09/21/2011 8:04PM

$140,000 Big Brown colt tops 10th session at Keeneland sale

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – A half-dozen six-figure yearlings led selling Wednesday at the Keeneland September auction, where the sale continued strong momentum heading for its Sept. 24 ending.

The session-topper was an Adena Springs purchase, a $140,000 Big Brown colt who is a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Recapturetheglory. The chestnut colt is a member of his sire’s first yearling crop and is out of the stakes-placed Dehere mare Cold Awakening. Blake-Albina Thoroughbreds Services, agent, sold the colt to Frank Stronach’s operation.

Ann and Jerry Moss bought the day’s second-highest-priced lot, a $130,000 Macho Uno colt out of Ruby’s Prize, by Elusive Quality. Allied Bloodstock consigned the colt on behalf of D.C. Goff. He is from the family of multiple graded winner Ruby Surprise.

The session’s top-priced filly was a $120,000 Langfuhr filly that Greg Goodman’s Mt. Brilliant Farm bought from the late Edward P. Evans’s consignment (Lane’s End, agent). The dark bay is a half-sister to 2011 stakes-placed runner Christmas for Liam and to the eight-time winner Thief. She is from the family of Grade 1 winner Christmas Kid.

Wednesday’s session sold 315 yearlings for $6,969,900, yielding an average price of $22,127 and a $15,000 median. A change in the auction’s format that trimmed Book 2 from four to three days this year has made session-to-session comparisons less meaningful as quality in the auction tends to begin stepping down gradually after Book 2. This renders Day 10 in 2011 closest in quality to Day 11 last season. Based on that comparison, gross was up 66 percent from last year’s equivalent session, which sold 294 horses. The average was up 55 percent, and median rocketed up even farther, by 67 percent.

Through Wednesday, the 10th of 13 days, the world’s largest yearling market had sold 2,248 horses for $215,187,500. That was 12 percent ahead of last year’s figure. The average price was $95,724 and median was $50,000, up by 18 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

Buybacks for both the session and the sale generally remained relatively low. Session buybacks fell from 23 percent at last year’s 11th day to just 14 percent Wednesday. At the auction overall, buybacks stood at 23 percent, down from 26 percent last season.

The September sale was to continue through Saturday. Continuous daily sessions start at 10 a.m. and take place in Keeneland’s sale pavilion.