2021 September Sale Surge
2021 September Sale Surge
As Thoroughbred racing, breeding, and sales emerged from the worldwide pandemic, a broad swath of the international horse industry descended on Keeneland for the 2021 edition of the September Yearling Sale.
Although attendance by some buyers was still restricted due to the pandemic—an inconvenience offset by Keeneland’s user-friendly online bidding platform—a large, diverse group of domestic and international agents and principals aggressively pursued the more than 4,000 yearlings cataloged, resulting in records in three key categories.
Gross Receipts Soar
Beginning with stiff competition in Book 1, the momentum continued throughout the 11 days of the sale, resulting in aggregate receipts of $362,516,500, sixth-highest in sale history and third-highest in the last 14 years. There were 1,230 individual buyers from 22 countries.
Other Positive Metrics
In addition to the impressive gross, the 2021 September Sale produced a record $65,000 median price and $133,045 average, also a record. One of the strongest signs of the auction’s health was the RNA rate of 19%, another record.
Book 1 Sets the Tone
Featuring yearlings possessing stellar breeding with exceptional physical presence, buyers seeking individuals that would have high residual values upon completion of their racing careers drove a bullish Book 1 market that set the tone for the remainder of the sale. With 11 seven-figure yearlings, the two-day opener yielded gross receipts of $90.6 million.
Partnerships Push Market
Pooling their financial resources, partnerships consisting of prominent stables vied against each other for the most-desired yearlings, with the outcome exceeding expectations of many consignors. The Repole Stable/St. Elias partnership, represented by Jacob West, was the 2021 September Sale leading buyer with 43 yearlings purchased for $16,045,000. Partnerships consisting of West Point Thoroughbreds, Woodford Racing and Talla Racing took home the three highest-priced horses.
Sale Topper Highlights Week 1
The first week of the September sale kicked off the momentum that carried throughout with the four seven-figure yearlings that included a City of Light colt purchased by West Point Thoroughbreds, Woodford Racing, and Talla Racing from Rosilyn Polan’s Sunday Morning Farm.
‘It’s Been a Great Sale’
The quality of the yearlings presented to the deep buying bench continued until the end of the 2021 September Sale, as the market remained solid throughout. Records were set twice for the number of horses sold through the ring during a single session, 319 in session seven followed by 325 in session nine.