Shining Bright on the World Stage

Shining Bright on the World Stage

When Emblem Road crossed the finish line first in the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1) on Feb. 26 in Saudi Arabia, it led a sweep of the top three positions in the world’s richest Thoroughbred race by graduates of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

That September Sale grads would dominate the top race in the world is no surprise, as the iconic sales company makes a concerted effort to recruit the most diverse group of international buyers to their sales annually. The performance affirmed the talent available at Keeneland September, as those yearlings go on to compete on a global stage.

Global Recruitment Strategy

Each year, Keeneland representatives travel to more than 20 countries in support of a global recruitment and outreach program. These efforts create connections and raise awareness of Keeneland Sales among international buyers and attract the broadest buyer base to Keeneland.

It’s the deepest, largest horse sale in the world.
Reiley McDonald, Eaton Sales
It’s the most significant sale on the global calendar because you see the best breeders and best quality horses all in one place.
David Ingordo, Bloodstock Agent

Broad, Diverse Buyer Base

In 2021, Keeneland witnessed a deep bench of 1,230 individual buyers at the September Sale. Among them were 129 individuals from 21 countries outside the U.S. whose purchases totaled $41.4 million.

1,230 Individual Buyers | 129 International Buyers | 21 Countries Represented


With the depth of the buyers’ bench, both internationally and commercially, Keeneland September is by far the most significant yearling sale in the world.
Jacob West

It’s the biggest yearling sale in the world so it’s just something that can’t be missed.
Craig Rounsefell, bloodstock agent

On Top in Dubai

The September Sale trifecta in the Saudi Cup was completed by the runner-up finish of Country Grammer and third-place Midnight Bourbon, a $525,000 September Sale yearling.

Country Grammer, a 5-year-old by Tonalist bred in Kentucky by Scott and Debbie Pierce, displayed his brilliance in international company when he crossed the finish line first in the $12-million Dubai World Cup (G1), the world’s second-richest race. The globe-trotting horse was purchased by bloodstock agent Brooke Hubbard for $60,000 from Garrencasey Sales at the 2018 September Sale.


Country Grammer
Country Grammer

More Global Success

Yearlings purchased from the September Sale that had previously shone brightly in international competition included two-time Japanese Group 1 winner Mozu Ascot, British classic winner Kameko, and royally-bred Mendelssohn, a $3 million sale-topper who earned more than $2.5 million and is proving an extremely popular stallion at Ashford Stud.

Thus far in 2022, other notable international winners who are graduates of the September Yearling Sale include:

  • Switzerland - Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1)
  • Azure Coast - UAE 2000 Guineas (G3)
  • Pinehurst - Saudi Derby (G3)

Mozu Ascot
There are so many different horses here for so many different clients. In terms of the industry, I think it’s massive and something we could not do without.
Aidan O’Brien