Keeneland Reinstates April Sale, Tweaks September Format

Keeneland will reinstate its April Sale in 2019, as one of three changes to its sales calendar announced Thursday. The April auction, last held in 2014, will be staged as a one-day sale of 2-year-olds in training, as well as horses of racing age. Dates for the preview and sale will be announced at a later date.

“Keeneland’s April Sale produced a number of champions and Classic winners, including 2017 champions Lady Eli and Roy H in its final edition in 2014,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing and Sales Bob Elliston said. “Horsemen are very supportive of the sale returning this spring, and we are excited to expand the auction from previous years by offering a limited number of horses of racing age.”

Keeneland also announced the format for its upcoming September Yearling Sale. Book 1 of the auction, which was one session in 2017, will be held Monday through Thursday (Sept. 10-13) this year and will include approximately 1,000 yearlings with sessions beginning at 11 a.m. After a dark day Friday, Book 2 will be held Saturday and Sunday with sessions beginning at 10 a.m. The Book 2 portion of the 2017 sale was three days. Books 3-6 of the September sale will be held the following Monday through Sunday (Sept. 17-23).

Keeneland introduced a bonus structure tied to its one-session Book 1 in 2017. With the longer Book 1 section in 2018, the bonus will not be applicable to graduates of the sale this year.

“Keeneland engages in an ongoing dialog with our clients to collect their feedback and adapt our sales formats to meet the ‘market of the moment,’” Elliston said of the changes. “The market is fluid from year to year, and our primary goal is to create a sales environment that will produce the best results for our sellers and buyers.”

Finally, Keeneland announced it will open its November Breeding Stock Sale with an exclusive Book 1 session to be held Monday, Nov. 5.

“The Breeders’ Cup World Championships are at Churchill Downs the weekend before the November Sale begins, so what better way to continue the excitement than to host a select Book 1 on opening day,” said Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason.

The entire November Sale schedule will be announced later.