11/19/2009 1:00AM

Keeneland sale remains tepid


LEXINGTON, Ky.- Wednesday's ninth session at the two-week Keeneland November breeding stock sale continued the trend of declines seen at the previous four sessions.

By the time the day's final lot left the ring Wednesday, the session had sold 236 horses for $3,336,700, down 38 percent from last year's aggregate for 232 horses. The ninth-day average was $14,139, which was 39 percent lower than at last year's equivalent day, and the $10,000 median was down by 33 percent.

The buy-back rate was slightly better than on last year's ninth day, as they dropped from 25 percent in 2008 to 22 percent this year.

The session-topper was a $90,000 weanling Artie Schiller filly that Bare Stable bought from agent Elise Kendall. The dark bay or brown filly is out of two-time Canadian stakes-winner Love a Ruckus, by Bold Ruckus. She is a half-sister to $107,627 earner Shadow Rush.

Bare Stable was the session's leading buyer after purchasing the session-topper and a $12,000 Storm Surge-American Heiress colt consigned by Nathan Fox's Richland Hills. Taylor Made Sales led all sellers with 26 horses sold for a total of $413,200.

Cumulatively, the auction's first nine days have grossed $153,696,100 for 2,022 horses. That is down 11 percent from last year's total for 1,821 horses. The cumulative average stands at $76,012, down 20 percent, and the $32,000 median is running 26 percent behind last year's figure at the same point.

The overall buy-back percentage is substantially improved over last year's figure, falling from 30 percent in 2008 to 21 percent by the close of business Wednesday night.

The sale was to continue through Nov. 22. Sessions begin daily at 10 a.m.

Journeyman Stud slices fees

Journeyman Stud in Ocala, Fla., will drop the fees for six of its stallions, including top-priced Circular Quay. He falls from $7,500 in 2009 to $6,500 for 2010.

Others with lower fees next breeding season are Bwana Charlie, who drops from $5,000 to $2,500; Cowtown Cat, from $5,000 to $4,000; Gaff, from $2,500 to $2,000; and Mass Media, from $3,000 to $2,000. Wildcat Heir ($6,500), Sweet Return ($5,000), Saint Anddan ($4,500), Exclusive Quality ($4,000), and Indy Wind ($2,500) will keep their 2009 fees.

Journeyman also adds three new stallions to its roster in 2010. They are Consolidator at $5,000, Hear No Evil at $3,500, and Teuflesberg at $3,500.

Student Council's fee drops to $10K

Millennium Farms in Lexington will lower fees or maintain them at their 2009 levels for all of its five Kentucky sires.

Student Council, who stood for $17,500 in his first year at stud this year, will carry a $10,000 price in 2010. Even the Score, whose fee rose from $7,500 to $15,000 in the course of the 2009 breeding season, will stay at $15,000 next year. Will He Shine will take a cut, falling from $6,500 to $5,000.

The Kentucky farm's two other stallions, Zanjero ($10,000) and Shaniko ($5,000), will stand for the same fees they had in 2009.

Avenue of Flags changes farms

Avenue of Flags, sire of recent Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner and multiple graded winner California Flag, is moving to his owner's farm in Las Cruces, N.M. The 21-year-old Avenue of Flags, a son of Seattle Slew, stood at Hourigan Horse Farm outside Anthony, N.M., in 2009.

James Wasson purchased Avenue of Flags privately four years ago. Avenue of Flags is the first stallion to stand at his Winner's Circle Bloodstock Farm, which previously has had only broodmares.

Wasson said Wednesday that he will stand Avenue of Flags for a private fee in 2010. The horse's fee has ranged from $3,500 to $5,000 in the last few years.

In other New Mexico stallion news, Godolphin's Grade 2 winner Diabolical will enter stud at Fred and Linda Alexander's A & A Ranch in Anthony. The farm privately purchased Diabolical, a son of Artax out of Bonnie Bylerly, in a deal brokered by Taylor Made, Byron Rogers, and Jason Litt.

Multiple graded winner and Grade 1-placed runner Diabolical retires with 9 wins, including 6 stakes victories, from 32 starts, and $1,467,401 in earnings.

* Old Friends, the equine retirement facility in Georgetown, Ky., will open an auxiliary farm near Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The new division, Old Friends's first satellite farm, will be located at 40-acre Cabin Creek Farm in Greenfield Center, N.Y. Old Friends has named it Old Friends at Cabin Creek: the Bobby Frankel Division, in honor of the Hall of Fame trainer who died Monday.

* Thoroughbred Charities of America will hold its 20th stallion season auction on Dec. 4 at Keeneland's entertainment center. The auction will include seasons to such horses as Arch, Bernardini, Medaglia d'Oro, Malibu Moon, and Dynaformer. Select seasons will be auctioned Dec. 4, but most will be available for bidding at a telephone auction from Nov. 30-Dec. 2. The auction hotline is (302) 376-6289. Information and season listings are at

Correction: An earlier version of the item about Journeyman Stud's 2010 stud fees misstated the fee for Wildcat Heir. The horse will stand at Journeyman in Florida for $6,500, the same fee he had in 2009, not for $3,500.