11/08/2012 4:37PM

Keeneland sale: Domestic buyers step up on Day 3

Photos by Z/Keeneland
Oui Say Oui, a Royal Applause mare in foal to Scat Daddy, was bought by an Irish concern for $350,000.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – After $4 million mares sparked its first two sessions, Keeneland’s November breeding stock auction here returned to more workaday trade as domestic commercial breeders and weanling-to-yearling resellers filled the buyers’ list.

At 3:30 p.m., the high price was the $525,000 that Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Stables paid for the Smart Strike mare Spring Party, in foal to Unbridled’s Song. Taylor Made Sales, agent, sold the 6-year-old, a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Emcee and carrying a three-quarter-sister to that runner.

Three other mares also had sold for $300,000 or more by that point. The Royal Applause mare Oui Say Oui, a 6-year-old in foal to Scat Daddy, brought $350,000 and was an exception to the domestic buyer trend that dominated the third session Thursday. Denis Brosnan’s Irish-based Epona Bloodstock bought the mare, a half-sister to Satchem and Eye of the Storm, and will take her to Ireland. Margaux Farm consigned Oui Say Oui.

Minutes earlier, Dell Ridge Farm paid $325,000 for the Middlebrook Farm agency’s unraced 3-year-old Onza, an Empire Maker mare from the family of Point of Entry and Pine Island. She was in foal to Arch.

Brittlyn Stables of Louisiana spent $300,000 to buy Grade 3-winning broodmare Good Mood from the Bluewater Sales agency. An 8-year-old Danehill Dancer mare, she was cataloged in foal to Kitten’s Joy.

Complete hip-by-hip results here.

Weanling prices continued to be strong as pinhookers concentrated on good resale prospects. By late afternoon, a $295,000 Bernardini colt was the highest-priced weanling. The bay colt is a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Real Cozzy and is from the family of dual classic winner Real Quiet. Reseller Brian Graves bought the Feb. 7 foal from Taylor Made Sales, agent.

“That might have been a little farther than I wanted to go,” Graves said of the price, “but I’ve only bought one other one, and he kind of had the look of a horse that would be good. All the ones that I like are bringing more than I’ve been able to pay. I’ve chased 10 up and bought two, so it’s been strong, I think.”

But good vet reports were key for a successful weanling sale, consignors said.

“You’ve got to have clean vet work on the foals,” said Mark Taylor of Taylor Made Sales. “But if you do and they’re nice, they’re bringing a ton of money.”

The Bernardini colt’s seller, Taylor Made client Mike Abraham, realized a nice return. He paid $100,000 for the colt’s dam, Mining My Business, at this auction last year.

Thursday’s session saw domestic and largely commercial buyers return in force to the top of the market after three days of select sessions – one at Fasig-Tipton and two at Keeneland – in which international purchasers dominated the top level. As at those earlier sessions, Thursday’s market proved selective as buyers continued to focus tightly on the highest quality at each session.

“If you’ve got a mare that has a little age on her, a late cover date, anything that looks like it’s not going to be a quick return on investment and could be heavy on the expense side, anything that looks like it’s going to bring in bills and you don’t have a quick turnaround, people don’t want to take a long-term approach,” Taylor said. “It’s all about buying something and people able to turn cash over in the next 24 months.”

Keeneland’s November breeding stock auction was to continue through Nov. 16. Sessions start daily at 10 a.m.