01/14/2016 7:55PM

Keeneland January: Steady returns close out Book 2


The fourth day of the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale was the first of this year’s renewal to post across-the-board declines, though those drop-offs were minor, indicating a steady market as the sale transitions from Book 2 to the final Book 3.

A total of 248 horses changed hands on Thursday for revenues of $3,204,000, down 7 percent from the fourth and final session of last year’s sale when 248 horses brought $3,432,800. The average sale price fell 4 percent from last year’s comparable session, from $13,515 to $12,919, while the median declined 3 percent from $7,500 to $7,250.

The buyback rate closed at 15 percent on Thursday, which marked a significant improvement from the 21 percent rate of last year’s fourth session.

Two horses sold for six figures, tying the number to meet that threshold during the same session in 2015. The 11 offerings to sell for $50,000 or more were one fewer than the 12 to do so last year.

Prom Time, a winning Tale of the Cat mare, topped the session, going to Tom Bachman for $102,000.

A 10-year-old mare, Prom Time is the dam of one winner from one runner, the City Zip gelding Ziptime, and was not pregnant at the time of sale. Prom Time won one of 17 starts during her racing career for earnings of $54,525.

Bred in Maryland by Sondra and Howard Bender, Prom Time is out of the winning Pleasant Colony mare Promenade Colony, whose eight winners from 12 foals to race includes Grade 2 winner Promenade Girl and stakes winner Dattts Awesome. Her extended family includes Grade 1 winners Cavorting, Another Review, and No Review; Grade 2 winners Dance Colony, Blueskiesnrainbows, and Sparkling Review; and Korean Horse of the Year Indie Band.

Eaton Sales consigned Prom Time as agent for the dispersal of the estate of Howard and Sondra Bender.

The session’s top yearling, and the second-highest overall price of the day, was a Super Saver colt that sold to Calumet Farm for $100,000.

Bred in Kentucky by Hidden Brook Farm, the gray or roan May 13 colt is out of the winning El Prado mare Silver Sands, who has had one foal reach the track. His extended family includes Grade 2 winner Karibu Gardens and Grade 3-placed stakes winner Shooting Jacket. Hidden Brook also consigned the colt as agent.

Paramount Sales finished Thursday’s session as the leading consignor by gross, with 34 horses sold for $491,900. Leading the group was a yearling City Zip colt out of the stakes-winning Malibu Moon mare Moonlit Malibu who sold to Carolyn Vogel for $90,000 to be the third-highest price of the day.

Bachman, with Warrendale Sales acting as agent, was the leading buyer, with the lone purchase of the session-topper.

After four days of selling, 843 horses sold for $33,672,900, down 4 percent from the final gross of last year’s auction, when 948 horses sold for $35,305,500. The average sale price trended 7 percent ahead of last year, from $37,242 to $39,944, while the median trailed by 6 percent, from $16,000 to $15,000. The four-day buyback rate closed at 24 percent, keeping steady with the final figure of 25 percent last year.

The fifth and final session of the Keeneland January sale, comprising the auction’s third book, will be held Friday, beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern.