11/15/2012 8:25PM

Keeneland sale: Average down, median up in 10th session

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The sixth and final book of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale on Thursday began with a decline in total sales and average but an improved median.

The November sale's 10th session finished with 216 horses sold for a total of $1,695,500, down 20.1 percent compared with last year's final total of $2,122,800 from 233 sold. The average sale price fell 13.8 percent to $7,850 from $9,111, while the median price of $5,500 rose 22.2 percent compared with last year's figure of $4,500.

The buy-back rate rose significantly during this year's 10th session, from 12.7 percent to 19.7 percent.

Hip-by-hip results.

"It's been solid all the way through," said Headley Bell of Mill Ridge Farm. "Each particular tier, it seems [the sale] brings in a new group of people, and they support whatever's been on stock. I think it's been a very fair sale throughout the whole thing."

Thursday's session-topper was Local Color, a winning 8-year-old Capote mare purchased by Rancho San Jose for $45,000. Sold in foal to Square Eddie, Local Color has produced one winner from as many to race. She is out of the Exclusive Native mare Setting, who is the dam of nine winners from six to start, including Grade 1 winner Vivid Angel.

Consigned by Indian Creek, agent, Local Color is from the family of Grade 3 winners Fine N' Majestic and Electric Flash. This was her fourth time being offered at public auction, with her highest selling price of $62,000 coming at the 2005 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky selected yearling sale.

The top weanling was a colt by Parading that brought $26,000 from New Horizon Farm. Consigned by Susan M. Forrester, agent, the Kentucky-bred colt is out of the stakes-winning Caller I.D. mare Isle See You Later. His family includes a strong blue-collar Midwest influence, with stakes winners from tracks including Canterbury Park, Ak-Sar-Ben, and Fonner Park.

At the end of 10 sessions, total sales are trailing last year's figures by 31.8 percent, with 2,222 horses sold for revenue of $141,756,600. The average sale price of $63,797 is down 26.4 percent, while the median has held steady at $25,000.

This year's sale, however, did not benefit from the two multimillion-dollar dispersals that highlighted the 2011 auction - the record-setting Spring Hill Farm dispersal and the dispersal of Saud bin Khaled's Palides Investments. Removing the dispersals from the equation, total revenue is up 5 percent, the average price is up 3.9 percent, and the median price remains unchanged.

The final session of the Keeneland November sale will commence on Friday at 10 a.m. Eastern.