Wotan, a 3-year-old son of Dynaformer, sold for $380,000 Friday to top the fifth session of the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale in Lexington as business continued to decline. The gross revenue and average price fell for the third day in a row.
"I think the day went as anticipated," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales. "Wotan sold exceptionally well. He looks like a horse that has got some potential. When the quality is there, there's still plenty of money."
George Krikorian purchased Wotan, who was offered as a racing prospect, from the Hancock family's Claiborne Farm, agent for the complete dispersal of the estate of Cynthia Phipps. The bay ridgling has run twice in 1 1/16-mile maiden events during his racing career, finishing third at Saratoga and second at Belmont Park last year while being trained by Shug McGaughey.
Produced from the unraced Mr. Prospector mare Rhineland, Wotan is a half-brother to stakes-placed Cologne (by Horse Chestnut) and St. Hildegard (by Arch ), who each have captured two races. Rhineland, in foal to Giant's Causeway , sold for $350,000 earlier during the Keeneland January auction, and Wotan's second dam, Versailles Treaty, in foal to Unbridled's Song, sold for $475,000.
Keeneland reported that 239 horses were sold Friday for a gross of $3,766,400 and an average of $15,759. The median was $8,500. Compared to the fifth session of 2007, the number sold was up 8.1% from 221, but the gross was down 14.2% from $4,390,100. The average dropped 20.7% from $19,865 while the median declined 15.0% from $10,000. The buy-back rate fell from 24.8% last year to 20.9% this year.
The results for the auction's first five sessions combined were 1,145 horses sold, a gross of $66,678,700, an average of $58,235, and a median of $24,000. Compared to last year, the number sold was down 4.7% from 1,201, but the gross was up 2.0% from $65,385,600. The average grew 7.0% from $54,443, while the median decreased 4.0% from $25,000. The buy-back rate rose from 21.3% in 2007 to 23.8% this year.
Whos Mindin Who, a 3-year-old unraced daughter of Danehill Dancer, was the second-highest-priced horse sold Friday, bringing $115,000 from Argentina Bloodstock. Burleson Farms, agent, was her consignor.
Offered as a racing or broodmare prospect, Whos Mindin Who is out of the winning Lyphard mare Pharapache and is a half-sister to 1999 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) winner Cliquot and to 2006 Omaha Stakes winner Stockholder. Both Cliquot and Stockholder were sired by Bertrando.
King Bloodstock bred Whos Mindin Who in Ireland. In 2006, she brought $287,174 from BBA Ireland when she was sold as a yearling by Camas Park Stud, agent, at Tattersalls in England.
The Keeneland sale continues Saturday, with selling beginning at 10 a.m. (EST).