Case Clay, president of Three Chimneys Farm, talks about the auction marketplace and the excitement of buying and selling hopes and dreams.
Keeneland has four auctions every year that offer an array of horses. The year begins with the January horses of all ages sale, later followed by the April 2-year-olds in training sale. The September yearling sale is the final of America’s three major yearling sales, and the November breeding stock sale concludes the Keeneland sales calendar.
Keeneland’s January sale has a large catalog that offers solid options for buyers. This year’s auction is broken up into four sessions of nearly 400 horses that are either yearlings, racing age, or broodmares/broodmare prospects. An added bonus to the January sale is the corresponding open houses at America’s top stallion farms. Ashford Stud is open from Jan. 6-9, and both Castleton Lyons and Taylor Made are open from Jan. 4-9.
In the past few years, this auction has sold some popular names. Da’ Tara, a $100,000 purchase at the 2006 January sale, won the 2008 Belmont Stakes. Earlier in 2008, multiple Grade 1-winning sprinter, Smiling Tiger went through the January sale. In the following year’s auction, an eventual Grade 1 winner – Joyful Victory – was offered. Last year’s sale included American Oaks victress Nereid and Sunland Park Oaks winner Princess Arabella.
Princess Arabella after winning the 2012 Sunland Park Oaks (Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire)
This year’s catalog includes some proven mares as broodmare prospects. Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency offered the Grade 1 winner and multiple graded stakes-placed Unbridled Belle. She sold for $400,000 to Haruya Yoshida in Moday’s first session.
Unbridled Belle winning the 2009 Obeah Stakes (Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire)
The second half of the catalog also has strong blood in the form of horses such as Tell Me Now (Hip No. 1194) and Said (Hip No. 1528). Tell Me Now of the Gainesway consignment is a daughter of A.P. Indy and out of a half-sister to the 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed. Said is a strong representative of the Claiborne Farm consignment – her third dam, Preach, produced multiple Grade 2 winner and sire Pulpit.
Keeneland’s Other Prominent Sales
The April sale presents several hundred juveniles nearing the start of their racing career. In the days before the auction, the horses breeze at distances from an eighth of a mile to a quarter-mile on Keeneland’s main track before prospective buyers.
Lookin At Lucky sold at Keeneland’s April sale (Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire)
Keeneland’s September sale lures the greatest of all yearling prospects as well as prominent owners and trainers from around the globe. Its graduates include the super-mare Zenyatta, who was purchased by Jerry and Ann Moss for $60,000 at the auction.
Zenyatta, a graduate of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale (Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire)
The November breeding stock sale concludes Keeneland’s auctions for the year, boasting a catalog of accomplished horses including Breeders’ Cup winners as well as other top racehorses and broodmares. Like the January sale, the November sale is an auction open to horses of all ages, but also includes weanlings.
Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic winner, Royal Delta, sold for $8.5 million at the November sale (Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire)
You can watch the January Horses of All Ages Sale online at: http://www.keeneland.com/
Sale Dates: January 6-9