Keeneland Changes

Keeneland made a lot of changes in its April sale of 2-year-olds in training and you have to give management there credit for trying. Director of sales Geoffrey Russell indicated the company would be open to doing some more tinkering in the future.

One of the most popular suggestions from consignors and buyers for future change involves the scheduling of the under tack show. It was held on a Monday this year, and the sale started on a Tuesday night. Instead, some people suggested, the under tack show should be on the Thursday before Keeneland spring meet's Friday opening and the sale should be held the following Monday or the following Monday and Tuesday.

Keeneland has to find the happy medium between giving buyers not enough time to look and too much time to look. At the Fasig-Tipton Calder sale this year, the under tack show was held on Friday and the sale was conducted the followiing Tuesday. One consignor told me she was worried there was too much time for buyers to look, creating a situation similar to one at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction. One buyer was starting to pick apart horses and having second thoughts after viewing 2-year-olds in the sale multiple times.

Keeneland also needs to find a way to attract more horses. One bloodstock agent who buys yearlings to be pinhooked suggested that Keeneland make the entry date later for the April sale. But Russell said Keeneland needs to be in there pitching for horses when the other sale companies that conduct select auctions are in order to get the best prospects. Russell also said he is not interested in making the April sale a second chance for horses bought back from other earlier select juvenile sales.


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