01/14/2006 12:00AM

Gross passes record level at Keeneland


One day after setting a sale record for gross receipts, the Keeneland January sale continued with less fizzy prices but plenty of solid trade.

By 4:30 p.m., Saturday's top seller at Keeneland's Lexington, Ky., sales pavilion was the $210,000 filly Passageway, a 4-year-old winner by Gold Fever. Chelsea Bloodstock purchased the filly from Eaton Sales, which acted as agent for Overbrook Farm. Passageway is out of Navajo Pass, making her a half-sister to Grade 3-placed Desert Warrior. Navajo Pass, a Secretariat mare, is a full sister to Pancho Villa and Terlingua, putting her into one of racing's exceptionally productive families. Passageway was sold as a broodmare prospect.

During Friday's session, the seven-day auction officially set a January sale record for gross receipts of $68,174,100. The sale had been running well ahead of last year and on Friday broke the record set in 1988, when the Nelson Bunker Hunt dispersal's highly desirable bloodstock helped Keeneland's January venue achieve a then-record $66,694,900.

Through Friday, the sale's fifth session and the last for which final figures were available as of 4:30 p.m. Saturday, the sale had grossed $68,174,100 for 1,213 horses, a breeding right, and three stallion shares. The gross for horses alone was $68,019,900, up 30 percent from the five-day cumulative last year. The five-day average price was $56,076, an increase of 28 percent, and the median shot up by 56 percent to reach $25,000.

The sale's final session was scheduled for Sunday at 10 a.m.