09/22/2009 12:00AM

Halfway through, Keeneland sale down sharply


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington hit its halfway point Monday, the seventh of 14 sessions.

The session sold 277 yearlings for $11,091,800, down 41 percent from Day 7 last season. Monday's average price of $40,043 and median of $27,000 were down 40 percent and 46 percent, respectively. The buy-back rate rose from 21 percent last year to 25 percent.

Monday's session topper was a $300,000 Afleet Alex colt out of the young, unraced mare Catch the Moment, by Unbridled. Tim Ritchey, who trained 2005 Preakness and Belmont winner Afleet Alex, purchased the colt on behalf of Chuck Zacney's CJZ Stable. Zacney was managing partner for the Cash Is King Stable that campaigned Afleet Alex.

The Taylor Made sales agency consigned the bay colt. He is a half-brother to the 3-year -old winner Magicalcarpetride, who has won two of three lifetime starts to date, all at Delaware Park.

The buyers' list showed participation from a wide range of well-known bidders, from racehorse owners like Jay Em Ess Stable and Maverick Racing, to pinhookers such as Becky Thomas and Nick De Meric - an indication that some big players were sticking around to look for horses at the sale's later days. Pinhookers in particular appeared to be increasing their buying activity in the auction's final week.

The sale was to continue through Sept. 28 at the Keeneland sale pavilion. Sessions begin daily at 10 a.m.