09/23/2009 11:00PM

Afleet Alex colt leads Keeneland session

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Young sire Afleet Alex, whose first crop are 2-year-olds this season, had another session-leading horse this week at the Keeneland September yearling sale. A son of Northern Afleet, Afleet Alex had Thursday's session-leader at 4 p.m., a $100,000 colt out of Virden bought by agent Steve Bajer.

Adena Springs sold the dark bay colt. He is out of a Grade 3 winner by Tactical Cat. The six-figure purchase also was in keeping with the auction's trend of high prices for yearlings out of younger mares. Virden is 7 and the Afleet Alex colt is her first foal.

An Afleet Alex colt topped the Sept. 21 session at $300,000, thanks to the sire's former connections. His trainer, Tim Ritchey, signed the ticket as agent for that son of Catch the Moment. The buyer was Chuck Zacney, who campaigned Afleet Alex in partnership.

As earlier in the week, a wide variety of buyers were casting bids on Thursday, including Russian owner Vladimir Kazakov, prominent pinhooking outfit Eisaman Equine, and domestic racing stables Maverick Racing and Vinery Stables.

At Wednesday's ninth session, Baccari Bloodstock client Benjamin Leon of Besilu Collection in Florida, a relatively new Thoroughbred buyer, picked up the highest-priced yearling for $185,000. That was for Hip No. 3,176, an Unbridled's Song colt out of Overbrook Farm's two-time graded winner Katz Me if You Can. A Storm Cat mare, Katz Me if You Can already has produced two winners in This Cat Can Dance, by Vindication, and Unkatzable, by A. P. Indy.

Eaton Sales consigned the colt as agent for Overbrook, which is holding a complete dispersal this year.

But the expected declines continued Wednesday as the market readjusted to a new era of more conservative spending and recession. The session sold 281 horses for $7,564,100, down 26 percent, for an average price of $26,919 and an $18,000 median. The average and median prices were down 30 percent and 40 percent, respectively, from last year's ninth session.

The sale was to continue through Monday.