A 2-year-old speedball selling deep into the 11-day Keeneland November breeding stock sale generated a enough buzz to earn a spot among the top 15 highest-priced horses of the Lexington auction to date.
"It definitely caught our eye when she won by a pole last week," said Erin Finley, director of communications for West Point Thoroughbreds and daughter of the partnership's founder and president, Terry Finley. "Physically, she's very correct. She's a big, beautiful filly. She's got good bone on her. She ran so well here at Keeneland, and then won at Churchill, so it kind of showed she's versatile on both surfaces."
The filly is from Flashy Bull's second crop. The sire was raced by West Point Thoroughbreds and won the grade I Stephen Foster Handicap and the William Donald Schaefer Handicap (gr. III), while also placing in three other graded stakes. Finley said Flashy Gray will be trained by Bll Mott and could be pointed for the grade II Golden Rod at Churchill Downs Nov. 24 for her next start.
Flashy Gray is out of the unraced Cat's Career mare Pleasure Cat, who has produced six winners out of eight progeny of racing age. She was consigned as a racing or broodmare prospect by Gainesway, as agent for the Dolphus C. Morrison Dispersal. Morrison purchased Flashy Gray as a yearling for $45,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September Yearling Sale from her breeder, Brereton C. Jones, owner of Airdrie Stud.
"She's the best racehorse I've owned," said Morrison, breeder of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, who he sold privately to Stonestreet Farm following her win in the 2009 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). "She exceeded Rachel Alexandra's training times. She's extremely fast; she's sound; and she's got a tremendous, strong rear end. That was a great buy by Terry Finley. She went to a good home."
Flashy Gray was the top-priced horse sold by Morrison, whose dispersal of 20 horses grossed $2,208,500.
"I've had 35 years of great success and fun, and made a lot of money in the horse business," Morrison said. "This filly, I would have liked to have gone on and raced her. But it was time for me to sell my horses."
The strong sale of Flashy Gray contributed to double-digit gains in the gross, average and median for Keeneland November's eighth session.
Keeneland sold 279 horses Nov. 13 for $7,017,200, an increase of 36.6% from last year when 276 horses brought $5,136,400. Average price rose 35.2% from $18,610 to $25,151, while the median price of $17,000 was up 13.3% over $15,000 in 2011.
The cumulative results for the first eight sessions show 1,752 horses have been sold for $137,188,800. The average is $78,304 and the median $35,000. For the comparable period in 2011, 1,904 horses were sold for $201,192,900, for an average of $105,669 and a median of $36,500.
Last year's sale included two dispersals--the estate of Edward P. Evans' Spring Hill Farm, which sold 162 horses for $55,393,000, and the dispersal of Saud bin Khaled's Palides Investments, which sold 20 horses sold for $16,813,000 through session eight of 2011.
When the dispersals are excluded from the 2011 cumulative numbers, this year's sale results are tracking ahead of last year. The adjusted gross is up 6.4%, while the adjusted average is 4.6% higher and the median is up 9.4%.
Two 3-year-old colts named Dramedy (a son of Distorted Humor ) and Pinball (a son of Unbridled's Song) both brought $185,000, which was the second-highest price of the day. These two runners most recently met on the track Nov. 10 at Aqueduct Racetrack, where they finished 1-2, only a head apart, in a maiden special weight.
The November Sale continues through Nov. 16. Sessions begin daily at 10 a.m. EST. The entire sale is streamed live at keeneland.com.