There weren't any million-dollar broodmares or yearlings Monday during the opening session of the Keeneland January sale in Lexington. But the auction didn't need any seven-figure fireworks. Business was strong enough to boost the gross revenue, average price, and median price by more than 40% apiece from last year.
"The consistency of the strength surprised me," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales. "We thought the horses that were a little more special would bring the extra dollar because there's a scarcity of them, but there was strength through the whole sale today. We have a huge amount of people here. It's probably one of the best-attended January sales we've had in a long time. That definitely helped."
The 250 horses sold grossed $22,373,100, a 41.3% increase from 2005, when the total was $15,831,100 for 251 head. The average rose 41.9%, from $63,072 to $89,492. The median soared 42.9%, from $35,000 to $50,000. Not included in those numbers was a lifetime breeding right to Medaglia d'Oro
that sold for $150,000
The most enthusiastic shoppers "seemed to be people who had new stallion stations or new stallions," Russell said. "There obviously is a hunger for a horse at the moment."
The buy-back rate was 21.6%, down slightly from last year's figure of 22%.
One for Rose, a champion in Canada, sold for $875,000 to top the session. Bloodstock agent Aki Kato signed the sale ticket, purchasing the 7-year-old broodmare prospect for Isami Nakamura of Japan.
"She looks pretty; she's gorgeous, and she's sound," Kato said. "She's done everything that she's been asked for in Canada. We would like to see her run again, but I don't know what the future plan is. Most likely, she will be a broodmare. That's what we bought her for. She'll eventually go to Japan.
"It (the price) was a little bit higher than we thought it would be," he added, "but she was the best one here today."
Nakamura is the son of Kazuo Nakamura, who purchased Open Mind for $4.6 million at the 1989 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.
One for Rose, a dark bay or brown daughter of Tejano Run
, is out of the winning Lord Gaylord mare Saucyladygaylord. Three Chimneys Sales consigned One for Rose as agent. She raced for Tucci Stables and was honored as Canada's champion older female in 2003, 2004, and 2005.
Proud Beauty, who won the 2003 Trampoli Stakes at Aqueduct and is in foal to Distorted Humor
, brought $635,000 from Egyptian brewing mogul Ahmed Zayat. A 6-year-old daughter of Danehill, she is out of the Unfuwain mare Honey Bun and is from the family of European champion Pilsudski (who won the 1996 Breeders' Cup Turf, gr. IT) and Japanese champion Fine Motion. Noel Murphy's Castle Park Farm consigned her as agent.
Honest Deceiver, who captured the Eliza Stakes at Arlington Park in 2001 and the Wishing Well Stakes at Turfway Park in 2003, sold for $600,000. Jeff Hayslett, a senior account manager at Taylor Made Farm, signed the sale ticket for the bay mare. He described himself as the agent in the transaction, but declined to reveal on whose behalf he was acting.
A 7-year-old daughter of Is It True
, Honest Deceiver was produced from the Clever Trick mare Clever Monique and is a full sister to grade I winner and successful sire Yes It's True
. Honest Deceiver raced for Bill Casner and Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm. Her first foal, a 2-year-old Mr. Greeley colt, was bred by WinStar. Her second foal, a yearling Gone West
colt, was bred by Racehorse Management. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, consigned Honest Deceiver, who is in foal to Speightstown
, to the Keeneland auction.
"I like her conformation and who she's in foal to," Hayslett said. "I like everything about her actually. She has an absolutely awesome yearling. That's one reason why I wanted the mare because I had seen the yearling at the farm."
Magnificent Honour, a 4-year-old unraced daughter of A. P. Indy
, brought $575,000 as a broodmare prospect, going to brothers Edward and Michael Daly, who are developing a farm, Corbetstown Stud, in Ireland. Edward Daly said they also own a significant interest in North Light, who stands at Adena Springs in Kentucky. Magnificent Honour probably will be bred to North Light.
Magnificent Honour is out of the grade II-winning Deputy Minister mare Better Than Honour and is from the family of grade I winner Blush With Pride. Taylor Made Sales Agency consigned Magnificent Honour as agent.
Meadow Dream, a winner and stakes-placed performer, sold for $525,000 to Martin Stables. The dam of stakes winner Little Miss Zip, she is in foal to Songandaprayer
Consigned by Denali Stud, agent, Meadow Dream is an 11-year-old daughter of Meadowlake. She is out of the Alysheba mare Aly's Jul and is a half-sister to grade II winner Forty One Carats.
Unbridled Danz, winner of the Audubon Stakes at Ellis Park last year, sold for $510,000 as a broodmare prospect. Dennis Yokum purchased the 4-year-old daughter of Unbridled's Song
for Ernie Moody's Mercedes Stable. She will be bred to Rock Hard Ten, a grade I winner who was raced by Mercedes and Madeleine Pickens.
"She's just a gorgeous mare; her conformation is excellent," said Yokum, who is the racing manager for Mercedes. "I think she is the type you want to breed to Rock Hard Ten. She matches up physically with him very well. She's not too big, but she's not small. I don't think you want to breed too big of a mare to Rock Hard Ten because he's already big enough. She's a mare that looks similar to him and has similar attributes, but isn't 17.1 hands or whatever he is."
Yokum added that he and California bloodstock agent Andy Havens were working together to select mares for Moody, who has a broodmare band of about 20.
Greenfield Farm, agent, consigned Unbridled Danz, who is out of the Canadian stakes-winning Danzatore mare Chartreuse and is from the family of grade I winner Manistique (by Unbridled's Song's sire, Unbridled). Unbridled Danz raced for Stan Fulton.Hip-by-hip Results from Keeneland