A Yes It's True colt purchased by California trainer James Kasparoff for $220,000 topped the Sept. 19 ninth session of the Keeneland September yearling sale that continued to show strength entering the home stretch, with gross, average, and median prices all well ahead of the same session a year ago.
Consigned as Hip No. 2809 by Bill Reightler, agent, the colt was bred in Kentucky by T/C Stable and was produced from the three-time winning Saint Ballado mare Wadena. Second dam Ammy Hills (by Bounding Basque), won the Busher Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct and is the granddam of Sammarco, a gelding who ran third in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II). The female family also includes stakes winner and sire Honest Moment.
"I like his size and his bone structure, and his conformation was excellent," said Kasparoff, who trained multiple grade I winner Bob Black Jack. "He looks like he could run as a 2-year-old. He was an imposing specimen. I thought the whole package was really impressive. I told my client I thought we could get him for $200,000, but was hoping he would not go that high. Fortunately, he let me get him. He is all race horse. (He has a) good mind. I'm really excited and looking forward to getting him to California."
Keeneland reported 302 horses sold during the ninth session for gross receipts of $8,228,000, 18% above the total $6,969,900 paid for 315 head sold during the comparable session (10) a year ago. The Sept. 19 average price of $27,247 represented a 23% increase over the $22,127 figure in 2011 and the median was up from $15,000 to $20,000. The RNA rate was 9.6% compared to 13.7% last year.
Through nine sessions, Keeneland has sold 2,145 yearlings for $214,039,000, an average price of $99,785, and a median of $55,000. That compares with 2,248 horses sold for $215,187,500, an average of $95,724 and $50,000 at the same point in the 2011 auction.
Although the auction is now into its second week, Kasporoff said it is still tough to buy, even in the six-figure range.
"We were outbid on a lot of horses," He said. "We set lines on what we though the horses were worthÃƒÂ¢"Ã¢â€šÂ¬mostly in the $100,000 rangeÃƒÂ¢"Ã¢â€šÂ¬and then dropped out when they went on up."
The session's second-highest price of $200,000 was paid by Prince Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms for a colt from the second crop of First Defence produced from the stakes-placed American Chance mare Chanceisalady, a full sister to stakes winner American Cash.
The Equus Farm of Jerry Cummins and Paul Adams had purchased Chanceisalady for $2,200 while carrying the First Defence colt from the Select Sales consignment to the 2010 Keeneland November mixed sale.
Top price for a filly and third-highest of the day was the $150,000 bid of Bob Feld, agent for Sagamore Farm, for a daughter of Pioneerof the Nile consigned as Hip No. 2891 by Eaton Sales. Produced from the unraced Storm Cat mare Charming Toutsie, the filly was bred in Kentucky by Eaton Sales' Reiley McDonald and J. B. McKathan. McKathan Brothers bought Charming Toutsie, who is a daughter of multiple grade I winner Tout Charmant, for $47,000 from the Eaton consignment to the 2009 Keeneland January mixed sale.
The Keeneland sale continues for two more days, with sessions at 10 a.m. EDT daily.