Keeneland Catalogs 4,034 Horses to September Yearling Sale

August 11, 2021

New features initiated to enhance sale, facilitate process for buyers and sellers 

LEXINGTON, Ky. Keeneland announced today that 4,034 yearlings have been cataloged for the 78th annual Keeneland September Yearling Sale to be held over 11 sessions from Sept. 13-24. Recognized globally as the Thoroughbred industry’s most important sale, the auction will feature a new format that during Week 1 will present 1,099 yearlings to Keeneland’s deep buying bench; debut an RNA Reoffer at the conclusion of Book 1 as an exciting opportunity for buyers and sellers and elevate enhancements to the overall sales experience. 

“This is an exciting time at Keeneland as we welcome Tony Lacy as our new Vice President of Sales and Cormac Breathnach as our new Director of Sales Operations, while longtime Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell remains on the team in a consulting role,” Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said. “We have initiated a number of new features to further enhance the September Sale and facilitate the process for buyers and sellers with the goal of creating a consistent sale format each year and further ensuring a stable marketplace.” 

Sellers and buyers will be pleased with the atmosphere, excitement and global participation Keeneland expects from start to finish of the September Sale. 

“For those passionate about Thoroughbred racing,” Lacy said, “Central Kentucky and Keeneland are destination experiences. We intend to provide those attending the September Sale a memorable stay to enjoy the best of what the Bluegrass has to offer.”

See theworldsyearlingsale.com for features about the importance of the September Sale and the success of sales graduates along with a Lexington destination guide presented by Keeneland and VisitLex with information about where to stay and eat while in town. 

2021 September Sale schedule 

For the 2021 September Sale, Keeneland has adjusted both the Week 1 and Week 2 formats to better accommodate buyers and sellers. 

In an effort to position the largest number of horses possible before a deep audience of domestic and international buyers, Week 1 will take place Monday through Thursday, Sept. 13-16 with Books 1 and 2 before the “dark day” on Friday, Sept. 17 when no sale will be held. 

“Keeneland remains customer-focused in our mission to provide the absolute best marketplace this September,” Lacy said. “We adjusted the sale format after many meaningful conversations with our customers, who expressed their strong desire to see a significant number of yearlings before a break.” 

Additionally, Keeneland is combining the final two sessions (those horses cataloged to Sessions 11 and 12) into a single session on Friday, Sept. 24 to conclude the sale during a three-day Book 5. 

“This change will allow buyers to have a full day of yearlings to consider rather than two shorter sessions at the end of the sale and will generate a more vibrant market for all involved on Friday,” Lacy said. 

The September Sale will present the following schedule: 

Week 1 

Book 1 – Monday-Tuesday, Sept. 13-14. Sessions begin at 1 p.m. ET. A total of 401 yearlings, including two supplements, are cataloged over the two days. The RNA Reoffer will begin immediately following the final hip of the Sept. 14 session. 

Book 2 – Wednesday-Thursday, Sept. 15-16. Sessions begin at 11 a.m. A total of 698 yearlings are cataloged over the two days. 

Friday, Sept. 17 – A “dark day” when no sale will be conducted. Week 2 

Book 3 – Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 18-19. Sessions begin at 10 a.m. A total of 827 yearlings are cataloged over the two days. 

Book 4 – Monday-Tuesday, Sept. 20-21. Sessions begin at 10 a.m. A total of 829 yearlings are cataloged over the two days. 

Book 5 – Wednesday-Friday, Sept. 22-24. Sessions begin at 10 a.m. A total of 1,279 yearlings are cataloged over the three days. 

Keeneland will livestream the entire September Sale at Keeneland.com. Print catalogs for the auction should arrive around Aug. 23. 

New RNA Reoffer program follows Session 2 

As a safeguard for sellers of yearlings on opening day who feel disadvantaged by early placement, Keeneland will present a new RNA Reoffer program. This option will give sellers of yearlings that do not meet their reserves during the first session the ability to resell them immediately after the final cataloged hip of Session 2. 

Click here for information about the RNA Reoffer program, including parameters for yearlings that are eligible to participate. 

“As we strive to create a stable and consistent format for the September Sale, we are aware of the fear that some consignors have about offering horses early in the catalog,” Breathnach said. “We are committed to addressing this concern and have created a safeguard to protect the best interests of the sellers.” 

