01/12/2011 8:04PM

Keeneland Wednesday session average price up slightly from a year ago

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Keeneland January horses of all ages sale posted gains Wednesday, even as the ceiling on prices dropped midweek.

Wednesday’s third of five sessions ended with 227 horses sold for $2,878,150, up 12 percent from last season’s equivalent session, when 211 horses sold. But average price didn’t suffer from the additional numbers and also ended with a gain, albeit a relatively small one, $12,679 as opposed to $12,133.

Median also increased sharply, rising 27 percent from $5,500 last year to $7,000.

But buybacks also went up, from 22 percent last year to 25 percent.

The Three Chimneys Sales agency, which sold the auction’s two most expensive horses so far - Grade 1 winners Ave for $1.4 million and Wickedly Perfect for $800,000 - consigned another session-topper Wednesday. That was the 5-year-old broodmare prospect Cuvee Uncorked. The Cuvee stakes winner brought $135,000 from Glencrest Farm. Cuvee Uncorked was Grade 2-placed during her career.

KEENELAND JANUARY: Full sale results

Wednesday’s session followed two sessions that showed cumulative increases over last year’s first two days. The major contributing factor: Monday’s sale of Grade 1 winners Ave, Wickedly Perfect, and Negligee for $1.4 million, $800,000, and $625,000, respectively. On Tuesday, the auction’s second session sold 205 horses for $8,912,600, down 22 percent from last year’s one-day total for 228 horses, and the average price of $43,476 was 13 percent lower. As on Monday, the median was level with last year at $20,000. Buybacks were up slightly, from last year’s 22 percent to 24 percent.

But thanks to hefty increase at Monday’s opening session, the 2011 auction’s first two sessions together showed increases in gross and average. Gross was up 9 percent, while average rose 13 percent. Cumulatively, the first two sessions sold 392 horses for $19,600,200, resulting in an average of $50,001. The cumulative median was $20,000, on a par with last year’s.

Buybacks for the two days increased, rising from 26 percent to 30 percent.

Tuesday’s session-topper was multiple graded winner and broodmare prospect Secret Gypsy. Shadai Farm bought her from Eaton Sales, agent.

The Keeneland January all-ages sale was to continue through Jan. 14 at Keeneland’s sale pavilion in Lexington, Ky. Sessions begin each day at 10 a.m.