The North American yearling market continued to show strength Thursday as three colts brought final bids in excess of seven figures during the third session of Keeneland's September Yearling Sale. The day's average price rose 21.3% over the comparable session one year ago.
The day's top price of $1.5-million was paid for a Woodman colt, with Aisling Cross, acting on behalf of Coolmore's John Magnier and partners, signing the ticket.
Consigned by Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency as agent, the colt is a half-brother to champion older mare Jewel Princess, a multiple Grade 1 winner and earner of nearly $2 million.
Keeneland reported 264 yearlings were sold Thursday for a gross of $37,196,500, an average price of $140,896, and a median price of $100,000. Last year, 273 yearlings were sold for $31,700,500, an average of $116,119 and a median of $85,000. There were 83 horses failing to reach their reserves in 2000, compared to 96 this year. Through three sessions, 617 yearlings have been sold for $173,514,500, an average of $281,223 and a median of $155,000, compared to last year when 716 yearlings sold for $193,842,500, an average of $270,730 and a median of $140,000.
A Mr. Greeley colt produced from grade I winner Dream Team (by Cox's Ridge) was purchased by Emmanuel de Seroux of Narvick International for $1.4 million.
"We thought he was an outstanding individual," said de Seroux, whose agency is also a consignor to the Keeneland sale. "He's all athlete. He makes us dream."
De Seroux said he purchased the colt for a racing partnership comprised of Sidney Port and Marsha Naify and himself and his wife Laura that operates under the name of San Gabriel Investments. His wife will train the colt.
The other seven-figure horse was a colt from the first crop of Santa Anita Derby winner Indian Charlie. The bay colt, consigned by Paternostro and Herbener, as agent, was purchased by The Thoroughbred Corp. for $1.1 million. He is the second foal out of the stakes-winning Gold Seam mare Inlaw.
Richard Mulhall, who manages the racing interests of Prince Ahmed bin Salman, said: "He is a very, very good-looking colt. Conformation-wise, he's difficult to fault. He's one of the best horses through the sale. He looks as good as any of the horses in the first two days of the sale, not pedigree-wise, though."
The colt will be trained by Bob Baffert. He also trained Indian Charlie.
Co-consignor Paul Paternostro said: "We've loved him since the day we bought him. You have to be surprised at the price, though. We had two people bidding on him, and we came out on the fortunate side of that." Paternostro said he and his partner, James Herbener, bought the colt as a weanling for $100,000.Results From Keeneland