09/22/2016 6:31PM

Numbers flat at Thursday's Keeneland sale session

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The Keeneland September yearling sale began its run into its homestretch on Thursday with a solid Book 5 opener, with average prices remaining fairly even from the comparable portion of the sale in 2015.

A total of 299 horses sold for gross receipts of $6,772,700 during the Book 5 opener, the 10th session of the sale overall. Book 5 comprises two sessions this year, while last year’s similar section of the sale was held as a single session.

Thursday’s average sale price was $22,651, a dip of less than 2 percent from the final Book 5 average of $23,014 in 2015. The median price was down 26 percent to $13,000 from $17,000.

The session’s buyback rate was 18 percent, matching last year’s overall Book 5 figure.

A colt by the successful young stallion Into Mischief sold for $210,000 to lead Thursday's session. J.J. Crupi signed the ticket under the banner of his New Castle Farm as agent. Crupi has been active at all levels of the market throughout the September sale’s long run, purchasing 44 horses thus far, either under the New Castle name or as agent for other outfits, for a total of $9.7 million; he in fact finished as Thursday’s leading buyer, with nine purchases totaling $724,000.

“I've been here from Day 1 to now, and it's a fair market,” Crupi said. “Good horses sell good, and the people around here are very, very smart. They know the good ones. I thought there were a lot of nice horses in Book 5. We have shortlist people that go around and look, and we didn't buy anything yesterday. We didn't think yesterday was that strong, but today we did, so we stayed.”

The Into Mischief colt, consigned by Baccari Bloodstock as agent, was a successful pinhook after being picked up for $20,000 as a weanling by Chris Baccari’s Jumping Jack during the Keeneland November sale. He is the second foal out of the winning Songandaprayer mare Galetoire, a half-sister to stakes-placed Earth Living. It is the extended family of Grade/Group 1 winners Fact Finder and Murjan and of graded/group stakes winners Nannerl, Magicalmysterycat, Burmilla, Snowbell, and Silent Valor.

"I loved him. He had everything in the right place,” Crupi said. “Into Mischief is going to the next level, and we had to have him. He was coming home with us.”

The colt was one of three horses to surpass last year's Book 5 high-water mark of $170,000; later in the session, a Quality Road colt sold for $200,000 to W.D. North Thoroughbreds, and a colt from the first crop of Take Charge Indy sold for $180,000 to Shelby Stables. In all, seven horses sold for six figures on Thursday; four did so in the single Book 5 session last year.

Take Charge Indy, who stands at WinStar Farm, finished as Thursday’s leading sire by gross, with six yearlings sold for $417,500.

Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales, which handled two of the day’s six-figure lots, was the session’s leading consignor, with 12 horses sold for $535,000.

Through 10 sessions of the Keeneland September sale, 2,215 horses have sold for $266,614,200, a drop of 4 percent from the $276,960,300 for 2,359 sold for at this point last year. The cumulative average price is $120,368, up 3 percent from $117,406 at this point last year, while the median is unchanged at $65,000. The buyback rate also is unchanged at 26 percent.  

Book 5 concludes with Friday's session, and Book 6 concludes the sale on Saturday and Sunday. All sessions begin at 10 a.m. Eastern.

For hip-by-hip results, click here.

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