It was more of the same for the fourth session of the 2008 Keeneland November breeding stock sale Nov. 6 at the Central Kentucky auction house as the number of horses sold, gross, average, and median all fell from last year’s marks.
Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland director of sales, said the session concluded much like the previous three sessions with the Thoroughbred marketplace reacting to global economic concerns.
Repeating what he was quoted as saying at the end of session three (Nov. 5), Russell said, “I don’t think this is any great surprise to many people,” he was quoted on BloodHorse.com. “But the amount of correction has been larger than we thought it would be. This is a global problem; this is a many industry problem; it’s a worldwide economic crisis. To still be trading the amount of horses we are at this level is a positive situation. I think the Thoroughbred market has done a very good job so far.”
For the session, Keeneland reported 201 horses sold to gross $16,556,000. The average was $82,368 and the median $65,000. The buy-back rate was 35.2%.
Compared to last year's fourth session, the number of horses sold dropped 15.5% and the gross fell 41.4%. The average was down 30.7% and the median 29.7%.
In 2007, 238 horses sold for $28,275,000. The average was $118,803 and the median was $92,500. The buy-back rate was 26% with 84 horses failing to meet their reserves.
The fourth session was topped by Danceinthesunlight, who was purchased by Southern Equines’ Eric Guillot for $675,000 from the consignment of Anderson Farms, agent for Sam-Son Farm. Danceinthesunlight, who was the first horse through the sale ring Nov. 6, sold in foal to Forest Wildcat.
“I think she is good enough to be a foundation mare,” said Guillot. “I think she is worth more money than that. The family is huge. If the baby looks the part, it is the exact same cross as Salute the Sarge (Forest Wildcat—Dixie Ghost, by Silver Ghost). She is an A.P. Indy mare and I think she fits the Southern Equine Kentucky broodmare band, for sure.”
Racing for Southern Equine as a 2-year-old, Salute the Sarge won the Best Pal (gr. II) and Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III) Stakes. As a 3-year-old, he scored in the San Miguel Stakes. Guillot said Southern Equine is buying mares to breed to Salute the Sarge, who will stand the 2009 season at John T.L. Jones III Walmac Farm near Lexington.
Three-year-old Danceinthesunlight was produced from the Canadian champion Mr. Prospector mare Dancethruthedawn, who is out of Canadian Horse of the Year and U.S. champion Dance Smartly.
Dance Smartly is a half-sister to sire Smart Strike, the sire of Horse of the Year Curlin.
About 30 hips after Danceinthesunlight left the sale ring, Gabriel Duignan's Foxtale Farm purchased a son of Indian Charlie out of the A.P. Indy mare Fapindy for $320,000 from the consignment of Highclere Sales, agent.
Duignan said he purchased the colt with plans to resell him as a yearling. “He was a beautiful foal; I was hoping I would get him a little cheaper than that, but he was nice,” Duignan said. “He was a very good individual, and his sire is so hot right now. Unfortunately, you still have to pay for a good horse.”
Bred in Kentucky by Mt. Joy Stables, the colt is a half-brother to stakes-placed Point Me the Way (by Point Given ) and is from the family of stakes winners Buddha Lady (by Buddha) and Silver Lace (by Silver Deputy).
Through four sessions, 724 horses sold to gross $131,281,000. The average was $181,327, and the median was $100,000. The buy-back rate was 33.7%.
Compared to the 2007 auction, the number of horses sold is down 17.2% and the gross is off 47.4%. The average dropped 36.3% and the median is down 33.3%.
Last year through four sessions, 876 horses had sold for a gross of $249,412,000. The average was $284,717 and the median $150,000. The buy-back rate was 21.8%, with 244 horses failing to find new homes.