4:46pm

Fri September 23, 2011
Business and the Economy

Stability Contributes to Strong Keeneland Sale

As Keeneland heads into the final day of its annual September Yearling Sale, the thoroughbred auction company is looking at gross receipts in excess of $220 million, up at least 12 percent from last year. By day eight of the 13-day auction, Keeneland had already surpassed the gross receipts of last year. Keeneland spokeswoman Amy Gregory attributes that to a stabilizing thoroughbred market and growing buyer confidence.

"Stud fees have been lowered over the last year or two and it costs less to get a yearling to market. And because of that, consignors can set really reasonable reserves on their horses."

Gregory says there is also a tax incentive this year for purchasing yearlings, and many horsemen are optimistic about high purses at racetracks that allow expanded gambling.

The top-selling horse was a colt out of A.P. Indy that sold for $1.4 million on opening night.

"We've had six million-dollar horses -- horses that have sold for a million dollars or more -- this sale compared to only three last year. And actually all six of those have been bought by domestic buyers. So we see that as a very encouraging sign for the U.S. racing market," says Gregory.

The sale continues through Saturday in Lexington.