Keeneland November Gets Underway

GI BC Turf Sprint winner Caravel sells as Hip 224 at KEENOVBreeders' Cup/Eclipse Sportswire


LEXINGTON, KY–The industry action moves back to Keeneland Monday, just two days after the Lexington oval hosted the Breeders' Cup, for the 10-day Keeneland November Sale, which runs through Nov. 16.

The auction opens at 1 p.m. Monday with a single session Book 1, containing 240 head. Thirty minutes prior to that however, Keeneland offers the chance of a lifetime, a 2.5% fractional interest in the undefeated and sensational GI Breeders' Cup Classic winner Flightline (Tapit). It will be part of their first metaverse experience. (Click here for full story).

Keeneland November continues with Tuesday with the first of two Book 2 sessions. Books 3 and 4 will have two sessions each and Book 5 will be comprised of three sessions. Sessions for Books 2 through 5 will begin at 10 a.m. daily for the 3703-horse catalogue. Keeneland will host a Horses of Racing Age Sale at the conclusion of the regular Keeneland November catalogue Nov. 17, which will be comprised of 333 racehorses.

“We've gotten a lot of focus on just the Flightline interest alone and that probably wouldn't have happened [if the Breeders' Cup wasn't here],” said Keeneland's VP of Sales Tony Lacy. “We've gotten some really nice supplementary entries as well, like, for example, [GI Breeders' Cup Mile runner] Dreamloper (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}). She was brought here because of the fact that she's she's a multiple Group 1 winner in France this year. She's one of the highest-rated fillies to be sold this year anywhere and she came here because we have the Breeders' Cup here, because we have the audience and we have the structure.”

The Breeders' Cup provided some timely updates to the sale as well, such as Caravel (Mizzen Mast) (Hip 224), who upset the GI Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at 42-1 Saturday. GI Breeders' Cup Sprint upsetter Elite Power (Curlin) gave his half-sister Prevaricate (Hip 1282) a boost as she sells later this week in foal to Improbable. Zia's Song (Hip 1), a half-sister to narrow GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile runner-up Cyberknife is the first through the ring Monday, selling in foal to her half-sibling's sire Gun Runner. Also, MGISW War Like Goddess (English Channel), whose dam Misty North (Hip 113) sells in foal to Curlin Monday, finished a close third against males in the GI Breeders' Cup Turf

Hosting the World Championships in Lexington also brought more international buyers and sellers to town than may have been in attendance otherwise.

“There's a large number of Australian breeders here for the races, but they're also here for the sale,” Lacy said. “A lot of countries are coming out of travel restrictions that were pretty punitive over the last number of years. This is the first Breeders Cup that is held without restriction that allows a lot of the Europeans that have not been back to Lexington, or to America, for quite a while and they're coming here for the sale as well. The Japanese have been extremely strong. They were here in force in September and they're going to be back here again. And it's always great to welcome the international aspect of this because that's that's what we are, the world marketplace.”

Keeneland saw an extremely strong marketplace all the way through during their 10-day September Yearling Sale and Lacy expects that will continue as we enter the breeding stock sales season.

“I think we're looking at a very solid market,” Lacy said. “We've got a lot of quality and its deep all the way through the catalogue. I know the demand for broodmares is probably stronger than ever. We have all levels and that's something I think is extremely exciting. We see a lot of breeders that are looking to reinvest and who feel confident in the market. They feel confident in the industry and that is a result of stronger purses again. The younger generation can see a future in this industry with the trajectory that we're on right now.”

He continued, “I think the weanling market will be very competitive as well because people have to reinvest what they made from the September sale. It's very encouraging and I think it just allows breeders to know that their stock is worth probably a little more than what it was last year or the year before. We need to stabilize the foal crop and, hopefully, countrywide, not just in Kentucky. We want to make sure that the breeders feel that this is a viable process and that we can get the numbers back up.”

Last year's November Sale was topped by GISW Pairs Lights (Curlin), who summoned $3.1 million from Spendthrift Farm. A total of 2,470 head sold for a gross of $208,283,500. The average was $82,001 and the median was $37,000.

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