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.