Buyers Browse Keeneland Yearlings

Reported by: Ellen Bryan
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Updated: 9/09/2013 12:07 am

The world’s largest Thoroughbred Yearling Sale kicks off Monday at Keeneland.

Buyers have been browsing the sale all weekend, ready to spend thousands, if not millions of dollars on winning potential when the sale gets underway.

“This is the sale for yearlings in Thoroughbred industry.  Everyone in the world comes to Keeneland.  We're selling 3,908 catalog yearlings at this sale,” said Tom Thornbury, the associate director of sales at Keeneland. 

Keeneland has been selling horses since 1936.  When train transportation became difficult, breeders decided to create their own sale company at Keeneland.

The Sale lasts from Monday, September 9th through Saturday September 21st and both buyers and breeders will come to Lexington from all around the world.

“The horse world is a very small world and it’s very international,” said Jean-Marc Quet, a buyer from France.  “You've got to be able to travel and that's the reason why I'm here.  This is a very important place for breeding and racing.”

“We sell a lot of nice horses and we usually come to Kentucky to sell the better quality stock,” said Tony Russo, a breeder from Canada.

Buyers had the opportunity to inspect the yearlings over the weekend before the first round of sale, book one. 

“Very, very nice individuals, I think they're going to be very expensive so hopefully we'll find the right ones at the right price,” said Bred Calhoun, a horse trainer looking to purchase yearlings at this year’s sale.

The 2013 Keeneland September Yearling Sale has been reformatted.  This year features three distinct market segments- week one, the weekend and week two which sale organizers say better meets the current needs of both consignors and buyers.

“What you miss on Monday means you'll be looking Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and that's the excitement of it there's never a dull moment, it all carries over,” said Thornbury.

Nine of the past 12 Triple Crown races have been won by Keeneland September sale graduates and 91 September Sale graduates have won graded or group stakes.

“There will be one in here, we just have to be the lucky one to find it,” said Calhoun.

Keeneland also has sales in November, January and April. 

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