KEENELAND’S January Horses of All Ages Sale concluded on Thursday following four days of selling that yielded results comparable to 2022.
Turnover for the week was $45,408,300, down slightly from last year’s $46,341,100. A total of 962 horses sold through the ring compared to 1,013 in 2022. Consequently, the average price of $47,202 was up 3%, though the median of $19,000 was 5% less than last year’s record $20,000.
“We are very happy with the way the sale has gone,” Keeneland vice president of sales, Tony Lacy, said. “The buying bench was deep and diverse, with strong domestic representation and an international presence that included buyers from Japan, Saudi Arabia and Korea. Sellers are very pleased with the way their horses have been received.
““Demand for quality young and proven mares and short yearlings was as strong as ever. There was a little adjustment in the market with minor corrections in the middle and lower ends that are normal and acceptable. When you look at the global economic head winds, there is every reason why we should be in a more challenging environment, but we’re not. Everyone is coming out of this week with a lot of confidence going into breeding season.”
Jacob West, who bought and sold, agreed that a premium was placed on quality. “When you have the goods, everybody is there,” he said. “Quality products bring quality money.”
The second session on Tuesday featured the sale’s two most expensive horses, supplementary entry Ancient Peace and England’s Rose, who both recently raced in California. Travis Boersma’s Boardshorts Stables paid $650,000 for Ancient Peace, a Sam-Son Farm-bred three-year-old filly by War Front who scored her first victory in December on the turf at Santa Anita by more than four lengths.
Late entries produced two of the sale’s highest-priced horses, led by Ancient Peace and including Ack Naughty who sold for $500,000. Boardshorts Stables was the sale’s leading buyer, paying $1,227,000 for four horses. During the second session, Boardshorts also spent $450,000 on broodmare prospect Empire Hope, a daughter of Empire Maker.
“It’s wonderful to see young enterprises like Boardshorts Stables, Determined Stud and Pin Oak really starting to ramp up alongside the more established breeders who are reinvesting,” Lacy said.
The depth of the buying bench was evidenced in the fact that the 15 highest-priced horses sold to 14 different entities. Other leading buyers included James Schenck, Repole Stable/Taylor Made Idol Mare Partners, MWG, Castleton Way, First Finds, Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds/David Wade, and Jose Aguirre.
Marshall Taylor spent $670,000 on three yearlings for Castleton Way, a pinhooking partnership that purchased at the January Sale for the second year. Taylor said: “We are buying yearlings to pinhook this summer. We’re looking for a really good physical by the right sire. For all the ones you liked, everybody else liked, too.”
Bloodstock agent Eduardo Terrazas said the competition to buy was tough. He said: “Every mare you think will bring around $150,000 or thereabouts, they’re bringing $200,000, $250,000. We’ve been outbid eight times.”
James Schenck paid the sale’s second-highest price of $600,000 for England’s Rose, a seven-year-old stakes-winning daughter of English Channel who was also second in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar in December.
During the first session, West Bloodstock, agent for Robert and Lawana Low, paid $450,000 for the top-priced yearling, a filly by Quality Road who is from the family of Grade 1 winner New Year’s Day and Grade 2 winner Mohaymen. Her dam, Evocative, a daughter of Pioneerof the Nile who is in foal to Quality Road, preceded her in the sales ring and was purchased for $550,000 by Kerri Radcliffe. Also selling for $550,000 was Grade 3 winner and broodmare prospect In Good Spirits, a six-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper, purchased by West Bloodstock, agent for Repole Stable.
Taylor Made Sales Agency was the sale’s leading consignor for the 20th time since 2001. They posted sales of $6,371,100 for 100 horses.
On Monday, Chester and Mary Broman spent $500,000 on Ack Naughty, dam of the recent Grade 2 Los Alamitos Futurity winner Practical Move. The 11-year-old daughter of Afleet Alex is due to Upstart. Palio Flag, a six-year-old winning daughter of Curlin, in foal to Maclean’s Music, sold for $450,000 to Gage Hill Stable.
Other top-priced yearlings were by Gun Runner ($400,000 and $300,000) and Uncle Mo ($340,000 and $335,000). “We thank all the buyers and consignors who participated in the January Sale for their continued support of Keeneland,” Keeneland president and CEO Shannon Arvin said. “We wish everyone good luck in the upcoming breeding season.”