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Keeneland sale: $775k filly spurs Tuesday session to gains
By Joe Nevills
Six-figure horses get harder to come by as the Keeneland November breeding stock sale makes its way into its second week, but a juvenile filly with an impressive maiden win helped propel the sale’s eighth session to finish with gains.
Sold as part of the Dolphus Morrison dispersal, overseen by consignor Gainesway, 2-year-old Flashy Gray brought $775,000 from buyers West Point Thoroughbreds and Tom Keithley. The final bid made the Flashy Bull filly the highest-priced horse of the Morrison dispersal so far and the most expensive horse to go through the ring during the second week of the Keeneland November sale in at least a decade.
That transaction helped spur a 36.6 percent gain in total revenues on Tuesday, rising to $7,017,200 from 279 sold compared with $5,136,400 from 276 sold during last year’s eighth session. Average sale price of $25,151 marked a 35.2 percent increase over last year’s figure of $18,610, while median rose 13.3 percent to $17,000 after finishing last year at $15,000.
The buy-back rate rose slightly during this year’s session to 19.4 percent compared with 18.6 percent last year.
Flashy Gray broke her maiden by 10 ¼ lengths in her second start on Nov. 8 at Churchill Downs. She finished second by a head in her career debut at Keeneland Race Course on Oct. 5. Her career earnings total $40,000.
"She's the best racehorse I [currently] own,” said Morrison, who also owned and bred 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra. “She exceeded Rachel Alexandra's times over at the training center—she beat all of Rachel’s times. … This filly, I would have liked to have gone on and raced her, but it was time for me to sell my horses.”
Morrison purchased the Kentucky-bred filly from breeder Brereton Jones for $45,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale.
Flashy Gray is out of the Cat’s Career mare Pleasure Cat, who has produced six winners from eight to start. She is from the family of Grade 2 winner and sire Silver Wizard and Grade 3 winner Ammy Hills.
"Physically, she's very correct,” said Erin Finley of West Point. “She's a big, beautiful filly, she's got good bone on her. We knew coming in that there would be some people on her after she ran so impressively. And she ran so well at Keeneland, so it showed she was versatile on both surfaces. We kind of figured [she would sell for] at least half a million."
Flashy Gray will be moved to Bill Mott’s barn. She is nominated to the Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes on Nov. 24 at Churchill Downs, which will be considered for her next start, but Finley said they would look at other options as well.
Another notable racing prospect that sold on Tuesday was Dramedy, a 3-year-old Distorted Humor colt who won his debut start at Aqueduct three days earlier and brought the day’s co-second-highest price at $185,000. Moore Racing and CTR Stables signed the ticket on the half-brother to Grade 1 winner and young sire Bluegrass Cat, out of the A.P. Indy Mare She’s a Winner. Classic winner Super Saver and Grade 1 winner Girolamo are notable family members.
Pinball, who finished a head behind Dramedy in that race, also sold for $185,000, going to Michael Dubb and Jane Buchanon, agent. The 3-year-old New York-bred Unbridled’s Song colt is out of the stakes-winning Vision and Verse mare Pinata. Both colts were consigned by WinStar Racing, agent.
A Malibu Moon colt brought the session’s top price for a weanling, selling to John and Martha Mulholland for $50,000. Consigned by Paramount Sales, agent, the colt is the second foal out of the Grade 3-winning Menifee mare Wow Me Free, and is from the family of Canadian Horse of the Year Alywow, Grade 2 winner Century City, Grade 3 winners Triple Wow and Speaking of Which, and Italian Group 3 winner Malossol.
At the end of eight sessions, cumulative total sales were down 31.8 percent at $137,188,800 from 1,752 horses sold, though this year’s auction did not feature the two record-breaking dispersals that headlined the 2011 sale. Average price of $78,304 declined 25.9 percent drop compared with last year, while median declined 4.1 percent to $35,000. Taking the dispersals out of consideration, total revenues for the Keeneland November sale are up 6.4 percent, average price is up 4.5 percent and median is up 9.4 percent.
The sale resumes Wednesday and will run through Nov. 16, with sessions starting daily at 10 a.m Eastern.
Watch out for Lucas/English Channel combos.