Updated on 11/10/2011 7:53PM

Spring Hill, MH Equity dispersals continue to boost Keeneland November sale

Photos by Z/Keeneland
Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm paid $575,000 for Miles of Style, the session-topper on Thursday at the Keeneland November sale. The filly was part of the MH Equity dispersal.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The late Ned Evans’s Spring Hill horses continued to exert their influence on Keeneland’s November breeding stock sale at Thursday’s fourth session, but it was another dispersal that produced the session-topper.

Former Conseco chairman Stephen Hilbert and home-improvement billionaire John Menard, partners in the MH Equity private equity firm, are dispersing their jointly owned bloodstock through Lane’s End, which also is handling the Spring Hill dispersal. On Thursday, one of the Hilbert/Menard broodmares, unraced Miles of Style, earned the session’s highest price of $575,000. The buyer was Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm, based in Florida.

Through the fourth of 11 sessions, the Keeneland November auction had sold 799 horses for a combined $167,294,200, resulting in a $209,379 average and $100,000 median. The gross was up 54 percent, despite a smaller catalog that resulted in 799 horses selling, down from 843 at the same point last year. Average advanced by 63 percent, and median rose 30 percent, extending the auction’s run of sharp across-the-board gains into day four.

Cumulative buybacks remained nearly level, slipping by 1 point, from 23 percent last year to 22 percent.

The Thursday session was the first not to have a million-dollar sale price since the auction opened Monday. It sold 257 horses for $20,265,700, up 21 percent from last year’s aggregate for 263 horses. The $78,855 session average was up 23 percent, and the $50,000 median also gained by 11 percent. Session buybacks reduced from 26 percent to 24 percent.

Session-topper Miles of Style is a 4-year-old daughter of Storm Cat and Grade 1 winner and producer Tomisue’s Delight. She is a full sister to Grade 1 winner Mr. Sidney and is from the family of 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft. Miles of Style sold in foal to Quality Road and already has a weanling by Street Sense, which followed her in the auction ring. That filly brought the session’s highest weanling price, $295,000, from Longitude Farm, agent.

Thursday’s session also saw more high-priced horses from the Spring Hill dispersal. Late in the day, Eddie Kane of Bluegrass Hall went to $420,000 for the 2-year-old Quiet American filly Misty American, a racing or broodmare prospect that had a lot to recommend her as a future broodmare. She is a full sister to Quiet Dance, dam of 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam, Grade 2 winner Quiet Giant, and two other stakes winners. Quiet Dance also is the second dam of Grade 1 winner Buster’s Ready.

Earlier in the day, Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Stables paid $410,000 for the stakes-placed Hennessy mare Sumptuous. Sumptuous was pregnant to Quality Road. She is a 6-year-old half-sister to Grade 3 winner Strike It Rich. And Barronstown Stud paid $360,000 for More Hennessy, a 4-year-old three-quarter-sister to Grade 1 winner Cat Moves. Coolmore employee Aisling Duignan signed the ticket. More Hennessy sold in foal to Quality Road.

Three other horses, all mares, went for $300,000 or more. The others were the Denali Stud agency’s Looking, who went to Sienna Farms on a $340,000 final bid; $310,000 On Demand, whom Denali sold to Sagamore Farm (Bob Feld, agent); and $300,000 Southern Sonata, whom Sandra and Hargus Sexton bought from the Mill Ridge agency.

Looking, cataloged in foal to Artie Schiller, is a Seeking the Gold half-sister to Grade 1 winner Listening, Grade 1-placed Beautiful Noise, and Solar Echo, and to the dam of graded winner Listen Here. Southern Sonata is a half-sister to Beethoven and carrying a Sky Mesa foal that is a three-quarter-sibling to that graded winner. On Demand is a Giant’s Causeway half-sister to 2011 Kentucky Derby runner-up Nehro; she sold in foal to Bellamy Road.

Thursday’s most expensive weanling colt was Hip No. 1050, a $240,000 Tapit colt. Ben Glass, agent, purchased the March 8 foal from the Gainesway agency. The gray or roan colt is out of the Ecton Park graded winner French Park and is a half-brother to the 3-year-old winner Jojo’s Mojo.

The Keeneland November sale was to continue through Nov. 17 at Keeneland’s sale pavilion in Lexington, Ky. Sessions begin at 10 a.m. daily.