11/12/2012 11:17PM

Keeneland sale: Mixed results at Monday session

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Average price declined but median rose as the Keeneland November breeding stock sale concluded its seventh session on Monday.

Keeneland reported 271 horses sold during Monday's session for total receipts of $5,584,700. The 2012 totals declined 19 percent compared with last year’s seventh session, when 284 horses sold for $6,892,600. However, that session included 13 horses from the record-setting dispersal of the late Edward P. Evans' Spring Hill Farm.

The session's average price of $20,608 declined 15.1 percent from $24,270 in 2011, while the median rose 9.7 percent to $17,000 compared with $15,500 at last year’s session.

Monday’s session topper–and only horse to break the six-figure threshold—was Pastilla, purchased for $190,000 by James Ryan. The 3-year-old Pulpit filly, who is unraced, was offered as a broodmare prospect by Hagyard Farm, agent.

Pastilla is out of the stakes winning Kris S mare Paiota Falls, whose dam is the unraced Danzig mare Dance Swiftly, a full sister to Dance Smartly, winner of the Canadian Triple Crown and the Breeders' Cup Distaff in 1991. Dance Smartly, a member of the Racing Hall of Fame in both the U.S. and Canada, went on to a broodmare career in which she produced two winners of the Queen's Plate Stakes, Scatter the Gold and Dancethruthedawn.

Dance Swiftly is out of champion Classy 'n Smart, who, in addition to Dance Smartly, produced Grade 1 winner and leading sire Smart Strike and Grade 1 winner Full of Wonder. Classy 'n Smart is a half sister to champions Sky Classic, Regal Classic and Grey Classic.

Two other mares sold for prices of $80,000 or more during Monday's session. The second highest price of the day was fetched by the multiple graded stakes winner Smooth Player, who sold for $85,000 to Tevfik Celikoglu of Turkey. The 16-year-old Bertrando mare, who is in foal to Twirling Candy, was consigned by Lane's End, agent for Pam and Martin Wygod. Smooth Player is the dam of stakes winners Imagine and Smooth Performer. She is out of the Pirate's Bounty mare Shy Pirate.

Branch Equine LLC and Mina Berger went to $80,000 to acquire the 4-year-old Awesome Again filly Skating. Hagyard Farm consigned the filly, who is in foal to Broken Vow. Out of the Saint Ballado mare Melody Maiden, Skating is a half sister to stakes winner Medolina and is from the family of champion Tosmah and breed-shaping sire Halo.

The session's top-priced weanling was a $70,000 Tiz Wonderful colt, purchased by WEF Stable. Consigned by Threave Main Stud LLC, agent, the colt is out of the El Corredor mare Coffee and is from the family of 2005 Kentucky Oaks winner Summerly.

Lane's End, which consigned two horses among the day's top six prices, finished as the session's top consigner by gross, selling 31 horses for a combined $833,500 with an average of $26,887. Hagyard Farm consigned only three horses sold on Monday but all three finished in the session’s top four prices, making the agent the leading consignor by average at $114,000.

Another horse of note to sell on Monday was 2011 Breeders' Cup Marathon winner Afleet Again, who sold for $30,000, with Yoon Heung Yul of KOID signing the ticket for a private client in Korea.

The 5-year-old Afleet Alex horse, consigned as a stallion prospect by Three Chimneys Sales, also won the Grade 3 Withers Stakes in 2010 and placed in four other stakes.

Activity from buyers for the Korean bloodstock market has picked up at Keeneland in recent days. The KOID group finished as Monday's second-leading buyer, purchasing six horses during the session for a total of $141,000—trailing only Ryan, whose lone purchase was the session-topping Pastilla.

"We've done great," Yoonie Choi said on behalf of KOID. "We're shooting for 40 horses. Right now, we are up to 29, so we'll see. We've been doing this for seven years."

Through seven sessions, Keeneland reported 1,473 horses sold for $130,171,600, a 33.6 percent decline from last year when 1,628 horses sold for $196,056,500. The cumulative sale average of $88,372 is down 26.6 percent and the median of $40,000 has dropped 13 percent.

If you remove last year’s two major dispersals, however—the record-setting Spring Hill Farm dispersal and the dispersal of Saud bin Khaled's Palides Investments, which included $8.5-million Royal Delta—total receipts have risen 5.1 percent through seven sessions compared with the first seven sessions last year. Average has risen 3.2 percent, while median is unchanged.

The sale resumes Tuesday and will run through Nov. 16, with sessions starting daily at 10 a.m Eastern.