A Sale for the History Books

A Sale for the History Books

During the 2022 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, an international cast of buyers converged on the sales grounds in Lexington, driving a robust market that resulted in the highest-grossing auction in Keeneland history. Conducted in an atmosphere that was electric from the start, the 12-day auction surpassed all expectations.


The sale went beyond our expectations and reflects the energy and excitement in racing right now.
Shannon Arvin, Keeneland President and CEO
The prices here are phenomenal. Probably the best horse sale I have been to since I started buying horses.
Buyer David Ingordo

Unprecedented Results

With 2,965 of the best-bred and -conformed young bloodstock in the world changing hands, the 2022 September Sale produced a record gross of more than $405 million in the ring, far outpacing the previous year’s total of $352.8 million. The average of $141,097 and the median price of $70,000 also were the highest in the sale’s history.

2022 September Sale by the Numbers


$405 million +

Record Gross in the Ring



Record Average



Record Median



Clearance Rate

30 yearlings sold for $1 million +

Double that of 2021 and the most since 2007

$2.5 million sale topper

Top price in North America

16 of the top 25 prices in North America

This milestone was achieved through the persistence, energy and hard work of a community that includes our breeders, sellers and buyers.
Shannon Arvin, Keeneland President and CEO

Strong Start Sets the Tone

With the sale organized to position the yearlings perceived to be the best in Book 1, the 2022 September Sale was quick out of the gate and the momentum continued until the final horse exited the sale ring. Hip 1 fetched a final price of $850,000, and Hip 8 was the first to reach seven figures.

The very first horse bringing $850,000 set the tone. We leaned into getting Book 1 solidified by listening to our clients. It really worked. There was almost a sense of euphoria around the grounds for a number of days and it carried all the way through the sale.
Tony Lacy, Keeneland
hip 1
Tony lacy

Deep Market Rewards Breeders

Breeders choosing to enter their yearlings in the September Sale were well rewarded by the stiff competition for their stock. The 15 highest-priced yearlings represented 13 different consignors. The 162 yearlings that changed hands for $500,000 or more was up more than 17% over the previous year. Demand was also at an unprecedented level with a record clearance rate of 82 percent.

The catalog is only as good as the support the breeders give you. It’s a very strong crop of yearlings that has been bred locally and nationally. That’s a credit to the breeders and sellers who presented them so well.
Cormac Breathnach, Keeneland

Quality Road Colt Stars

Among the 30 yearlings sold for $1-million or more—double the previous year and the highest number since 2007—the breakout star was a Quality Road colt acquired for $2.5 million by the high-powered partnership of Talla Racing, Woodford Racing and West Point Thoroughbreds, LEB, agent. Consigned by Stonehaven Steadings, the colt descends from the family of champion Wait a While.

It’s the most special moment we’ve had in the history of the farm. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better moving horse. He’s a magnificent horse.
Aidan O’Meara, Stonehaven Steadings
You have to have an attraction to a horse, and it was tough not to have an attraction to this horse.
Terry Finley, West Point Thoroughbreds

Constitution Colt Lights Up Day 2

The sale’s second-highest priced individual went through the ring on Day 2, when Dana and Jim Bernhard purchased a son of Constitution for $1.8 million from the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment. Produced from the Grade 1-winning mare Last Full Measure, the colt is a three-quarter brother to Grade 1 winner Valiance.

constitution colt
Jim and dana Bernhard
He looks like a Derby horse: a lot of presence, a big walk, a lot of substance. He brought a bunch of money, which he deserved to.
Mark Taylor, Taylor Made Sales Agency