09/22/2004 11:00PM

Sale still barreling along

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As the record-breaking Keeneland September yearling sale wound toward its Sept. 27 conclusion, there were still six-figure horses selling at the auction's late sessions.

As always occurs at the auction, by Thursday prices had plummeted from the heady level seen at the Sept. 13-14 select sessions, which were led by a sale-record $8 million Storm Cat-Welcome Surprise colt. But at the 10th session on Thursday, yearlings were still breaking the six-figure barrier. As of 5 p.m., the session-leader was a $230,000 Clever Trick filly out of the unraced Southern Halo mare Southern Musical. Trainer Ken McPeek, agent, purchased the filly from Rick Littrell's Viking Stud, which acted as the selling agent on behalf of Connie Ingle's Meadowvale Farm. The filly was one of four lots to reach or pass $100,000 by that point and the only one to crack $200,000.

The 14-day September yearling sale has enjoyed phenomenal success. On Wednesday, it became the first Thoroughbred yearling auction ever to achieve $300 million in gross sales. Through Wednesday's selling, nine sessions had sold 2,274 yearlings for a total of $305,647,100, up 15 percent from last year's nine-day aggregate of $264,796,800 for 2,281 lots. The cumulative average price of $134,409 was up 16 percent, and the $65,000 median was 30 percent higher than at the same point last year.