Bobby Zen

Keeneland will host its April Selected Horses of Racing Age Sale following Friday’s 10-race card on closing day of the Spring Meet.

The fledgling auction will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET. Keeneland’s final race will go off at approximately 5:09 p.m. ET.

A total of 134 horses–and still growing–have been catalogued to the one-day sale.

“It’s an exciting sale,” Keeneland’s Director of Sales Operations Cormac Breathnach said earlier this week.

“It’s kind of a celebration of the end of our race meet and it also kicks off Derby week. This is only the second time that we’ve held it right after the race meet on closing day. It creates a really positive atmosphere. We’ll have live music before and after the sale and we’ll also have Grey Goose cocktails and sandwiches from Drake’s, a local restaurant. We really liked the vibe that we created two years ago. Last year, we had to pivot to a Sunday sale because OBS’s schedule had changed.”

Breathnach continued, “Currently, there are about 85 horses in the sale, it’s a moving number. It will be right down to the last minute with the number of horses that will go through the ring, but that’s right in line with where we were the last two years. We take a lot of pride in selling horses that have run well or won at the meet. Hopefully, we’ll have a lot of energy. We’ve had a lot of people talk about the sale and ask or confirm if we were doing it going back to as early as the turn of the year. We’re excited to see how it unfolds.”

Highlights from the catalogue include: the 3-year-old gelding Save the Trees (Preservationist) (Hip 131, consigned by Airdrie Stud, agent), an impressive come-from-behind debut winner for the Estate of Brereton C. Jones and trainer Wayne Mackey at Keeneland Apr. 19; the streaking 4-year-old ridgling Uncle Jake (Uncle Mo) (Hip 119, consigned by Vaccarezza Racing, agent), who made it three straight wins with a Keeneland allowance tally for JKX Racing and Vaccarezza Racing LLC at Keeneland Apr. 11; the 3-year-old filly Watchtower (Demarchelier {GB}) (Hip 79, consigned by ELiTE, agent for White Birch Farm), who is unbeaten in two races this year on turf for Peter Brant and Chad Brown at Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs; 2023 GII Alysheba S. winner Smile Happy (Runhappy) (Hip 57, consigned by Gainesway, Agent II); 2022 GII Suburban S. winner Dynamic One (Union Rags) (Hip 101, consigned by Highgate Sales, Agent V); and MGSW & MGISP Wit (Practical Joke) (Hip 124, consigned by Gainesway, Agent XV as a stallion prospect).

Last year’s sale was topped by then 2-year-old Commissioner Dan (Commissioner), who brought $500,000 from Pedro Lanz, bidding on behalf of the Saudi Arabia-based KAS Stable, following a debut win at Keeneland.

Keeneland sold 67 horses through the ring for $6,743,000, good for an average of $100,642 and a median of $70,000, at last year’s auction.

Recent graduates of the April Sale include: Carmel Road (Quality Road) ($260,000 ’23 KEEAPR), winner of the 2024 King Faisal Cup in Saudi Arabia; 2023 GIII John B. Connally Turf Cup S. winner Scarlet Fusion (Curlin) ($110,000 ’22 KEEAPR); and last weekend’s Danger’s Hour S. winner Spirit of St Louis (Medaglia d’Oro) ($280,000 ’23 KEEAPR).

“There’s really a market for ready-made animals,” Breathnach said. “The claim box has been popular and busy the whole meet. There are a lot of people that are looking for horses that are ready to go on with. We’ve had a lot of support and interest from Saudi Arabia and they’ll be live and active again. They like dirt horses and hopefully we have some of what they want.”

The post Keeneland’s April Selected Horses of Racing Age Sale Follows Friday’s Closing Day Card appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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