While many horse racing fans eagerly await early October for Keeneland's fall meet, horse sellers and buyers will stay busy for the next two weeks. The annual September yearling sales event gets underway Monday.
With 13 sessions, Keeneland's September sales are billed worldwide as the top thoroughbred auction of the year. Keeneland Spokeswoman Amy Gregory says major buyers from almost every state and 50 countries will be in town. She says gross sales a year ago were up 27 percent. "We're very optimistic going into this sale that we'll have a very robust sale. There's lot of optimism in the thoroughbred industry right now and the market is very strong in sales that have been leading up to this September sale," said Gregory.
There are 4,181 yearlings cataloged for the Keeneland sale. Gregory says, Keeneland opted to add an additional day for sales, despite the decline in the number of available yearlings. "We have still seen the contraction in the foal crop. We still have a smaller foal crop as we've had the last couple of years. But, we have added an extra day. The quality of the yearlings out there right now is really wonderful, so we have a lot of product to sell this year," added Gregory.
Gregory says the area benefits economically from the sales due to the amount of money tourists spend on hotel rooms, dinners, rental cars, and visits to local tourist sites. Keeneland's annual September sale runs through the 21st.