LEXINGTON, Ky., Sept. 27 (UPI) -- This year's Keeneland yearling sale in Kentucky brought in higher prices than breeders have seen in almost 20 years.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports competition between Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the crown prince of Dubai, and the Irish conglomerate Coolmore drove the price of the sale's star, a Storm Cat colt, to $9.7 million, the highest since 1985. The Maktoum brothers and Coolmore between them spent 27 percent of the entire sale, while Storm Cat sired $46 million worth of colts.
"If there was a surprise to the sale, it was that global economic woes didn't seem to have an effect," Keeneland sales director Geoffrey Russell told the newspaper.
Russell said the combination of an excellent crop of yearlings, money coming in from overseas and the psychological boost of seeing a colt go for millions of dollars helped lift sales.
While the record prices for Storm Cat colts were impressive, Russell said sales for colts in the mid-range increased 23 percent.