09/22/2011 7:17PM

Keeneland sale: Adena Springs contributes to another strong session

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs continued its spending spree Thursday at the Keeneland September yearling sale’s 11th session, contributing to more across-the-board increases at the marathon 13-day auction.

Thursday’s session ended with a 62 percent bump up in gross when 291 horses sold for $5,131,100, up from the equivalent day in 2010, when 278 yearlings sold. The session average, $17,633, jumped 55 percent from last year’s figure, and the $12,000 median increased by 50 percent.

Through Thursday’s 11th session, the auction had sold 2,539 horses for a combined $220,318,600, a 12 percent increase over last year’s gross. The cumulative average, $86,774, was up 18 percent, and median climbed 25 percent to $40,000.

Stronach paid a session-topping $110,000 for each of two yearling fillies consigned by Warrendale Sales: a Midnight Lute-Per Se daughter and a Proud Citizen-In return filly that Warrendale offered on Tall Oaks farm’s behalf.

The Midnight Lute filly, a member of her sire’s first crop, is out of a Deputy Commander mare and is a half-sister to the winner Many Crows. Her family includes Grade 1-placed Holiday Lady.

The Proud Citizen daughter is out of a course-record-setting stakes winner by Horse Chestnut. She’s from the family of Grade 1 winners Auntie Mame and Star de Lady Ann.

Adena Springs also bought the session’s third highest-priced lot, an $80,000 E Dubai colt who is a full brother to multiple graded winner Aggie Engineer. Brandywine farm was the consignor.

At earlier auction sessions, Stronach bought a colt by Adena Springs stallion Awesome Again out of minor stakes winner Legs Lawlor for $1.375 million. He also spent $140,000 for Wednesday’s session-topper, a colt from Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown’s first yearling crop. Blake-Albina Thoroughbreds, agent, sold the son of Cold Awakening, a half-brother to Illinois Derby winner Recapturetheglory.

So far at the auction, Stronach has bought 37 horses for more than $4.4 million. In the last year, Stronach has converted to cash about $850 million of stock in an auto-parts company. He also recently joined forces with Germany’s Gauselmann Group to found a new Austrian gaming company, Merkur Entertainment, which plans to apply for Austrian casino licenses.

The September sale continues through Saturday. Continuous daily sessions start at 10 a.m. and take place in Keeneland’s sale pavilion.