Auctioneer Helps Drive Big Money Bids at Keeneland Yearling Sale

Would you spend big money on something that was unproven with no guarantee you would even make your money back?

That’s the risk people are taking at the 71st Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

It’s the world’s largest and most important auction of its kind.  It serves as a barometer for the financial health of the Thoroughbred breeding and sales industry.

The Keeneland Yearling Sale is when breeders bring their crop to market and hope for the best but buyers are crossing their fingers too.

The yearlings come with no guarantee that they’ll do anything on the race track or in the breeding shed, they don’t even have names yet, but buyers spend thousands, sometimes millions, on pedigree and potential.

The sale draws both a domestic and international crowd.

In 2013, the two-week sale brought it more than $280 million dollars in gross sales, that’s the highest since 2008.

This sale sets the market for yearlings and organizers said this year is looking good.

 “It’s a very upbeat, optimistic, enthusiastic,” said Tom Thornbury, associate director of sales at Keeneland.  “The number of people who have been here to look, has been fantastic and the stock is great so they’ve got a lot of good horses to chose from.”
More than 4,000 yearlings will be sold at this year’s sale.
Nine of the past 13 Triple Crown races have been one by Keeneland September Sale Graduates.

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