Fireworks were on display at Tuesday’s second session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale as Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Godolphin went to $4.1 million to buy a son of Curlin, the most expensive Keeneland September sale yearling since 2010. Out of New Zealand champion sprinter Bounding, a daughter of Lonhro, the bay colt was consigned by Eaton Sales, agent, and offered as Hip No. 274.
Godolphin also bought the sale’s second most expensive yearling, a War Front colt out of 2012 Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can, for $2.9 million. Hip 258 was consigned by Brereton Jones/Airdrie Stud, agent. Through two days, Sheikh Mohammed has purchased six yearlings for $13.25 million, including the four highest-priced youngsters, and agent Anthony Stroud signs the sales tickets.
“The love of horse racing and the hope of finding a champion,” Stroud said when asked to explain Sheikh Mohammed’s robust participation in the sales. “He loves this sport, he loves coming to America and he loves Keeneland — all those things. That’s why he’s doing what he’s doing.”
Bounding is a half-sister to this year’s English Derby (G1) winner Anthony Van Dyck.
“A lovely well-balanced horse from a good farm; we liked him very much,” Stroud said of the yearling. “He was just a wonderful mover and had athleticism.”
Irish stalwart Coolmore was the underbidder on the $4.1 million sales topper.
“It makes me feel better, because they’re so talented at what they do,” Stroud said about Coolmore. “I think it’s a huge compliment that they liked the horse because they’re a great group of people and they buy wonderful horses.”
Five yearlings sold for $1 million or more on Tuesday, bringing the two-day total of seven-figure purchases to 12.
Other highlights included Hip 368, who led all fillies and brought the session’s third-highest price of $1.05 million. The daughter of Curlin is out of the Grade 1-winning A.P. Indy mare Dreaming of Julia and was consigned by Denali Stud, agent. A pair of fillies, one by Union Rags (199) and the other by War Front (Hip 351), brought $1 million.
Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Estate Company took home the fillies by Curlin and War Front. Godolphin bought the Union Rags filly.
On Tuesday, 109 yearlings sold for $49,150,000, with average price of $450,917 and a median of $375,000. Through the first two sessions of the auction, a total 216 horses have been purchased for $95,381,000, with an average of $441,579 and a median of $350,000.
Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, led all consigners Tuesday, selling 20 horses for $7,275,000.
“What an incredible day,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing and Sales Bob Elliston said. “Today the average horse sold for $451,000 and the median jumped $50,000 more from yesterday – that’s just staggering. It wasn’t just the $4.1 million colt or the $2.9 million colt. There was depth to the market; the increase in the median shows you it wasn’t two horses that caused those numbers to jump.”
The third and final Book 1 session begins Wednesday at noon (ET) and Thursday is dark. The September Sale continues through Sunday, September 22.
For complete results, the catalog with updates, and live streaming of the sale, visit keeneland.com.