - Beaties For Real  Summerfield  Live Oak Pl.  1.3m
 f Unbridled's Song - Strawberry Reason  Stone Farm  J. Ferguson  1m
 c A P Indy - Madcap Escapade  Hill 'n' Dale  D. O'Byrne  1m

Top 5buyers

 Name  No. bought  Total  Average
 John Ferguson  34  13,980,000  411,176
 Shadwell Estate Co., Ltd  14  5,670,000  405,000
 Blandford Bloodstock  18  3,852,000  214,000
 Ben Glass, agent  21  3,810,000  181,429
 Live Oak Plantation  6  3,190,000  531,667

At Monday's final session, a $35,000 Forest Grove filly was the standout, selling to Diamond G Ranch. The day added $985,500 to the total turnover with an average price of $5,631 and a median $3,000.

Meanwhile, with most Europeans long gone out after the earlier more select books, the value-seeking Rome agent Federico Barberini was still in action on Monday before heading on to Goffs. His 18th and final purchase of the sale was a $7,200 North Light colt.

With the World Equestrian Games beginning in Kentucky on September 25 next year, Keeneland have advised those planning to attend to next year's sale to book accommodation now.




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