11/13/2002 1:00AM

Keeneland average rises


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Keeneland's 10-day November breeding stock sale ended Wednesday with financial gains across the board.

Despite selling almost 200 fewer horses, this year's auction grossed 4 percent more than last year as 2,377 lots brought $187,230,000. The average price rose 10 percent, from last year's figure of $71,655 to $78,767, and the median price shot up by 40 percent, from $20,000 last year to $28,000 in 2002.

The sale-topper was Bless, a $4 million full sister to 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus who sold in foal to Storm Cat. David Plummer - representing the ClassicStar partnership that also includes Tony Ferguson, Thom Robinson, and John Parrott - signed the ticket for Bless. John Adger, adviser to Robert and Janice McNair's Stonerside Stable, was the immediate underbidder. The McNairs offered the mare in partnership with Arthur B. Hancock III's Stone Farm, which acted as selling agent.

ClassicStar ended up as the sale's leading buyer by gross, spending $16,665,000 on 26 lots. That was slightly ahead of the auction's second most prolific spender, Klaus Jacob's European-based Newsells Park Stud, which bought 24 head for $15,945,000.

Among sellers, the Taylor Made agency led the ranks with 195 horses consigned, nearly triple those of its nearest competitor, for total revenue of $28,010,900. Clifton Farm sold just three lots but rang up big prices, making it the leading seller by average, with an average price of $615,000.