Momentum Continues at Keeneland
Photo: Marc Manning
Top-priced weanling; Arctic Bright; white colt, Painting Freedom - Mesa Queen by Reign Road.

A steady group of buyers continued to provide strength to the market Nov. 15 at the 11th session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, resulting in across-the-board increases and a clearance rate of more than 80%. A dark bay daughter of Our Emblem brought $130,000 to top the session and close the sixth catalog of the 15-day auction.

The winning 3-year-old filly, named Whole Emblem, was sold as a broodmare prospect.

Keeneland realized increases in gross, average, and median this year, as 33 less horses went through the ring during the same session a year ago.

For the session, the sale company reported 259 horses sold to gross $4,622,200. The average was $17,846 and the median was $14,000. With 61 RNAs, the buy-back rate was 19.9%, down a significant 27.7% from last year's session rate of 26.4%.

Compared with the same session one year ago, the gross increased 20.9% from 226 horses sold for $3,824,500 last year. The session average of $17,846 was up 5.5% from $16,923 in 2006, and the median rose 40%, from $10,000 to $14,000.

"There's an unbelievable strength in this part of the market," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales. "We're harping on the clearance rate, but having a 19% not-sold rate on day 11 is phenomenal. These horses are moving on to a wide range of buyers, both internationally and domestically."

Cumulatively, 2,666 horses have been sold for $332,692,100, an average of $124,791 and a median of $50,000. Gross was up 7.8% and average was up 6.6% from last year, while the median was flat. At this point in the sale a year ago, 2,635 horses had been sold for $308,580,000, for an average of $117,108 and a median of $50,000.

The cumulative buy-back rate was 22.1%, a decrease of 6.8% from last year's 23.7%.

Big D Stables acquired the session-topping Our Emblem mare out of the Upper Nile mare Half Secret. Big D Stables bought Whole Emblem from the consignment of Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.

Bred in Kentucky by John Peace, Whole Emblem is a half-sister to two stakes producers and three stakes winners, including dual grade II victor Top Secret (by Afleet).

A son of Painting Freedom became the top-priced weanling of the day when Paul and Berva Megson bought him for $80,000. Rosemont Farm, agent consigned the striking white colt for Painted Desert Farm.

Bred in Oregon by Dalene Knight, the colt is the first foal out of the Reign Road mare Mesa Queen. He hails from the family of 1975 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Foolish Pleasure.

“This sale in general proves that Keeneland remains the best marketplace for horses at all price levels,” Russell said. “We attract a large number of buyers from all ranges of the market, and that continued today.”

The sale continues Nov. 16 at 10 a.m. EST with hip 4179.

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