Session 3 of the sale (while still part of Book 1) starts some of the more interesting pedigrees for me, as many of these yearlings come with a racing family, but won’t require you to go into debt for the rest of your life to afford them like some of their earlier counterparts. This session begins on Wednesday, September 12th and the bidding will begin with HIP 496 at 11:00 AM.
Session 2 starts on Tuesday, September 11th at 11:00 AM, beginning with HIP 249 and ending with 495; as a reminder, the sale does stream online through the Keeneland website and you can also attend the sale in person, though you cannot sit in the auction ring area, as those are reserved for buyers. They don’t want you accidentally purchasing a half million dollar yearling by scratching your nose at the wrong person. 😉
The granddaddy of all yearling sales is just around the corner, and my initial glance of the first three sessions has revealed that this could be a fantastic sale if everyone gets to the ring and meets the reserve price. There is a little bit of everything this year: full and half siblings to superstars, sires, and producing dams; yearlings with a catalog page that probably should have been printed purple with 24k golden borders, and the first crop of the Triple Crown hero, American Pharoah.
There is always a buzz around the first yearling auction of the season, especially when so many good horses entered their breeding careers at the same time. This is considered to be the glimpse into the rest of the season as the larger, more well-known auctions like the Saratoga Select and Keeneland September start to loom on the horizon and the farms around Kentucky start intense preparations.
While there was a lot of activity and interest surrounding the yearlings of American Pharoah, the sale only had two representatives to look at this year; other first-crop sires faired better as Palace, Palace Malice, Tapiture, and Constitution all had significantly larger offerings on display that generated lively bidding in the ring.