By Christie DeBernardis
Strong trade continued at Keeneland Thursday in the 10th of 11 sessions of the Keeneland September Sale and the second of three Book 5 sessions. The day's top seller was a Tapiture colt (Hip 3173) from the Paramount Sales consignment, who brought $145,000 from John Greathouse, agent for Glencrest Farm.
A total of 303 yearlings summoned $9.194 million Thursday. The average was $30,343 and the median was $23,000. In the pre-vaccine pandemic era last year, 244 horses brought $4.764 million during the 10th day of selling with an average of $19,528 and a median of $13,000. Those statistics include post-sale transactions. The RNA rate is down 33.33% from the equivalent session last term.
“It is one of the strongest markets I have ever seen, especially at the back end of the sale,” said Spider Duignan of Paramount Sales, the session's leading consignor. “Racing is healthy and I guess that is showing up. People are looking for horses.”
The horseman continued, “It's usually hard work in Books 5 and 6. I remember years when there was nobody left by now. It is just lovely to see. There is such a diverse amount of buyers. Honestly, there are a lot of people I don't recognize. It is a very strong market.”
Through the first 10 days of selling, 2,428 horses grossed $348,885,500 with an average of $143,693 and a median of $75,000. During the first 10 sessions of 2020, 2,010 horses brought $2335,224,700 with an average of $117,027 and a median of $50,000. The total number of RNAs is down 32.71% from last year.
The final session of Book 5 and the Keeneland September Sale kicks off Friday at 10 a.m.
Strong Day for Paramount Sales
Pat Costello and Gabriel Duignan's Paramount Sales was the leading consignor Thursday by gross with 24 yearlings bringing $1.169 million. They were responsible for the day's top two sellers, a $145,000 Tapiture colt (Hip 3173) and a $120,000 Bolt d'Oro filly (Hip 3182).
“We thought we had a decent bunch, but they definitely exceeded expectations,” said Duignan. “The market was very, very brisk. There was so much trade in the back ring, probably the most I've ever seen. You could leave the barn with no vet work and they jump on it in the back ring and you could get $60,000, $70,000, $80,000 for it. There is just a huge demand for horses.”
Bred by Davant Latham, the Tapiture colt was purchased by John Greathouse, acting as agent for Glencrest Farm. Out of Informative Style (Dayjur), the bay is a half to stakes winners Watch This Cat (Eskendereya) and Stylish Citizen (Proud Citizen) and stakes-placed Point Blake (Quiet American). He got a nice update when his 3-year-old full-sister Li'l Tootsie finished third in Saratoga's GII Prioress S. earlier this month. She is entered in Saturday's GIII Dogwood S. at Churchill Downs.
“He was a very nice colt, very racy,” Duignan said. “He had a good update on the female side. Again, there was multiple bidders on him.”
The Bolt d'Oro filly RNA'd for $24,000 at the Keeneland January Sale and was purchased by Paramount employees post-sale. She is out of the SP Distorted Humor mare Julie's Jewelry, who is a half-sister to MSW Saucey Evening (More Than Ready) and SW Petition the Lady (Petionville). This is also the family of dual-surface Grade I winner Evening Jewel (Northern Afleet).
“The filly was bought by two of our Mexican guys that work for us,” Duignan said. “They bought her as an RNA for, I think, $17,500, and sold her for $120,000, so that made their day today. They bought a Connect colt (Hip 3292) for $8,000 and got $65,000 for him, so some magic happened today.”
The bay filly is from the first crop of MGISW Bolt d'Oro, who has been in demand at all the yearling sales this season.
“Bolt d'Oro has been popular the whole way through,” Duignan said. “He has been well received by the market. She was a nice filly.”