01/10/2018 6:50PM

Keeneland January: Momentum slows in third session

Keeneland photo
Runway Doll was the Wednesday session-topper at the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale.

Book 2 of the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale saw a stall in momentum during its first session after the auction’s first book posted significant gains. The racing or broodmare prospect Runway Doll led the day’s trade at $145,000.

Wednesday’s session finished with 236 horses sold for revenues of $3,442,700, up 1 percent from last year’s third session when 197 horses brought $3,415,900. While the gross kept steady, the average sale price fell 13 percent to $14,588 from $17,340 and the median dropped 9 percent to $7,750.

Comparative average and median prices were lower on Wednesday, but the reserves met the demand, as evidenced by the markedly lower buyback rate. The session finished at 20 percent, compared with last year’s day-three figure of 33 percent.

At the top of the market, two horses changed hands for six figures, going unchanged from the comparable session in 2017. Purchases of $75,000 or more declined to five from seven, while transactions of $50,000 or more fell to 13 from 17.

Wednesday’s session-topper was Runway Doll, a 4-year-old Majestic Warrior filly who sold to Springhouse Farm for $145,000.

Runway Doll has won one of three starts breaking her maiden on debut as a juvenile in Saratoga by 13 1/2 lengths. Her earnings totaled $54,020 for owners William and Corinne Heiligbrodt and Bobby Flay, and trainer Steve Asmussen.

Bred in Kentucky by the partnership of Betz, Needham, Lamanita, Blackburn, and Halecky, Runway Doll is out of the unraced Boundary mare French Line, whose nine winners from 10 runners include stakes winner Song Warrior and stakes-placed Yessiremychickadee. Runway Doll is also a half-sister to the placed Lastofthesummerwine, who is herself the dam of Grade 2 winner Conquest Panthera, Grade 3 winner Happy Like a Fool, and Grade 2-placed Maniacal.

The extended family includes Grade 1 winners French Colonial, Silver Voice, and Nine Keys, Grade 2 winner Clef d’Argent, and Argentine Group 2 winner Blood Money.

The Heiligbrodts paid $175,000 for Runway Doll at the 2016 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. Spring 2-year-olds in training sale.

Elite Sales consigned Runway Doll at the Keeneland January sale, as agent.

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The session’s top yearling, and second highest overall price, was a Violence colt who sold to Summers Street Stable for $130,000.

The dark bay or brown colt is the second foal out of the winning Arch mare Ms Arch Stanton, and his page features Grade 1 winners Healthy Addiction and My Sweet Addiction, Grade 2 winner Yara, and Puerto Rican champion Derek Adrian. V. Gail Ray bred the colt in Kentucky, and he was consigned on Wednesday by James Herbener Jr., as agent.

The colt’s sale punctuated a solid bloodstock decision by Ray, who bought Ms Arch Stanton for $6,000 as a broodmare prospect at the 2015 Keeneland January sale. Wednesday’s top yearling is the first foal out of the mare to sell at auction.

Taylor Made Sales Agency finished the day as the leading consignor by gross, with 46 horses sold for $669,200. A pair of $75,000 yearlings led the way, with Mersad Metanovic Bloodstock buying a Curlin filly and Northface Bloodstock landing a Strong Mandate colt.

Springhouse Farm was the day’s top buyer based on the lone purchase of the $145,000 session-topper.

After three sessions, a total of 651 horses changed hands for $31,744,700, up 27 percent from the same point in 2017, when 581 horses brought $24,989,500. The average sale price was up 13 percent to $48,763 from $43,011, the median was down 15 percent to $17,000 from $20,000, and the buyback rate sat at 28 percent compared with 34 percent.

The Keeneland January sale concludes on Thursday, beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern.