11/15/2011 7:05PM

Keeneland sale stalls, but remains ahead of '10


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Tuesday evening's late burst of six-figure horses led by a half-brother to recent Breeders' Cup Mile winner Court Vision did not help the Keeneland November sale's ninth session from becoming the first to post declines in gross and average figures since the auction began on Nov. 7. But the 11-day sale still is running well ahead of last year's figures overall.

The session ended with 260 horses having brought $4,391,700, down 23 percent from last year's equivalent day, when 250 horses sold for $5,670,200. The session's average price slid 26 percent from last year to $16,891. But the median remained on par with last year's figure at $10,000. Buy-backs rose from 15 percent in 2010 to 19 percent.

Court Vision's half-brother by City Zip, Hailstone, topped Tuesday's session at $235,000. Agent Steven Young bought the 4-year-old son of Weekend Storm. Hailstone has won 2 of 10 starts to date and also has placed in a trio of Canadian graded stakes. His earnings are $175,599.

The Lane's End agency offered Hailstone as a racing or stallion prospect.

Young also purchased the 5-year-old graded winner Grassy, a Grade 1-placed son of El Prado, from Claiborne Farm's consignment. Grassy most recently finished fourth in Aqueduct's Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap, a race he won in 2010. A son of High Savannah, Grassy has earned $473,064 and, like Hailstone, was cataloged as a racing or stallion prospect.

"Both are ready-made stakes horses, and both appear to have more run to them," Young said.

Through Tuesday, the Keeneland sale has sold 2,164 horses for $205,584,600, a jump of 45 percent from last year's total for 2,174 horses. The average price stood at $95,002, up 46 percent, and the $30,000 median was 20 percent higher than in 2010.

The Keeneland November sale was to continue through Thursday with sessions starting daily at 10 a.m.