Updated on 09/16/2011 8:13AM

Kee sale opens with steep declines

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - opened with steep declines on Monday but still produced six lots at prices of $1 million or more.

The day's top lot was a $2.4 million Danzig colt out of the Grade 2-winning Alydar mare Aquilegia; D. Wayne Lukas signed the ticket. Helen Alexander's Middlebrook Farm, agent, consigned the colt. He is a full brother to Group 3 winner Bertolini and a half-brother to stakes-winner Amelia.

The opening session, one of two select sessions at the auction, sold 195 lots for gross receipts of $50,431,000, down 16 percent from last year's sale, when 156 yearlings brought $60,331,000. Average fell 33 percent to $258,621, and median declined 32 percent to $170,000.

But the buyback rate improved, dropping from last year's 36 percent to 28 percent at this year's opener.

The declines were in line with those seen at select sales earlier this summer at Keeneland in July and Fasig-Tipton in Saratoga.

The sale continues through Sept. 21, with a dark day on Friday, Sept. 13.