09/22/2010 4:03PM

Closing Argument filly leads Keeneland session

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Barbara D. Livingston
A half-sister to the Grade 3 stakes winner Rightly So, winner of the 2010 Bed o’ Roses Handicap., sold for a session-leading $155,000 on Wednesday.

LEXINGTON, Ky. -  A filly by Closing Argument out of the Out of Place mare Fit Right In sold for $155,000 on Wednesday during the 10th session of the 14-day Keeneland September sale to establish the top price of all horses sold, on a day when prices remained relatively strong compared with burst-bubble returns in 2009.

The session-topping filly is a half-sister to the Grade 3 stakes winner Rightly So, winner of the 2010 Bed o’ Roses Handicap. She was purchased by W.D. North Thoroughbreds, out of the Burleson Farms consignment, acting as agent.

Five horses sold for $100,000 or more during the session, as sale prices clustered around the average and median.

With 275 horses sold for the session, gross was $6,921,900, with average of $25,171 and median of $19,000, far stronger numbers than those established by the comparable session last year. For the 10th session in 2009, average was $19,296 and median was $13,000.
Though comparison between the 2010 and 2009 sales are complicated by a reformatted sale this year, the 2010 sessions have produced higher average prices and higher median prices than the comparable 2009 sessions, indicating that the bloodstock market has bounced back somewhat from the sobering numbers of last year, when bloodstock prices plunged in the wake of the recession and the unwillingness of banks to extend credit to horse buyers.

Cumulatively, the Keeneland sale has grossed $188,672,000 for 2,093 horses sold through the first 10 days of selling, for an average of $90,144 and a median of $50,000. Last year through the first 10 sessions, 2,492 horses had been sold in a larger catalog, with average of $80,284 and median of $40,000. Indicative of the stark weakness in the market last year, the 2009 average was down 36.1 percent compared to 2008, and median was down 42.86 percent.

Selling continues through Sunday.