Keeneland going ahead with plans for important September sale

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – In a sign of a possible return to some sense of normalcy late this year, Keeneland announced its 2020 September Yearling Sale, the world’s most significant Thoroughbred auction, will begin as planned on Monday, Sept. 14.

“This auction is vital not only to Keeneland, but to the entire thoroughbred industry and the Central Kentucky community at large,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said.

“The Keeneland sales team is moving forward full steam with plans for the September Sale. Like every aspect of life right now, there are unknowns and we do not have all the answers yet. However, one thing is certain: We are committed to work in partnership with our consignors and buyers to provide the same world-class marketplace for which Keeneland is known,” Thomason continued.

Entry deadline for the September Sale remains Friday, May 1. However, those horses entered but withdrawn from the sale by Friday, June 12, will not pay any portion of the entry fee.

“We understand that normal inspection calendars have been upended, and we hope that by extending the withdrawal deadline to June 12 we remove any hesitancy on the part of breeders and consignors to enter every yearling they consider a possible September Sale candidate on May 1,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell said. “The goal is to continue to move the process forward, but extend the final planning window by six weeks without any financial consequences.”

The September Sale format will mirror last year’s schedule: a three-day Book 1 (Sept. 14-16), dark day on Thursday, Sept. 17, two-day Book 2 (Sept. 18-19), followed by Week 2 of the sale.

Please click here for the full schedule of September Sale deadlines available on

“Our hope is to conduct the September Sale under normal circumstances, but be assured we are planning for all contingencies because our entire focus is to deliver a successful sale in September,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing and Sales Bob Elliston said. “We will be adaptable depending on the challenges we face.

“Keeneland will be communicating regularly with our consignors and buyers over these next several months, but if you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our sales team,” Elliston added.

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