09/15/2009 11:00PM

Live Oak pays $1.3M for Medaglia d'Oro filly


After two days of severe declines at its Monday and Tuesday select sessions, the Keeneland September yearling sale started its open sessions Wednesday with a million-dollar session leader amid sellers' continuing concern about slumping overall figures in the Thoroughbred market.

Hip No. 570, a filly by the sizzling hot Medaglia d'Oro, brought a $1.3 million bid from Live Oak Plantation to easily take the lead as the day's most expensive horse. Consigned by Barbara and Francis Vanlangendonck's Summerfield agency, the dark bay filly was what Live Oak manager Bruce Hill called a standout at a session that many bidders felt was stronger than the select sessions. Medaglia d'Oro, sire of filly phenom Rachel Alexandra and a host of female stakes winners this year, was major attraction about Hip No. 570.

"She was an obvious filly, and you had to like her," Hill said. "She's what we're looking for as end-users: race and long-term broodmare investment. It was probably fair price. The market is what it is, but for us, it was our max. That was as far as we could go. We pushed."

The filly is out of stakes-placed Beaties for Real and is a half-sister to graded winners Friel's for Real and Ryan's for Real and stakes winner Little Thunder.

Other high-priced yearlings by 4 p.m. Wednesday included Hip No. 493, a $610,000 Dynaformer-Stirring colt that Alex Solis and Jason Litt bought from Claiborne Farm, agent; Hip No. 522, a $475,000 Medaglia d'Oro-Vanty Flair colt that agent Richard O'Gorman bought from Eaton Sales, agent; and Hip No. 562, a $400,000 First Samurai-Ava Knowsthecode colt that Zayat Stable bought from Valkyre Stud, agent for Oakbrook Farm.

Monday and Tuesday's select sessions posted a 48 percent loss in total gross after 222 horses brought $58,756,000. The two-day average of $264,667 and median of $215,000 were down 30 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Buy-backs stood at 38 percent at the close of business Tuesday evening, up from last year's rate of 31 percent.

The sale was to continue through Sept. 28 with the remainder of the auction's open sessions. Sessions start daily at 10 a.m., except on the dark day of Sept. 18.