By Sarah Mace
By the conclusion of Keeneland’s 80th September Yearling Sale on Saturday, September 23, it was clear that the New York breeding program had considerably upped its yearling game at the 2023 renewal of the iconic 12-session sale. Despite sending a smaller contingent to the auction this year compared to last (58 offered in 2023 vs. 69 offered in 2022), the group posted significant year-over-gain gains in all major indicators.
The Keeneland September Sale as a whole, which began on September 11, posted total receipts of $394,127,900, the third-highest gross for the sale overall, and down just 2.80% from last year’s record gross of $405,495,700. The New York-bred contribution to this total was a robust $4,240,500. This figure represented an 18.5% increase over the New York-bred receipts in 2022, which totaled $3,578,500.
The New York-bred 2023 yearling average, in particular, was worth writing home about. Coming in at $94,233, the 2023 New York-bred average price at Keeneland rose a whopping 39.6% over the $67,519 average posted by the group in 2022. The 2023 New York-bred median of $40,000 in 2023 increased by 25% over the $32,000 median of 2022.
Final RNAs also improved for the New York cohort in 2023, despite coming in relatively high in the auction’s early books. Of 58 New York-bred yearlings offered at Keeneland this year, 45 sold, for an RNA percentage of 22.4% (not far off the 20.22% RNA rate at Keeneland overall). The 2022 New York-bred RNA percentage, when 53 sold of 69 offered, was 23.2%.
Finally, the upper end of the spectrum saw stronger sales of New York-bred yearlings than last year. The sale topper, a $525,000 a colt by Candy Ride out of Sweet Love bred by Joe Fafone (Hip 355), bested last year’s topper, a Broman-bred Into Mischief colt out of Artemis Agrotera who brought $450,000. In 2023, a total of 14 individuals sold for six figures, up from 12 in 2022. Six sold for $200,000 and up this year, compared to four last year.
The next stop of interest to New York breeders on the tour of North American yearling sales is the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale, which will take place Monday and Tuesday, October 2-3, at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Maryland.