11/11/2010 5:08PM

Weanlings lead way at Keeneland sale's fourth day


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Weanlings were in demand Thursday as Keeneland’s two-week November auction looked to shake off a trend of declines on its fourth day.

At 3:30 p.m., weanlings commanded five of the session’s top six prices, behind the $370,000 Cozzene mare Conchita.

A Candy Ride full sister to Grade 1 winner El Brujo had the leading weanling price of $320,000. Australia’s Waratah Thoroughbreds picked her out from the Elm Tree Farm agency’s consignment on what was shaping up to be an outstanding day for Elm Tree’s owners, Mr. and Mrs. Jody Huckabay. Elm Tree also consigned the leading mare, Conchita, and a $210,000 Tale of the Cat-Biblical Point weanling colt that Westrock Stables purchased. Elm Tree’s session-leading mare, the 5-year-old Conchita, went through the ring in foal to More Than Ready and sold to Peter Blum.

Westrock also snapped up a $300,000 colt by Rock Hard Ten out of the Fusaichi Pegasus mare Regard that Denali Stud consigned for Berkshire Stud. Bloodstock agent Ben Glass bought the other two weanlings on the top four list, both by Tapit: a $260,000 colt out of Rhumb Line and Eldon Farm Equine’s $210,000 filly out of Slammingpartygirl. Both were in the Gainesway agency’s consignment. The colt is a half-brother to stakes-placed Art Princess, and the filly is out of a half-sister to three graded performers.

Wednesday’s third session grossed $21,249,100 for 254 horses, down 21 percent from last year’s aggregate for 252 horses. The $83,658 average also was 21 percent down, and the $65,000 median was 13 percent lower. The 2010 session’s buy-backs bumped up from 19 percent to 23 percent.

Keeneland officials noted that 2009’s session figures were plumped up by the Overbook Farm dispersal, which produced two mares who sold for more than $500,000.

Cumulatively, the 2010 auction’s three-day average of $157,921 was down 12 percent from last year, and the $100,000 median was off nine percent. But the buy-back rate was the same at 21 percent.

Wednesday’s session-topper, $410,000 racing or broodmare prospect Lady Alexander, went to Ginger and Keith Myers’ Coteau Grove Farm in Sunset, La. Their trainer and racing manager, Glenn Delahoussaye, said the couple planned to race Lady Alexander, a 4-year-old Exchange Rate filly in the Southwest before retiring her to their homebreeding program. Three Chimneys Farm, agent, consigned five-time stakes-winner Lady Alexander to the November sale.