Keeneland enters the ring with a digital presence

Written By Kimberly French on June 24, 2020
Belmont Park

Keeneland Sales conducted its first stand-alone online auction on Tuesday via the new Keeneland Digital Sales Ring platform.

A half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Honorable Duty, Trapezium sold for $327,000 to St. Elias Stables as the sale-topper of the inaugural June Select Horses of Racing Age Sale.

Top seller Trapezium has elite bloodlines

A 3-year-old filly by Hard Spun out of the A.P. Indy mare Mesmeric, Trapezium was consigned by Juddmonte Farms. Trapezium’s second dam, Toussaud, is the dam of Belmont Stakes (Grade 1) winner Empire Maker. Toussaud also produced Group 1 winner and stallion Chester House.

“Trapezium comes from one of (Juddmonte’s) elite families,” said Juddmonte Farms General Manager Garrett O’Rourke. “I wasn’t sure in this format buyers would recognize her value. I was wrong. Our phone began ringing very early on; people were paying attention, doing their homework and she sold accordingly.

“The online sale format was well received and embraced by buyers,” O’Rourke added. “There were some growing pains with registering to bid, etc., but buyers adapted quickly. It was productive and went very smoothly – to be able to pull together buyers and players and turn the sale around in such a short time. We needed to move some horses and it was a big help to us.”

Trapezium is slated to train in New York under trainer Todd Pletcher.

Online sale tested new virtual auction platform

Tuesday’s sale grossed $829,500 for 12 horses — an average of $69,125– with a median sale price of $32,750. Full results of the sale are available by clicking here.

Bringing matching bids of $65,000, Juddmonte Farms also consigned a pair of 3-year-olds by Into Mischief.
Oak Room, a colt out of French stakes winner Privet Hedge by First Defence, was purchased by Steven W. Young, agent. Valletta, a filly out of the winning Tapit mare West Riding, hammered for the same price by Big Dom Racing Stable.

The one-day sale was a litmus test for Keeneland’s new virtual auction platform, which will be integrated into future more-traditional sales, including the flagship Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

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Kimberly French

Kimberly French is an award winning freelance journalist specializing in horse racing and horse health living in Louisville, KY. Her work has appeared in more than 25 national and international publications. She is currently the editor of Hoof Beats magazine, the official publication of the U.S. Trotting Association and the special assistant to the president for the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

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