Keeneland's November auction ended its sixth session the night of Nov. 10 with yet more gains and a pair of $185,000 session-topping broodmares.
Sunday's session sold 276 horses for $13,435,500, yielding an average price of $48,679 and a $40,000 median. The gross advanced 25.1% from last year's aggregate for 265 horses during the same session, while the average and median also continued the 2013 auction's trend of strong daily gains. The session average of $48,679 was up 20.1% from the equivalent session a year ago, and the $40,000 median increased by 25%.
Buybacks also continued their decline, falling from 22.1% at last year's sixth session to just 14.6% Sunday.
Cumulatively, the auction also appeared on track to beat last year's overall figures. Through day six, the 2013 edition has grossed $170,456,700 for 1,339 horses, averaging $127,301 with a median price of $70,000. The gross is 36.8% ahead of last year's sale by the same point, and in fact is 19.1% ahead of last year's gross for the entire 11-day auction. The six-day average is running 22.8% ahead of last year's cumulative figure, and the median is 40% in front of last year's figure.
Cumulative buybacks were sharply down again, hitting 17.6% from last year's figure of 26.7%.
Sunday's session-toppers were One Foxy Grey and High Maintenance; both sold for $185,000.
One Foxy Grey is a 3-year-old daughter of Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown and grade I winner Irish Smoke. Cataloged in foal to Midnight Lute, she went to buyer Nancy Shuford from the Hill 'n' Dale agency's consignment.
High Maintenance, by Danehill, is a grade III-placed stakes winner who also is the dam of group III-placed runner Silver Black. She also is a three-quarters sister to stakes-placed Charlotte Bronte. FD Bloodstock picked up High Maintenance, now in foal to Quality Road, from the Paramount Sales agency.
The two sires who had covered those mares also were in the limelight Sunday. Champion Midnight Lute, a Hill 'n' Dale Farms resident, was the session's leading covering sire by gross after 10 of his mares brought a combined $627,000, averaging $62,700. Quality Road, who stands at Lane's End, was also the session's leading covering sire by average (three or more sold) with three mares averaging $87,000.
Bernardini led the session's sires by gross, with four horses bringing $348,000 for an $87,000 average. Another Lane's End resident, City Zip, led by average (three or more sold) after three horses he sired sold for an average price of $105,000.
The session's most expensive weanling was a $145,000 Scat Daddy colt out of the Pulpit mare Lose the Blues. Candy Meadows bought the March 8 foal from the Four Star Sales agency. The bay colt is a half brother to the 2010 stakes-placed runner McKenzies Way.
Taylor Made Sales was the day's top seller by gross. The Nicholasville, Ky.-based consigner sold 28 horses for $1,538,000. Tops by average (three or more sold) was Threave Main Stud, with three horses averaging $74,000.
Among buyers, Calumet Farm continued its week-long buying spree. On Sunday, it was the session's leading buyer by total expenditures with eight horses costing a combined $604,000. The leader by average price tag (three or more bought) was Gainesway Farm, which picked up four horses averaging $122,500.
The Keeneland November sale runs through Nov. 14. Sessions begin each day at 10 a.m. in the sale pavilion adjacent to the racetrack.
"The weather has been lovely, and there's been great traffic through the barns," said Keeneland director of sales Geoffrey Russell. "Showing has been spectacular. Our consignors are consistently telling us they are showing their horses more this year than at any other November sale. There's lots of energy around the sales grounds, and it's being reflected in the strong trade."