09/23/2004 11:00PM

Sale can be richest ever

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The Keeneland September yearling sale, which earlier this week became the first Thoroughbred yearling sale to gross $300 million, is taking aim on another record as Keeneland's most lucrative auction of any kind.

Keeneland's top-grossing auction is its November breeding stock sale, which set the mark in 1999 when it sold 3,461 horses for $317,666,000. As it entered the 10th of 14 sessions on Friday, the September yearling sale was within striking distance of equaling that standard.

On Thursday, the mammoth yearling sale ended with cumulative gross receipts of $312,462,500 for 2,546 lots sold. That was 16 percent above last year's total for 2,580 horses in what was then considered a strong market. The 2004 nine-day average price was up 17 percent to reach $122,727, and the median price leaped 31 percent to hit $55,000.

Thursday's session-topper was a $230,000 Clever Trick-Southern Musical filly that trainer Ken McPeek, acting as agent, bought from Rick Littrell's Viking Stud agency. Viking Stud was representing Meadowdale Farm in the sale.

On Friday, with selling still under way in the 10th session, the early leader at 5 p.m. was a $170,000 Horse Chestnut colt that trainer Bob Baffert, agent, bought from Padraig Campion's Blandford Stud agency. The colt is out of the unraced Storm Cat mare Dr. Redoubtable and from the family of multiple stakes winner and $570,000-earner Irish Actress.