Increases in the auction business can be positive developments, but in some cases they are negative. For example, Keeneland officials got some good news when the fourth session of the company’s November breeding stock sale generated increases of 5.1% in average price and 40% in median price from a year ago.
But there was bad news as well Nov. 9 in Lexington because the buy-back rate rose significantly, increasing to 29.3% from 23.7% in 2011.
“It’s the same old word and it’s overused word; it’s selective,” said Mill Ridge Sales and Nicoma Bloodstock’s Headley Bell of the market. “It’s just what the market is and really there are no complaints. As a seller, you hope you have the goods. As a buyer you’re kind of specific about what’s available.”
The results for the day included a gross of $18,567,500 for the 224 horses that were sold. The average was $82,891 and the median was $70,000.
Compared to last year, the number sold dropped 12.8%, so the 8.4% decline in gross wasn’t a surprise.
American Lady, offered as a racing or broodmare prospect, topped the session, bringing $350,000. Paramount Sales' Gabriel Duignan, who was acting on behalf of Castleton Lyons (Shane Ryan, president) near Lexington, purchased the 4-year-old daughter of Stormy Atlantic .
Carrying the colors of Kaleem Shah, American Lady captured the Reminiscing Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park and finished third in a division of the Bangles and Beads Stakes at Fairplex Park earlier this year. The gray/roan filly has won three of her eight career races while earning $151,866.
“We haven’t quite decided yet,” said Duignan, who is a director of Castleton Lyons, when asked if American Lady would remain in training. “We’ll look at her X-rays again tomorrow and make a final decision on that.”
Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, consigned American Lady, who is a half sister to 2009 Sham (gr. III) and San Rafael (gr. III) stakes winner The Pamplemousse (by Kafwain). Their dam, Comfort Zone, is a winning daughter of Rubiano that is a half sister to four stakes winners, three of which also are stakes producers.
“She’s outstanding physically,” Duignan said. “She has a good family and there is a lot of talent in it. I think she is also a very talented filly herself. We were stretching on her. Her price was retail.”
The combined results for the first four days of the Keeneland auction included a gross of $102,351,000 for the 667 horses that were sold. The average was $153,450 and the median was $80,000. Compared to last year, the number sold and gross fell 16.5 % and 38.8%, respectively. Meanwhile, the average dropped 26.7% and the median declined 20%.
The buy-back rate advanced to 30.2% from 22% in 2011.
Last year, major dispersals by Edward P. Evans’ Spring Hill Farm and Chanteclair Farm/Palides Investments boosted prices. When the results for their lots were removed from 2011’s cumulative figures, this year’s number sold rose 1.68% while the gross increased 4.7%. The average grew 2.93% while the median fell 11.1%. The buy-back rate for last year was 25.5% without the dispersals.
The Keeneland sale continues through Nov. 16, with each session starting at 10 a.m. (EST).