11/05/2007 1:00AM

Fleet Indian a $3.9 million buyback

EmailLEXINGTON, Ky. - The Keeneland November sale, which cataloged a record 5,415 horses this year, set off some fireworks in its opening day Monday despite a disappointing showing by champion Fleet Indian.

The Indian Charlie mare, now recovered from a serious injury and subsequent surgery on her left front leg, was widely anticipated to bring between $3 million to $5 million. She was carrying a Storm Cat foal that fetal sexing has shown to be a colt. But the 6-year-old mare failed to reach her reserve at a final price of $3.9 million, setting off a flurry of activity after she left the ring as consignor Taylor Made Sales Agency fielded private offers. Those negotiations were still under way at 2:15 p.m., suggesting that the mare could possibly be sold privately by the session's end Monday night.

Earlier in the day, Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum's representative John Ferguson picked up the session-leading mare, the $2.7 million Evil. The 9-year-old Hennessy mare is the dam of Grade 2 winner Tiz Wonderful and was carrying a foal by Maktoum's 2006 champion colt Bernardini.