11/08/2013 8:22PM

Keeneland November: Book 2 wraps with continued gains


The second book of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale closed on Friday maintaining the momentum of the previous three sessions, in the form of positive returns.

A total of 254 horses sold Friday for revenues of $26,333,700, marking a 42 percent rise in gross from last year’s fourth session, which yielded $18,567,500 from 224 sold. The average sale price rose 25 percent to $103,676 after finishing at $82,891 in 2012, while the median of $85,000 was a 21 percent improvement over last year. The buyback rate continued to fall at a consistent rate with the previous three sessions, from 29 percent to 19 percent.

“Book 2 has been very successful,” Keeneland’s director of sales Geoffrey Russell said. “Both days were very equal with quality, and the market reacted to it. There was very strong bidding today. It’s great to see on the mares that people are back into long-term investment. That’s what this market has needed for a while, and it’s back. People are looking forward to having foals and then selling them and going on, so it’s a good thing.”

Ragtime Hope, dam of two-time Breeders’ Cup winner Secret Circle, sold to Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings for $675,000 to finish atop Friday’s session.

The 11-year-old Dixieland Band mare, who sold in foal to Arch, was consigned by Indian Creek, as agent for Longfield.

“Nice addition to our broodmare band,” said John Moynihan, bloodstock adviser to Stonestreet. “I thought [the price] was fair. She’s going to be the dam of a champion, and she’s still got some useful years ahead of her.”

Stakes winner Ragtime Hope is the dam of two winners from three starters, highlighted by Secret Circle. The Eddington colt was unbeaten as a juvenile, including a victory in the now-defunct Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint at Churchill Downs. He won the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes and Grade 3 Southwest Stakes early in his 3-year-old season, and also finished second in both the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby and Grade 3 Sham Stakes before injury sent him to the sidelines. He returned from an 18-month layoff in October to capture an allowance optional claiming event at Santa Anita, then roared to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint to stamp himself as a divisional championship contender.

Out of the winning Smarten mare Good ‘n Smart, Ragtime Hope is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Really Polish and stakes producer Pipe Creek.

Leading the weanlings was a Lemon Drop Kid colt, who was purchased by Peter O’Callaghan’s Woods Edge Stables for $325,000. He was also consigned as agent by Indian Creek.

The dark bay or brown colt, a March 8 foal, is the second foal out of the unraced Forestry mare Forest Valentine. Bred in Kentucky by Ridley Farm, the colt is from the family of Grade 2 winners Meadow Flight and Carolyn’s Cat, as well as Grade 3 winners People’s Princess and Starforaday.

Eaton Sales finished as the day’s leading consignor by gross, with 19 horses sold for a combined $2,973,000. Don Alberto Corp., which purchased Vinery’s Kentucky facility this fall, continued an active week by once again finishing as leading buyer, with 10 purchases totaling $2,205,000.

After four days of selling, the Keeneland November sale has seen 751 horses sold for receipts of $141,034,200, up 38 percent from last year’s four-day total of $102,351,000. The cumulative average was up 22 percent from $153,450 to $187,795, while the median rose 38 percent from $80,000 to $110,000.

The Keeneland sale continues on Saturday with the beginning of Book 3, commencing at 10 a.m. Eastern. The sale continues through Nov. 14.

- additional reporting by Nicole Russo