11/04/2008 1:00AM

Hystericalady a bright spot on down day

Photos by Z/Keeneland
Hystericalady sold for $3 million to Sheikh Mohammad al-Maktoum.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Topped by $3 million Hystericalady, Keeneland’s November breeding stock auction ended its opening day Monday with precipitous declines as compared to last year’s opener, which had included a world-record broodmare price from the Swettenham Stud dispersal.

With no similar offerings Monday, the 2008 auction sold 149 horses for a total of $48,021,000, a drop of 56 percent from last year’s tally of $109,064,000 for 194 horses at last year’s equivalent session. The 2008 average of $322,289 was down 43 percent, and median plummeted 32 percent to $185,000. The session sold 11 seven-figure horses, as compared to 28 at the 2007 opener.

The buy-back rate nearly doubled from 19 percent last season to 38 percent on Monday.

Keeneland officials blamed a vastly different catalog and the general economic downturn as major factors in the 2008 losses.

The 2007 session featured the world-record $10.5 million sale of Playful Act to Sheikh Mohmmed al-Maktoum; that record, incidentally, was broken Sunday night at Fasig-Tipton’s November sale, when Better Than Honour brought $14 million from Southern Equine Stables, the mare’s 70 percent owner, who was buying out 30 percent owner John Sikura of Hill ’n’ Dale Farm.

Session topper Hystericalady sold to Maktoum’s Darley Stud. Owners George Todaro, Jerry Hollendorfer, and Tom Clark sold the 5-year-old Distorted Humor mare through the Taylor Made Sales agency. She is a Grade 1 winner with more than $2.2 million in earnings.

Other high prices Monday included $2.5 million for Away, carrying a full sibling to Eight Belles, that Maktoum bought from Three Chimneys, agent; $2.3 million Shadow Cast, a Grade 1 winner in foal to Bernardini, another Ferguson purchase from the Lane’s End agency; and $1.5 million for Apasionata Sonata, carrying a full sibling to Bsharpsonata, that King Abdullah bought from the Taylor Made agency.

The sale, which featured a record catalog of 5,709 horses, was scheduled to run through Nov. 17 with sessions starting daily at 10 a.m. in Keeneland’s sale pavilion.

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