Online, phone bidding available 

Online bidding and phone bidding, two expanded bidding opportunities introduced at the 2020 September Sale, will continue this year for buyers. Both options integrate directly with the live auction experience in real time, just as if a buyer is standing in the Sales Pavilion. To participate, a buyer should register for an account and establish credit within the Keeneland Sales Portal. Keeneland recommends doing so two weeks before the sale 

Click here for more information and to view Keeneland’s Remote Bidding Guide.The Keeneland Sales team is available to answer any questions about expanded bidding options and this year’s September Sale. For additional information about online and phone bidding, please contact Director of Sales Accounting Brent Hacker at 859 288-4231 or bhacker@keeneland.com

Leading sires represented

A total of 2,132 colts and 1,902 fillies have been cataloged to the 2021 September Sale. The yearlings represent 204 of the world’s leading sires, including American Pharoah, Australia (GB), Bernardini, Candy Ride (ARG), Churchill (IRE), Constitution, Curlin, Distorted Humor, Empire Maker, Fastnet Rock (AUS), Flatter, Galileo (IRE), Ghostzapper, Highland Reel (IRE), Into Mischief, Kingman (GB), Kitten’s Joy, Le Havre (IRE), Lope de Vega (IRE), Malibu Moon, Mastercraftsman (IRE), Medaglia d’Oro, More Than Ready, Munnings, No Nay Never, Not This Time, Nyquist, Pioneerof the Nile, Quality Road, Saxon Warrior (JPN), Speightstown, Tapit, Tiznow, Twirling Candy, Uncle Mo, Union Rags, War Front, Wootton Bassett (GB) and Zoffany (IRE). 

Among the notable stallions with their first crop of yearlings in the September Sale is undefeated 2018 Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year Justify, who has 89 horses in the catalog. Other exciting young stallions represented by their first yearlings in the sale include champion Accelerate, 2017 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming, Bolt d’Oro, City of Light, 2017 Preakness (G1) winner Cloud Computing, Collected, champion Good Magic, Good Samaritan, Mendelssohn, Mo Town, Mor Spirit, Oscar Performance, Tapwrit and champion West Coast. 

Additional stallions with yearlings in the catalog are represented by their initial crop of runners in 2021. They include American Freedom, champion Arrogate, Astern (AUS), Caravaggio, Connect, champion Classic Empire, Cupid, Gormley, Horse of the Year Gun Runner, Keen Ice, Klimt, Lord Nelson, Mastery, Midnight Storm, Mohaymen, Practical Joke, Unified and Union Jackson. 

September Sale graduates Knicks Go, Shedaresthedevil win at highest level 

Graduates of the September Sale have performed well this summer at showcase race meets at Saratoga and Del Mar. 

At Saratoga on Aug. 7, September Sale graduate Knicks Go captured the Whitney (G1) for the fourth Grade 1 victory of his career. Knicks Go, who won the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) in January, has earnings exceeding $5.3 million. He is No. 1 on the latest NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. 

At Del Mar on Aug. 1, September Sale graduate Shedaresthedevil took the Clement L. Hirsch (G1) to record her third Grade 1 win and push her career earnings past $2 million. She won the La Troienne (G1) Presented by Twinspires.com in April. 

Other stakes-winning September Sale graduates at Del Mar are Express Train (San Diego-G2), Madone (San Clemente-G2), Neptune’s Storm (Wickerr) and Superstition (Daisycutter). 

Through Aug. 8, graduates of the September Sale have won 202 stakes around the world in 2021. Joining Knicks Go and Shedaresthedevil as Grade 1 winners in North America are such horses as: 

Additional stakes-winning September Sale graduates at Saratoga this season are Bayerness (Shine Again-L), Con Lima (Saratoga Oaks Invitational-G3), Cross Border (Bowling Green-G2), Jackie’s Warrior (Amsterdam-G2), Dynamic One (Curlin), Golden Pal (Quick Call-G3), War Like Goddess (Glens Falls-G2) and Wit (Sanford-G3). 

Casa Creed (Jackpot Jaipur), Colonel Liam (Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic and Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational), Country Grammer (Hollywood Gold Cup), Gamine (Derby City Distaff Presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery), Hit the Road (Frank E. Kilroe Mile), Idol (Santa Anita Handicap), Malathaat (Central Bank Ashland and Kentucky Oaks), Maxim Rate (Gamely), Mischevious Alex (Carter), Rock Your World (Runhappy Santa Anita Derby), Search Results (Acorn), Silver State (Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan), Super Stock (Arkansas Derby) and Swiss Skydiver (Beholder Mile). 

Alumni of the September Sale who have captured international Group 1 races in 2021 include Zenden (Dubai Golden Shaheen Presented by Gulf News in the United Arab Emirates). 

The health and safety of Keeneland’s customers, employees and sales participants remains our first priority. As this time, September Sale operations will be conducted under normal conditions similar to 2019. Keeneland continues to monitor developments with the COVID-19 virus and follow guidance from health and government officials. 

Bidding at the back Show Ring, which was in place for recent auctions while Keeneland instituted protocols related to COVID-19, will not be offered at the 2021 September Sale. 

∙ Click here for the enhanced online September Sale catalog, which will include walking videos of yearlings, comments from consignors about their yearlings and links to each consignor’s website. 

∙ Click here for consignor information, sale and Repository deadlines, details about the RNA Reoffer and a link to the Keeneland Sales Portal, which enables sellers and buyers to manage their accounts online and access other useful information. 

Photos of Keeneland Vice President of Sales Tony Lacy and Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Cormac Breathnach. (Keeneland). Collage by Past The Wire

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