Keeneland's November sale continued throwing off big prices Tuesday as the 11-day auction rocketed into its second week with more large gains across the board.
Led by $450,000 General Election, a two-time grade III winner this year, the auction's eighth session grossed $10,898,200 for 294 horses, yielding a $37,069 average and a $25,000 median—all eye-popping gains over the figures at last year's equivalent session. Gross shot up by 55.3% compared to the total for 279 horses a year ago, and the average price and median were up by 47.4% and 47.1%, respectively.
Buybacks remained relatively low, falling from last year's session figure of 19.4% to just 10.1%.
The 2013 auction also is well ahead in terms of its cumulative numbers, too. Through Tuesday's session, it has sold 1,937 horses for a combined $190,315,000, a rise of 38.7%. from last year's gross for 1,752 horses. The eight-day average stands at $98,252, advancing 25.5%. The $47,000 median, meanwhile, raised the bar 34.3% over last year's figure, $35,000.
The cumulative buyback rate was 15.5%, down from 24.3% at the same point a year ago.
Session-topper General Election was purchased by Richard Duchossois, who led buyers by gross with this single purchase. The 3-year-old was part of the WinStar Farm racing-age consignment at Tuesday's session and his race record and pedigree stood out: this year he won the Arlington Classic and the Jefferson Cup Stakes, both grade III, as well as the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes. He also finished third in Keeneland's grade III Lexington Stakes this season. General Election is by the in-demand sire Harlan's Holiday, who died last month. He's out of the Kingmambo mare Menekineko, making him a half brother to the 2009 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) runner-up and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) third Ready's Echo.
General Election was one of three horses to bring more than $300,000 at the session. The second highest price was for Zloty, a stakes-placed 2-year-old filly by Exchange Rate, bought by Bobby Flay Thoroughbreds for $345,000; the Taylor Made agency sold her on behalf of Bradley Thoroughbreds. The other horse in that price range was Montana Native, a 3-year-old Yes It's True filly who won the Remington Park Oaks and the Broom Dance Stakes this year. Consigned by Adena Springs as agent, she brought $330,000 from Castleton Lyons.
Adena Springs led consignors by gross on Tuesday, selling 84 horses for $2,999,000. Winter Quarter Farm led by average (three or more sold) with three horses selling for an average of $89,000.
D. J. Stables led buyers by average purchase price (three or more purchased), spending an average of $130,000 for three horses.
The session's most expensive weanling was a $92,000 colt by first-crop sire Haynesfield out of the unraced Awesome Again mare Just Married. The Feb. 22 foal sold through Susan Forrester's agency.
WinStar's Tiznow was the day's leading sire by gross. Eight of his horses fetched a combined $476,000. Three Chimneys sire Yes It's True was the session's leader by average price (three or more sold) with an average of $122,000 for three horses sold.
Among covering sires, Japanese-bred Hat Trick took the lead by both gross and average sales (three or more sold). Five mares in foal to the Gainesway stallion totaled $242,000 for a $48,400 average.
Keeneland's November sale will continue through Nov. 14. Sessions start each day at 10 a.m. in the sale pavilion adjacent to the racetrack.