11/12/2004 1:00AM

Six-figure prices still plentiful at Keeneland


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Broodmares were still in demand even as prices tailed off at Friday's fifth session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sales. Top prices were no longer in the million-dollar range, but there was no shortage of horses selling for six figures.

At 5 p.m., the top price was $270,000 for Storm Teal, a 12-year-old Storm Bird mare in foal to El Corredor. B.C. Jones, agent, bought the mare from the Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency. Storm Teal is the dam of the stakes winner Gold Storm.

On Thursday, the market was still strong enough to produce a $600,000 session-topper.

That was the 4-year-old Beautiful Treasure, a stakes-placed Unbridled mare in foal to 2002 champion sprinter Orientate. Commercial breeders John and Martha Jane Mulholland bought Beautiful Treasure, who sold as part of Bob and Beverly Lewis's broodmare reduction. Craig and Holly Bandoroff's Denali Stud agency was the consignor.

Thursday's second-highest price of the day, and the highest for a weanling, was the $440,000 that Eldon Farm Equine paid for a Mr. Greeley-Hard Knocker colt. Jim FitzGerald's Knockgriffin Farm agency sold the colt, who is a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Chimichurri and stakes winner Huambo.

Thursday's fourth session sold 223 lots for $18,758,000, with an $84,117 average price and a $60,000 median. Through day four, the 2004 auction had sold 914 lots for $221,291,500, producing a $242,113 average and a $120,000 median. Those cumulative figures achieved respective gains of 19 percent, 11 percent, and 20 percent, though breeding stock sales, with their highly variable offerings from year to year, are difficult to compare meaningfully.

The sale was to continue through Nov. 19, with continuous sessions beginning at 10 a.m. daily at Keeneland.

Adena reaps Breeders' Cup benefit

The annual Adena Springs auction at Fasig-Tipton on Thursday night undeniably got a lift from the 2004 Breeders' Cup results. Adena stallion Awesome Again sired two winners, Classic victor Ghostzapper and Juvenile winner Wilko, and that fact added cachet to Awesome Again's progeny and to mares carrying his foals.

The Adena consignment sells mares in foal to the farm's stallions. Not surprisingly, the top four prices this year - and all of the session's six-figure lots - were for mares carrying Awesome Again foals. The night's highest price was $180,000 for Field of Glory, a 5-year-old Meadowlake half-sister to multiple Grade 2 winner Randaroo. Hartwell Farm, agent, bought Field of Glory, who was sold with a 2005 season to Adena stallion Golden Missile.

Fasig-Tipton went all-out for mare

Fasig-Tipton, which sold Smarty Jones's dam for $5 million last Sunday night at its select sale, went to great lengths to market the mare, according to consignors Brent and Crystal Fernung.

Brent Fernung noted that the publicity surrounding Smarty Jones's Triple Crown bid often painted him as a horse with little pedigree.

"Fasig-Tipton's marketing did a lot to turn that impression around," he said.

"They did a special DVD about the mare that they sent to all the prospective buyers," added Crystal. "They arranged for TVG's special coverage. It was like having another partner in the horse."

But the mare may have been her own best promotion.

"When people came to the barn to see I'll Get Along, they couldn't believe how nice she was," Brent said. "A lot of them seemed surprised by how pretty she was and how well she showed herself. You'd take her out there for them, and she'd pose just like a trained pig."

Jockey Club increases naming fees

The Jockey Club's board of stewards has approved fee increases for registering racehorse names and, in New York only, for registering owners' silks.

The new naming fees are effective on Jan. 1, 2005. The fee to claim a name, if a valid attempt is not made before Feb. 1 of the horse's juvenile year, rises from $50 to $75. The cost to reserve a name also increases from $50 to $75.

Silks fees in New York will apply to registrations and renewals for the 2005 racing season and to registrations made in December for the 2004 racing season. Silks registered under the new fee in December will be covered for the remainder of 2004 and for all of 2005. The first-time registration fee increases from $75 to $100; one-year silks renewal rises from $15 to $25; and five-year renewals increase from $60 to $100.

* Breeders booking mares registered to the Louisiana-bred program to either Wild Zone ($5,000 fee) or Littleexpectations ($3,500) at Q6 Ranch in Belton, Texas, in 2005 will receive a complimentary no-guarantee season1 to Easyfromthegitgo for 2006. Easyfromthegitgo stands for a $3,500 fee at Le Mesa Stallions in Carencro, La.