09/18/2001 11:00PM

Keeneland keeps on record pace

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Keeneland's September yearling sale entered its ninth session on Wednesday with a $110,000 Devil's Bag colt the session leader as of 4:30 p.m.

The colt, a son of the Grade 3-winning Topsider mare For Kicks, went to Mike McCarthy from the consignment of Asmussen Horse Center, agent.

The next highest price was $82,000 for the Dromoland Farm consignment's Elusive Quality colt, out of the unraced Dayjur mare Evening Primrose. Tom Biederman signed the ticket for Silverton Hill, LLC. The colt continued a string of popular yearlings sired by Elusive Quality, a graded stakes-winning sprinter by Gone West. Sons of Elusive Quality brought $300,000 and $200,000 to top the Sunday and Tuesday sessions, respectively.

With eight of its 13 sessions complete through Tuesday evening, the sale was keeping pace with last year's record-breaking September auction, at least in terms of average and median.

As expected, gross revenue was down substantially because of a slimmer catalog of horses. Through Tuesday, 1,876 yearlings had been sold this year for $241,099,700. Last year by this point, 2,121 lots had been sold for $271,936,100. But the eight-day average of $128,518, which was aided by the reduced number of offerings, was holding steady with last year's figure of $128,211. Median remained at $50,000, the same median for the 2000 auction's first eight days.