The Keeneland September yearling sale is the North American Thoroughbred industry's bellwether auction, and one of the busiest times of the year for me. I think I can safely say this was my busiest one yet.
The auction itself is 13 days long (14 with the dark day in the middle), but the work on covering the sale begins a month ahead of the first hammer when the catalog is first released. All the studying of pedigrees and auction performance leads into the interviews and stories written for our Keeneland September preview insert prior to Labor Day weekend.
After Labor Day, I hit the barns at Keeneland as soon as horses arrive, inspecting as many of the high-end Book 1 offerings as I can. The process involves note-taking of my observations, shooting a photo of each horse I inspect, shooting a walk video if the horse is particularly interesting, and finally speaking to the consignor to bank quotes for live coverage and get insight on their stock and the market in general. At night, I compiled all of the information gathered during the day for scouting reports and other pre-written pieces.
Then the sale starts, and we go on from there.
Let's look at my Keeneland September by the numbers...
- 81 individual pieces of writing filed between print, online, and DRF Breeding Live.
- Over 120 yearlings inspected and photographed.
- 60 walk videos filmed and published online.
- 17 scouting reports on horses of interest in Book 1
- 12 of 13 session recaps written
- 3 radio interviews discussing the Keeneland September sale
I've compiled a list below with links to every piece I wrote, every video I shot, and every radio interview in which I participated regarding the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale. The only thing I didn't include was my activity on Twitter, because there's only so much time in the day. Enjoy!
- Pope prominent figure during Book 1 sessions
- Coolmore teams up with Bridlewood on $2m Tapit colt
- Buyback of Believe You Can pays off for Jones
- Madden makes splash in Keeneland September debut
- Big Brown half-brother fails to meet reserve
- Phipps Stable re-enters auction arena as buyers
- September a month of big strides for the Crosses
DRF Live Scouting Reports
- Hip 90: Tiznow colt out of Temple Street
- Hip 103: War Front colt out of Treasure Trail
- Hip 145: War Front colt out of Wine Princess
- Hip 154: Tapit colt out of Afleeting Lady
- Hip 166: War Front filly out of Aloof
- Hip 207: Tapit colt out of Believe You Can
- Hip 226: Medaglia d'Oro filly out of Bubbler
- Hip 289: Frankel colt out of Debonairre
- Hip 309: Medaglia d'Oro colt out of Double Tapped
- Hip 318: Bernardini colt out of Easter Bunnette
- Hip 383: War Front colt out of Havre de Grace
- Hip 436: Tapit colt out of La Cloche
- Hip 454: Scat Daddy colt out of Leslie's Lady
- Hip 514: Street Cry colt out of Morena
- Hip 529: Pioneerof the Nile colt out of My Tina
- Hip 537: Medaglia d'Oro filly out of Nereid
- Hip 561: Tapit colt out of Ponche de Leona
Walker Hancock Q&A
- DRF Breeding Q&A with Claiborne Farm's Walker Hancock (original interview for print)
- On marketing first-year stallions
- On starting a new stallion
- On what excites him most about the industry
- On what concerns him most about the industry
- On growing up in the Claiborne system
- On the importance of the farm's daily tours
- On his influences
- On what surprised him most about the position
- On the direction of the industry
Other DRF Breeding Live items
- Global catalog for #KeeSept, how will buyers respond?
- Five things to watch for Book 1
- Predicting the sale-topper
- Buyer/consignor quotes from the $1m Hip 48, by Medaglia d'Oro
- Godolphin's John Ferguson discusses $900k War Front filly
- Things to watch for today's session
- Buyer/consignor quotes for the $900k Tapit/Believe You Can colt
- Buyer/consignor quotes from the $900k War Front/Don't Trick Her colt
- Crupi takes new topper, $1.2m Tapit colt
- Buyer/consignor quotes for the $3m Scat Daddy colt
- Four Star Sales' Kerry Cauthen on the $1.3m Hip 476, by War Front
- Half to Rachel Alexandra to Let's Go Stable for $400k
- Bridlewood Farm/Coolmore partner on $2m Tapit colt
- Mandy Pope discusses late-session seven-figure buys, status of Havre de Grace colt
- Looking back on the five things to watch in Book 1
- Buyback rate deja vu to start Book 2
- WinStar Farm, China Horse Club team up on $500k More Than Ready colt
- Buyer/breeder quotes from the $1-million Hip 845, by Curlin
- Mark Casse talks $625k Hip 972, by Pioneerof the Nile
- WinStar Farm, China Horse Club strike early for $400k Speightstown colt
- D.J. Stable buys $450k session-topper by Uncle Mo
- Buyer/breeder quotes from the $650k Ghostzapper colt
- Buyer/consignor/breeder quotes for the $750k Uncle Mo colt, Hip 1320
- At the Races with Steve Byk: Sept. 13. 2016 (Tune in 38:19 - 58:32)
- Winning Ponies with John Engelhardt: Sept. 15, 2016 (Tune in 16:08 - 31:52)
- At the Races with Steve Byk: Sept. 27, 2016 (Tune in 42:25 -1:05:02)