01/12/2011 4:15PM

Prices continue to tail off at Keeneland January sale


LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Keeneland January horses of all ages sale struggled to produce six-figure horses Wednesday as prices continued to tail off.

The five-day sale’s third 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. By comparison, Wednesday’s highest price at 3:15 p.m. was $85,000. Farnsworth Farm spent that for Suroof, a 4-year-old Empire Maker filly consigned as a racing or broodmare prospect.

Shadwell Farm was Suroof’s consignor. The bay daughter of Amber Token is from the family of Plugged Nickle, Token Dance, and Gator Dancer.

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The top yearling price at that hour was $43,000 for a chestnut Street Boss colt out of the Meadowlake mare Merit. Josham Farms, agent, purchased him. Consigned by Baccari Bloodstock, the colt is a half-brother to stakes-placed winner Quite a Rush. He is from Street Boss’s first crop. The colt is an April 29, 2010, foal.

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. 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 Friday at Keeneland’s sale pavilion. Sessions begin 10 a.m. each day.