09/23/2011 2:30PM

Keeneland sale keeps rolling


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Keeneland’s two-week September yearling sale carried the momentum of large increases into its 12th session Friday, where a $52,000 Fusaichi Pegasus colt was leading the price list at 3 p.m.

Tim and Crystal O’Donohue bought the chestnut colt, a son of the Dixieland Band mare Whalah, from Willam Harrigan’s Miacomet Farm agency. The colt is a half-brother to three winners, including the Smart Strike colt Strikewhileitshot, an earner of more than $165,000.

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 the median climbed 25 percent to $40,000.

Frank Stronach, owner of Adena Springs, 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 filly, from Midnight Lute’s first crop, is out of a Deputy Commander mare and is a half-sister to the winner Many Crows. The Proud Citizen filly’s dam, In return, is out of a course record-setting stakes-winner by Horse Chestnut.

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 was to continue through Saturday. Continuous daily sessions start at 10 a.m. and take place in Keeneland’s sale pavilion.