All good things must come to an end.  Or so they say.  On Saturday, Keeneland closed out its annual auction of quality Thoroughbred yearlings and the 2017 version was both breath taking and record setting.

At the very end, Keeneland’s total sales exceeded $300,000,000 for the first time since 2008, and set all-time records for average and median prices.  There were 13 lucky sellers who had their babies garner $1,000,000 or more.

It was spectacular.

Gross sales of $307,845,400 increased 12.81 percent over 2016 by surpassing last year’s 13-day auction total of $272,890,500 on the seventh day of selling. Total sales represent the highest gross since the 15-day September Sale in 2008 when 3,605 horses sold for $327,999,100. This year 2,555 horses sold compared to 2,792 in 2016.

Record average and median prices evidenced competitive trade. Cumulative average rose 23.27 percent from $97,740 to $120,487, smashing the previous September Sale record of $112,427 set in 2006. The median of $57,000 increased 42.50 percent when compared to last year’s $40,000. The previous record median of $50,000 was set during the 2013-2015 September Sales.

Thirteen horses fetched $1 million or more versus nine in 2016 and were bought either individually or in partnership by nine different buyers. Eight of the seven-figure horses sold in the opening-day Book 1 session.

“The September Sale exceeded expectations in every aspect,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing and Sales Bob Elliston said. “The sales grounds were electric from Day 1 and that enthusiasm to buy racehorses never waned, even into the final days of the sale. Congratulations to our sellers and consignors, who brought an exceptional group of horses – truly the cream of the North American Thoroughbred foal crop – to market.”

Keeneland modified Week 1 of this year’s September Sale to open with an ultra-select, single-session Book 1 that cataloged 167 premier yearlings designed to create momentum that would flow through the entire sale. A three-day Book 2 offered 1,036 yearlings, effectively doubling the number of upper-market yearlings presented to prospective buyers before the break on Friday, Sept. 15, followed Book 1.