Reversing a yearslong decline, Keeneland wrapped up its 14-day September Yearling Sale on Sunday with a 3.3 percent increase in gross receipts, officials said.
According to figures released by Keeneland, receipts for the September sale totaled $198,257,900. The average price was $64,811 and the median was $25,000. Last year, gross sales were $191,859,200, with an average price of $60,734 and a median of $22,000.
The bump came even with a small decline in the number of yearlings sold, which fell from 3,159 a year ago to 3,059 this year. The not-sold rate was 26.7 percent, down from 27.5 percent in 2009.
The auction's highlight was the Sept. 12 opening-night sale of an A.P. Indy colt for $4.2 million, the highest price paid at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale since 2006.
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Geoffrey Russell, Keene land's sales director, credited a new format with energizing this year's event .
"Given the impact of the global recession on our industry, we wanted to change the tone," Russell said in a prepared statement. "We felt the time was right to make some changes that would infuse new energy and help reposition the marketplace as economic conditions continue to rebound both here and abroad."
This year's sale opened with two select evening sessions intended to create excitement and momentum. Also, Keeneland reformatted its Book 2 sales catalog, presenting yearlings alphabetically by dam rather than by pedigree and confirmation. The catalog changes, designed to bring more buyers into the market, worked well, Russell said.
"We saw a great mix of old and new faces, both domestic and foreign, and they stayed longer in the sale," he said. "Trading was very evenly spread among a number of buyers. That is a very healthy sign."