01/12/2006 1:00AM

Keeneland sale passes '05


The Keeneland January sale, which runs through Jan. 15 in Lexington, ended its third session Wednesday night with more total income than it achieved for its entire run in 2005. On Thursday, it added even more to that flood of money, ending day four with cumulative gross revenue of $62,641,400.

That gross was an increase of 24 percent over last year's four-day cumulative gross. Thursday's average price of $63,985 was up 27 percent, while the $32,000 median represented a gain of 60 percent. Such double-digit gains have become a daily feature of the Keeneland January sale this season, starting the Thoroughbred auction year on an unusually strong note.

The Thursday session-topper was the $440,000 broodmare prospect Expect an Angel, a Grade 3 winner by Valid Expectations. Richard and Audrey Haisfield's Stonewall Farm purchased the 6-year-old mare from Jim FitzGerald's Knockgriffin agency. Stonewall will open its stallion division next month in Versailles, Ky., and has bought more than 20 mares at this auction so far, most in partnership. At the close of Thursday's session, Stonewall was the auction's leading buyer, with nine purchases made in its own name for $2,689,000. Stonewall Farm's other major purchases at the Thursday session also included the $185,000 broodmare Stormy Season, a daughter of Storm Cat, from Overbrook Farm (Eaton Sales, agent). A 5-year-old daughter of stakes winner Timely Broad (Broad Brush), she was offered in foal to Cape Canaveral.

The 2006 sale remains on a record pace. Through Wednesday, it had sold only a single $1 million lot in Girl Warrior, but its total gross stood at $56,283,300 for 743 lots, surpassing last year's six-day total of $53,418,000 for 1,361 lots.