09/21/2017 5:29PM

Keeneland September: Bustling Book 5 concludes with gains

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Book 5 of the Keeneland September yearling sale concluded on Thursday showing that the market heading into its lower-middle levels was not only still buoyant, but bustling.

The auction’s fifth book closed its two-day run with 521 yearlings sold for revenues of $15,396,700, up 46 percent from the two sessions that comprised last year’s Book 5, when 561 horses grossed $10,522,100.

The book’s average sale price rose 58 percent to $29,552 from $18,756, while the median doubled to $20,000 from $10,000. The Book 5 buyback rate closed at 21 percent compared with 22 percent last year.

Twenty-five horses changed hands for six figures in Book 5 compared with eight last year. Offerings past the $75,000 threshold rose to 49 from 18, while the number of horses sold for $50,000 or more grew to 93 from 51.

The most expensive horse of Book 5 came during Thursday’s session, with Ciaran Dunne’s Waves Bloodstock buying a Violence colt for $180,000.

The chestnut colt is out of the winning City Zip mare All About Allison, whose three foals to race are all winners, including stakes-placed Ali Blue. She is from the family of Grade 1 winner C. S. Silk and Grade 3 winners Remember Sheikh, Victorina, and Den’s Legacy.

"Violence looks like he's going to be a hell of a sire, and he sold great this week,” said Gabriel Duignan, who signed the ticket. “I'm a big fan. That was part of the attraction.”

Duignan confirmed after the purchase that the colt would be pinhooked as a 2-year-old.

The session-topper highlighted a successful return to consignment for Duncan and Dee Dee Lloyd’s Village View Farm, which had not sold under its own name for about 15 years. The Versailles, Ky., operation also bred the colt.

“He was just such a nice colt and we just decided to sell him ourselves,” Duncan Lloyd said. “Usually I raced them because they won't bring enough money [at auction], but he was different."

Thursday’s session-topper was a commercial smash for the Lloyds, who bought All About Allison, then in foal to Stonesider, for $1,000 at the 2012 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale. The Violence colt was the mare’s first six-figure auction horse.

Thursday’s session closed with 255 yearlings sold for $6,557,100, making for a 75 percent increase from the closing session of last year’s Book 5 when 262 horses brought $3,749,400. The average sale price rose 80 percent to $25,714 from $14,311, the median grew 71 percent to $15,000 from $8,750, and the buyback rate finished at 19 percent against 27 percent during last year’s comparable session.

At the top of the market, 12 horses brought a six-figure price, compared to one to do so during last year’s comparable session. Horses sold for $75,000 or more grew to 20 from three, and $50,000 purchases grew to 33 from 13.

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Thursday’s leading sire by gross was WinStar Farm resident Overanalyze, who had nine foals bring a combined $412,000. Leading the way was a colt who sold to Stewart Smith for $150,000, tying for the day’s third-highest price.

The top sire by average sale price among those with three or more sold was Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm’s Violence, who had three foals bring an average of $79,333, including the session-topper.

Warrendale Sales was the leading consignor, with 16 horses sold for $581,000, led by the $150,000 Overanalyze colt.

Ben Glass, bloodstock agent for Gary and Mary West, was Thursday’s leading buyer, with two purchases totaling $270,000. The most expensive of the two was a $140,000 Hard Spun colt.

After 10 days of trade, and the close of Book 5, a total of 2,261 horses sold for $304,265,700. The gross marks a 13 percent increase from the end of last year’s fifth book, the 11th session, when 2,477 horses brought a cumulative gross of $270,363,600. This year’s overall gross has already surpassed last year’s final 13-day return of $272,890,500.

The cumulative average sat at $134,571, up 23 percent from $109,150, the median was up 50 percent to $75,000 from $50,000, and the buyback rate sat unchanged at 27 percent.

Book 6 of the Keeneland September sale commences Friday, and the auction concludes on Saturday. Both sessions begin at 10 a.m. Eastern.

For hip-by-hip results, click here.