Everything you need to know about the 2017 September Sales
Keeneland bills its September Yearling Sale as “the world’s most important Thoroughbred sale.” Buyers and spectators from around the globe converge on Lexington to view and bid on a large and diverse crop of yearlings ready to take the racing world by storm.
This year’s September Sale will be held for 12 days, from Monday the 11th through Saturday the 23rd. This catalog features 4,139 yearlings scheduled for sale, of which 2,159 are colts and 1,980 are fillies.
Book 1 of the sale begins at 3:00 pm on the 11th, and boasts a lineup of 167 of the world’s top yearlings. For this year, Book 1 has been shortened from three days down to only one day. Book 2, featuring top quality yearlings, begins on the 12th and lasts for three days.
Keeneland officials made the changes in Books 1 and 2 for the benefit of the sale’s attendees. Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell said, “Buyers tell us about their travel challenges and limited availability to attend the sale. For their convenience, we doubled the number of exceptional yearlings cataloged before the Week 1 break on Friday.”
Friday the 15th is a dark day, with no sales conducted. Sales resume with Book 3 on Saturday the 16th and continue for a full week through Book 6, wrapping up on Saturday the 23rd.
Keeneland.com will live stream the entire sale for horse aficionados unable to attend.
Stars of the show
Just as in years past, this year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale catalogs some of the best yearlings available anywhere. According to Keeneland, this sale sells “more graded stakes winners and champions than all other sales companies combined.”
For many horse racing fans, this year’s sale will be a bittersweet one. The stellar lineup will feature the last crop of yearlings sired by Scat Daddy, a winner of multiple races that was retired after a tendon injury in the 2007 Kentucky Derby.
Scat Daddy was arguably in the prime of his career standing stud when he died unexpectedly in December of 2015 at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles. Eighty-three of Scat Daddy’s progeny are cataloged for the three books of the sale.
Medaglia d’Oro is another top sire represented, with 56 of his yearlings up for auction. He is the sire of champion Songbird, a two-time Eclipse Award winner. Medaglia d’Oro stands stud at Jonabell Farm in Lexington, owned by Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.
Sixty-one yearlings by Pioneerof the Nile are cataloged in this year’s sale. He placed 2nd in the 2009 Kentucky Derby and sired American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year. Pioneerof the Nile currently stands stud at WinStar Farm in Lexington.
Among top Bluegrass Thoroughbred farms represented in the September Sale, Crestwood Farm—which feeds their horses Winchester Feed products —has 43 yearlings cataloged for sale.
Special sale-related events
If you’re heading to the September Sale, take a stroll by the Keeneland Shop Trunk Show on Sunday the 10th and Monday the 11th.
This year the shop features a trunk style show for two days in which it spotlights several premier vendors. Complimentary snacks and cocktails will be available, as well as special offers from the vendors.
Although you can only catch the Trunk Show for a limited time, stop by The Keeneland shop on the other sale days to browse its selection of outerwear and accessories for both adults and kids, as well as books, bar accessories, decor items, and gifts.
If you want to get a little taste of Keeneland-inspired cuisine near downtown Lexington, you’ll want to venture out to the Jefferson Street Soiree on Wednesday the 13th from 6 to 10 pm.
Get down with the The Kentucky Hoss Cats’ honky tonk tunes, or enjoy the bluesy sound of Lexington’s own Tee Dee Young Band, while taking advantage of great food and drinks from some of Lexington’s best eateries. You won’t find any chain establishments on Jefferson Street, which is one of the city’s hottest restaurant corridors.
The bottom line
You don’t have to be in the market for a Thoroughbred to enjoy the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. The sale is a fantastic way to see a slew of champions-in-the-making, take in great food and drinks, and maybe even rub elbows with some of the horse industry’s elite.