09/29/2009 12:00AM

Keeneland declines continue as sale nears end


Keeneland's two-week September yearling sale neared its conclusion Sunday with more hard drops in all categories at the auction's penultimate session.

Sunday's session in Lexington sold 205 yearlings for $1,209,900, down 53 percent from last year s equivalent day. Sunday's $5,902 average was down 48 percent, and the median dropped 60 percent, from $8,000 to $3,200.

The buyback rate provided a good indication of sellers' mindsets. In the harsh market, the buyback rate improved dramatically from last year's 28 percent to 17 percent, as sellers cut losses in a market that, on average, was not covering stud fees for the yearlings on offer.

Sunday s top-priced horse was a $50,000 Whywhywhy colt out of French stakes-winner Marche de Paix, by Marchand de Sable. Trainer Patrick Biancone, representing Flying Zee Stable, signed the ticket for the colt. Biancone trained Whywhywhy, who raced for Biancone's frequent partner Fabien Ouaki. Ouaki also bred Marche de Paix. Eaton Sales, agent, consigned the bay colt, who is just the second foal for his dam.

The September yearling sale's 14th and final session was to take place Monday at Keeneland with selling due to start at 10 a.m.