Geoffrey Russell

Cormac Breathnach Named Keeneland's Director of Sales Operations

Keeneland has named bloodstock consultant Cormac Breathnach, Ph.D., associated for many years with first Adena Springs and then Airdrie stallions, as its new Director of Sales Operations. Breathnach succeeds Geoffrey Russell, who retired in April after 25 years with Keeneland. Russell will remain in a consulting role with Keeneland through the rest of 2021. "We are excited to have Cormac join the Keeneland sales team as the Director of Sales Operations," Keeneland Vice President of Sales Tony Lacy said. "I have long admired his professionalism, knowledge, and integrity, which is...

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Exaggerator Colt Tops Keeneland April Horses of Racing Age Sale

Crew Dragon (Exaggerator), a stakes-placed 3-year-old (hip 50) topped the Keeneland April Horses of Racing Age Sale Monday in Lexington when selling for $310,000 to the bid of bloodstock agent David Ingordo. The colt, consigned by Lane's End, was one of 37 horses to sell during the auction for a gross of $2,440,000. The average was $65,946 and the median was $45,000. Ten horses reached six figures during the auction. "We are very happy with the results," said Keeneland's Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell. "We started the sale as...

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Lacy Named VP of Sales at Keeneland; Russell To Retire

Internationally respected bloodstock adviser and consignor Tony Lacy will join Keeneland as the company's vice president of sales. Keeneland has simultaneously announced that Geoffrey Russell, who has served the auction house for 25 years--the last 20 as director of sales/sales operations--is retiring from the company, but will remain as a consultant through 2021. "Tony possesses a well-rounded knowledge of the Thoroughbred industry, bolstered by valuable insight and a unique skill set gained from having worked on the ground in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East," Keeneland President and CEO...

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Keeneland Website Celebrates September Sale

Keeneland has unveiled an interactive website, TheWorldsYearlingSale.com, which highlights the successes of its September Yearling Sale through video, photography, testimonials and storytelling. "The Keeneland September sale is a common thread that runs through many of the most pivotal moments in racing history," Keeneland President, CEO and Interim Head of Sales Shannon Arvin said. "This website is an innovative platform to showcase these connections and create even more excitement leading into September. Each step of the way we celebrate the heart-pounding sales with our sellers and buyers, and cheer on our...

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Dr. Gary Lavin Passes Away

Dr. Gary Lavin, one of the Thoroughbred industry's most respected and accomplished veterinarians, passed away Saturday morning at his home in Louisville, Kentucky after a long battle with cancer, according to his family. He was 83 years old. Lavin is a past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, Steward of The Jockey Club, trustee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and the Breeders' Cup, director at Keeneland, and vice-chairman of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. Lavin was a 1962 graduate of the University...

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Pompa Dispersal Provides More Fireworks As KEEJAN Concludes

by Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis The Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale, propelled by a pair of power-packed dispersals and held in the shadow of the ongoing global pandemic, concluded its four-day run Thursday in Lexington. The dispersal of the Estate of the late Paul Pompa, Jr., which, along with the Sam-Son broodmare dispersal dominated much of Tuesday's action, provided the auction with one last round of fireworks late in the day Thursday with a bevy of high-priced racehorse prospects. Leading the way was Carillo (Union Rags) (hip...

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Dispersals Fuel January Market

by Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis Propelled by the strength of a pair of marquee dispersals, the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale churned out a powerful second session in Lexington Tuesday. Early in the day, Peter Brant's White Birch Farm purchased Regal Glory (Animal Kingdom) (hip 403) from the Lane's End consignment of the dispersal of the Estate of the late Paul Pompa, Jr. for $925,000. That bid was matched later in the session when Antony Beck's Gainesway Farm purchased Danceforthecause (Giant's Causeway) (hip 587) from the Sam-Son...

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Keeneland January Sale Starts Monday

The Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale begins its four-day run Monday morning, with bidding slated to commence at 10 a.m. The auction, which includes the dispersals of the historic Sam-Son Farm, the late Paul Pompa, Jr., and Spry Family Farm, features a catalogue of 1,608 broodmares and broodmare prospects, newly turned yearlings, horses of racing age and stallions or stallion prospects. Despite swirling uncertainties caused by the global pandemic, the market proved resilient and surprisingly deep when Keeneland staged its September Yearling Sale and November Breeding Stock Sale...

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Keeneland November Sale Wraps Up

Despite the upheaval and chaos caused by COVID-19 this year, the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale proceeded during its usual spot on the calendar following the Breeders' Cup, which was held at the Lexington oval this year. Starting on Nov. 9, the auction concluded its 10-day run Wednesday with nine million-dollar mares, topped by Grade I winner Concrete Rose (Twirling Candy), who sold to Larry Best's OXO Equine for $1.95 million. "If I had a takeaway from this whole fall, it's a word we usually use this time of the...

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Stable Marketplace as Book 2 Concludes at Keeneland

by Jessica Martini, Christie DeBernardis and Brian DiDonato LEXINGTON, KY- Bidding remained steady as Book 2 of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale concluded Wednesday in Lexington. Andrew Cary made the session's most expensive purchase, going to $500,000 to acquire the mare Contributing (Medaglia d'Oro) from the Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency consignment on behalf of Coteau Grove Farms. Weanlings held the next six top prices of the session and, for the third straight day of the sale, Justify was responsible for the top-priced foal when Chris Baccari went to...

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Best Buys Top Two During KEENOV Book 1

by Brian DiDonato, Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis LEXINGTON, KY--OXO Equine's Larry Best took home the top two lots Monday during the lone Book 1 session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. Early in the day he went to $1.9 million for Indian Miss (Indian Charlie) (hip 32), the dam of champion sprinter Mitole (Eskendereya) and last Friday's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow), in foal to Into Mischief and from the Hill 'n' Dale consignment; and towards the end of the session he paid $1.95...

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KEESEP in the Books, but Numbers Slide as Expected

While there were bright spots and plenty of successes, Keeneland's bellweather September Yearling Sale saw significant drop-offs in trade from last year's strong renewal as the Thoroughbred industry and world at large reel from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Conducted over 12 days this year compared to 13 last term and with strict safety protocols in place, the 2020 September sale grossed $238,454,300 from 2,346 head sold. The gross 12 months ago was $359,789,700 from 2,850 sellers. This year's average dipped 19.49% from $126,242 to $101,643; the median dropped...

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