A half-brother by Powerscourt to Maryland Sprint Handicap (gr. III) winner Ravalo brought $180,000 to headline the Sept. 26 session of the Keeneland September yearling sale.
Tony Lacy signed the ticket as agent for Malih Al Basti. Consigned by Dede McGehee’s Heaven Trees, the bay colt is out of the Southern Halo mare Momentary Hope, and is from the family of Hollywood Oaks (gr. I) winner Moment to Buy.
"I was excited and surprised...I thought he'd bring $50,000 to $60,000, considering (the sales of) everything else," said McGehee, who raised the superstar filly Rachel Alexandra at her Lexington-based farm. "He's a big, nice, colt that showed nicely from day one, and I really like the mare (Momentary Hope). Had he been a filly, we would not have put him in the sale."
Keeneland’s director of sales, Tom Thornbury, agreed the session topper was an unexpected highlight of the day.
“That was a real hit for Dede McGehee, going for $180,000,” he said. “That was a shocker. We love it when a small consignor knocks it out of the park. It surprised everyone. It was great to see her being congratulated and laughing with all her friends.
“From the beginning of the sale, the real special horses have brought a lot of money, and if you don’t have all the goods, you haven’t gotten close.”
Overall, the Sept. 26 session was down again, but less than other recent days in some areas. Keeneland sold 235 horses for gross receipts of $2,587,200, down 24% from 2008 when 248 horses brought $3,412,900. Average decreased 20% from $13,762 to $11,009, while the median of $5,500 was down 39% from $9,000 in 2008.
Cumulatively, Keeneland has sold 2,779 horses for $189,663,800, a decrease of 41% from the corresponding period last year when 3,016 horses brought $322,700,800. The average of $68,249 represents a 36% percent decrease from $106,996 in 2008. The median dipped 40% from $50,000 in 2008 to $30,000 this year.
For complete results from this sale, including Hip-by-Hips and cumulative sale results, click here.
D & E Racing paid the day’s second-highest price of $120,000 for a colt by Indian Charlie from the consignment of Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services, agent for Morrowdale Farm. Out of the stakes-placed Carson City mare Lady Chance, the colt is from the family of graded stakes winner and sire Lord Carson.
Thornbury has also been encouraged by the strong international presence at the sale in recent days.
“We’ve had a very strong international audience,” he said. “We’re blessed by our loyal buyers from all over Canada, Puerto Rico, Panama, Peru, Argentina, and Mexico City. I think we’re seeing dividends from our outreach program, even this late in the sale."
The September Sale continues through Sept. 28, with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m. EDT. The entire sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.