11/10/2013 8:45PM

Keeneland November: Strong trade continues as Book 3 closes

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Momentum at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale showed no signs of slowing as Book 3 concluded with continued gains Sunday.

A total of 276 horses changed hands during the sale’s sixth of 10 sessions for gross receipts of $13,435,500, a 25 percent gain compared with the sixth session of the 2012 sale, when 265 sold for $10,740,300. The average price, $48,679, was up 20 percent from $40,529 last year, while Sunday’s median of $40,000 rose 25 percent from $32,000.

The buyback rate continued to show positive trends, as Sunday’s session ended with 15 percent of offered horses failing to meet their reserve, compared with 22 percent in the sixth session of last year’s sale.

Two mares sold for $185,000 each to lead the sixth session. One Foxy Grey, the seventh horse through the ring, set the bar early in the day as she sold to Nancy Shuford. The 3-year-old daughter of Big Brown, consigned by Hill 'n' Dales Sales Agency, as agent, was offered carrying her first foal, by Midnight Lute.

One Foxy Grey, who was placed as a juvenile, is out of the Smoke Glacken mare Irish Smoke, winner of the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes. Irish Smoke is a half-sister to stakes winner King Puma, and to unraced Clever Babe, dam of Grade 1 winner Book Review.

Later in the session, High Maintenance matched One Foxy Grey's price, selling to FD Bloodstock. The 14-year-old Danehill mare, consigned by Paramount Sales as agent, sold in foal to Quality Road. The English-bred mare is already the dam of five winners from five starters, including Silver Black, who is Group 3-placed in France.

Out of the unraced Ogygian mare Speak Softly to Me, High Maintenance is a three-quarter sister to stakes-placed Charlotte Bronte, by the European sire (and son of Danehill) Danehill Dancer. Second dam Ocean’s Answer is a half-sister to champions Northernette and Storm Bird; the latter is the sire of Storm Cat. 

Fueled by those mares, Midnight Lute finished as the session’s leading covering sire by gross, with 10 sold for a total of $627,000; while Quality Road led by average among those with three or more sold, with three sold for an average of $87,000.

The session's top weanling was a son of Scat Daddy, purchased for $145,000 by Candy Meadows Farm LLC. The March 8 foal, consigned by Four Star Sales as agent, is out of the unraced Pulpit mare Lose the Blues, dam of stakes-placed McKenzies Way. It is the family of Horse of the Year Point Given.

Taylor Made Sales finished as the session’s leading consignor by gross, with 28 sold for a total of $1,538,000. Threave Main Stud led by average among those with three or more sold, selling three for an average of $74,000.

Calumet Farm, which has been active throughout the sale, was the day’s leading buyer, landing eight for a total of $604,000. Gainesway led by average among those with three or more purchased, landing four for $122,500.

After six days, a total of 1,339 horses have been sold for a running total of $170,456,700, a 37 percent increase over 1,202 sold for $124,586,900 at this point in 2012. The 2013 sale passed the last year’s final gross of $143,025,600 during Saturday’s fifth session. The average sale price through six sessions is $127,301, up 23 percent from $103,650 at this point in 2012, and the median of $70,000 is up 40 percent compared with $50,000 last year. The cumulative buyback rate fell from 27 percent to 18 percent.

Book 4 of the Keeneland November sale begins Monday at 10 a.m. Eastern, and the 10-day sale continues through Nov. 14.

For hip-by-hip results, click here.