Innovative auction enabled fans to watch in the Metaverse
A 2.5 percent ownership interest in Flightline, who sealed his place among racing’s legends with an 8¼-length romp in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) on Saturday, sold today at Keeneland for $4.6 million to Brookdale Farm’s Freddy Seitz, who signed the ticket on behalf of an undisclosed farm client.
The fractional interest, offered by West Point Thoroughbreds, sold during a special auction prior to the start of the premier Book 1 session of Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale.
“(The buyer) just called and said, ‘I really want to make a big splash and get involved a little more in the business,’ ” said Seitz, who was on the phone with the buyer during the bidding. “I did not expect (the price) to go that high. It was pretty exciting. When you’re dealing with top quality, you’ve got to pay. (The buyer) did not give me that kind of figure going in. I could tell once (the bidding) started maybe we were going to keep going. I was a little more nervous than he was. He and his family were watching. I think they were having a really good time.
“With a special horse like (Flightline) all you can do is get involved and then just hope for the best,” Seitz added. “There has never been a horse that has done what he has done for however many years, back to Secretariat. You just have to pay up and get involved, and this is kind of what he’s thinking. He has a broodmare band and I think he is going to have a nicer broodmare band now. He does have some nice mares – six or eight mares at any time. He will probably be shopping now from what I understood.”
Flightline is undefeated in two seasons of racing, with four of his six career wins coming in Grade 1 stakes: the aforementioned Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland, TVG Pacific Classic, Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap and Runhappy Malibu. He has amassed earnings of more than $4.5 million.
On Sunday, it was announced the 4-year-old son of Tapit has been retired from racing and will enter stud next year at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Kentucky.
“It was very exciting; it’s a tribute to Flightline,” Bill Farish of Lane’s End said. “He’s just an incredible horse. There was a tremendous amount of interest. It was so hard to know where something like that would go. It’s the first time anything like this has ever been done with a horse of that magnitude. And there was only one (share) available. It’s an incredible opportunity and only because it’s Flightline.”
Today’s innovative auction featured a first-of-its-kind Metaverse experience designed to give participants a front-row seat in a virtual sales ring designed to replicate the excitement of Keeneland sales. This user-friendly virtual experience was hosted on Spatial and accessible via Oculus headset, desktop computer or mobile phone.
“Flightline’s brilliance captured the hearts and attention of fans around the world, and Keeneland is honored to have showcased this once-in-a-lifetime horse, both on the race track during the Breeders’ Cup and today in our sales ring,” Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said. “We are excited to have offered the opportunity via the Metaverse to experience first-hand the excitement and drama of Keeneland sales.”
Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale runs through Nov. 16. The Breeding Stock Sale is immediately followed by the November Horses of Racing Age Sale, which will begin at noon on Nov. 17. The entire November Sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.
Since its first race meet more than 85 years ago, the Keeneland Association has devoted itself to the health and vibrancy of the Thoroughbred industry. The world’s largest Thoroughbred auction house, Keeneland conducts four sales a year, in January, April, September and November. Graduates of Keeneland sales dominate racing across the globe at every level. In April and October, Keeneland offers some of the highest caliber and richest Thoroughbred racing in the world. Keeneland hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 2015 and 2020 and is holding the event again on Nov. 4-5, 2022. Uniquely structured, Keeneland is a privately held company with a not-for-profit mission that returns its earnings to the industry and the community in the form of higher purses and millions of dollars donated in support of horse industry initiatives and charitable contributions for education, research, and health and human services throughout Central Kentucky. Keeneland also maintains the Keeneland Library, a world-renowned public research institution with the mission of preserving information about the Thoroughbred industry. To learn more, visit Keeneland.com.
For more information contact:
Amy Gregory at 859 361-3490
Amy Owens at 859 421-2566