11/11/2014 7:46PM

Keeneland November: Book 4 closes with declines, but total gross surpasses last year


The eighth session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale closed with declines on Tuesday, but the run of high prices during the horses of racing age portion helped the sale’s cumulative gross surpass last year’s final total with three days still remaining.

Tuesday’s session closed with 253 horses sold for revenues of $8,373,400, down 23 percent compared with last year’s eighth day of selling, when 294 horses brought $10,898,200. The average sale price dipped 11 percent from $37,069 to $33,096, while the median decreased eight percent from $25,000 to $23,000.

The buyback rate continued a significant jump in Book 4, rising 12 percentage points from 10 percent to 22 percent.

When comparing figures from this session, it is important to note that last year’s horses of racing age portion of the Keeneland November sale featured a large offering from Adena Springs, dispersing horses bought to participate in Frank Stronach’s Horse Racing League. The vast majority were 2-year-olds of 2013.

Topping Tuesday’s session was Barbados, a winning 2-year-old son of Speightstown, who sold to owner Paul Hanifl during the horses of racing age segment for $340,000.

Barbados has won one of three starts for earnings of $54,750, most recently breaking his maiden by five lengths on Oct. 16 at Keeneland. Kellyn Gorder previously trained Barbados for WinStar Farm, which consigned the colt as agent.

“When you bring a 2-year-old, there’s a bit of a premium, so Barbados selling off a maiden win at Keeneland, I think that’s a fair price,” said Elliot Walden of WinStar Farm. “He’s a fast horse, and being a 2-year-old there’s so many opportunities for horses turning three, it creates a nice window for horses. With him being two turning three and other horses being older, it made a difference.”

Bred in Kentucky by Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, Barbados is the first foal out of the stakes-winning Street Cry mare Northern Station. His extended family includes champion Rainbow View, Grade/Group 1 winners Raven’s Pass and No Matter What, and Grade 2 winner and sire E Dubai.

Walden’s Maverick Racing purchased Barbados for $230,000 out of this year’s Keeneland April 2-year-olds in training sale after the colt previously brought $160,000 at the 2013 Keeneland September yearling sale.

Topping the broodmare market on Tuesday was Big Sink Star, a 9-year-old A.P. Indy mare who sold in foal to Bellamy Road, and was secured by Grey Flight for $150,000.

Big Sink Star is the dam of one winner from three foals to start, with the standout being Grade 3 winner Calgary Cat. She is out of the winning Gone West mare Simadartha, who is the dam of four winners from nine foals to race, and her page also includes Group 1 winners Coup de Genie, Machiavellian, Exit to Nowhere, and Way of Light. Denali Stud consigned Big Sink Star as agent.

A Tapizar filly topped the session’s offering of weanlings, going to Christina Jelm as agent for JSM Equine for $145,000.

The chestnut filly is out of the winning Lion Heart mare Heckuva Hunter, who has one foal to race. Bred in Kentucky by Robert Courtney Jr. and consigned as agent by his Stonebridge LLC, the filly’s extended family includes Grade 1 winner Sweet Lulu, Grade 3 winner Successful Outlook, and Grade/Group 1-placed Catch a Glimpse and Iron Fist.

WinStar Racing, the driving force behind the session’s horses of racing age portion, was Tuesday’s leading consignor, with 22 horses sold for a combined $2,077,000. Hanifl was the day’s leading buyer with the lone purchase of the session-topper.

After eight days of selling, a total of 1,850 horses have changed hands for revenues of $197,747,400, up four percent from last year’s eight-day total of $190,315,400 from 1,937 sold. It took eight sessions to surpass the final gross from last year’s 10-day sale, in which 2,457 horses brought $197,189,000.

The average sale price through eight sessions is $106,890, up nine percent from $98,252 last year, while the median is also outpacing last year’s sale by nine percent, up from $47,000 to $51,000. The buyback rate is up six percentage points, from 15 percent to 22 percent.

The Keeneland November sale continues through Nov. 14, with sessions beginning each day at 10 a.m. Eastern.