The 70th Keeneland September Yearling Sale opened Monday with active participation from a broad cross section of buyers, both domestic and foreign, and four yearlings selling for $1 million or more each.
Topping the session at $1.5 million was a filly by Medaglia d’Oro out of Flying Passage, by A.P. Indy, who was purchased by Alan Cooper on behalf of the Niarchos family’s Flaxman Stables Ireland Limited. Gainesway, agent, consigned the filly, who is a half-sister to multiple Grade 2 winner Hungry Island and Grade 3 winner Soaring Empire. The filly is from the female family of champion Queena and multiple Grade 1 winner Verrazano, recent winner of the William Hill Haskell Invitational.
“She’s a lovely filly from a superb family,” Cooper said of his purchase, adding that the filly will be sent to Europe. “This one could be a broodmare in due course, hopefully.”
Miss Hollywood, a daughter of Malibu Moon out of multiple Grade 1 stakes winner Hollywood Story, by Wild Rush, brought the day’s second-highest price, selling for $1.35 million to Giuseppe Iadisernia’s Northwest Stud of Ocala, Fla. The filly was consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent.
During the sale’s first session, 130 yearlings sold for $34,735,000, for an average of $267,192 and a median of $200,000. Keeneland reformatted the September Sale this year, expanding Book 1 to comprise the first four sessions of the sale. As a result, there are no comparable figures for 2012.
“I thought the market today was very good,” said Keeneland Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell. “We saw a wide range of buyers, representing domestic and international owners as well as end-users and pinhookers. That was one of our goals with the format change: to get more buyers on the grounds. They arrived early and began looking at yearlings on Friday, which created a lot of energy going into the sale.”
The session’s highest-priced colt was a son of Unbridled’s Song out of the Grade 1 stakes-winning Smoke Glacken mare Irish Smoke. Canadian Nat Rea’s Regis Farms paid $1.1 million for the colt, who was consigned by Bedouin Bloodstock, agent.
Bringing $1 million was a War Front colt sold to M.V. Magnier. The colt, who is out of the Pulpit mare Guide, is from the family of Saturday’s Super Derby (G2) winner, Departing, another son of War Front. Claiborne Farm, agent, consigned the colt.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Estate Company, Ltd. was the session’s leading buyer, spending $3,085,000 for seven yearlings.
Gainesway ranked as leading consignor, selling nine horses for $4,515,000.
The September Sale continues through Saturday, Sept. 21. Sessions through Sept. 12 begin at noon ET. The entire sale is streamed live at www.keeneland.com.