11/08/2007 1:00AM

$850K mare early Thursday topper

EmailLEXINGTON, Ky. - An $850,000 broodmare set off some early fireworks Thursday at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale. Countess Gold, the dam of Group 1-placed and Group 2 winner Strike the Deal, sold in foal to Eurosilver.

The 7-year-old mare went to Frankfort Park Farm, a three-person partnership managed by Irishman Brendan Gallagher. Frankfort Park Farm operates two farms, one in Co. Kildare, Ireland, and the other at the former Old Frankfort Stud near Lexington.

"We saw Strike the Deal sell at the breeze-up sale this year," Gallagher said, referring to the Tattersalls Craven 2-year-olds in training auction in England, where Strike the Deal sold for $295,029. "We thought he was a good-looking horse. She's a young mare, and so we hope she keeps throwing foals that look like that."

Craig and Holly Bandoroff's Denali Stud agency sold Countess Gold on behalf of Five-D Thoroughbreds.

The November sale, which this year has cataloged a record 5,415 horses, was to continue through Nov. 19 with sessions beginning at 10 a.m. daily in Keeneland's sale pavilion.