$500,000 Mare Tops Keeneland Wednesday Session

Buyers were anxious to see the members of the first crops by Giant's Causeway and Fusaichi Pegasus. At the Keeneland November sale on Wednesday, it was a mare carrying a member of the second crop by Giant's Causeway that topped the auction's third day.

For $500,000, Audley Farm in Virginia purchased Smokey Mirage, a young mare by Holy Bull. Smokey Mirage produced her first foal in 2001, a filly by Saint Ballado. She foaled a colt by Old Trieste this year and then conceived on an early cover -- Feb. 12 -- when bred to Giant's Causeway.

Her foal of this year, the Old Trieste colt, was sold immediately after her and was purchased by Wark Bloodstock for $95,000.

The 6-year-old mare won four races when in training, including the Prairie Gold Lassie Stakes at Prairie Meadows. She earned $78,970.

Smokey Mirage, out of the grade I stakes-placed Slewpy mare Verbasie, and her foal were both sold by Taylor Made Sales Agency as agent.

The top price for a weanling on Wednesday came very late in the session when a colt by Seattle Slew out of the graded stakes winning mare Her Temper was purchased as agent by Paramount Sales for $350,000. Her Temper, in foal to Unbridled's Song, was bought back on a bid of $120,000. Both the mare and foal were consigned by Taylor Made.

Just the second horse in the ring on Wednesday was the second highest priced weanling to sell during the session. By Silver Charm and the first foal out of the Major Impact mare Impact Now, he was purchased by Bob and Beverly Lewis, who raced champion Silver Charm. They paid $300,000 for the colt consigned as agent by Bud Greeley's Wintergreen Farm.

On the day, 245 horses were sold for $23,084,500, an average of $94,222. The median was $70,000. Another 78 head, 24%, were listed as not sold. Compared to a year ago, the average was off 8.8% and the median 9% when 230 were sold for $23,767,500, an average of $103,337 and a median of $77,000.

After the first three days of the 10-day auction, the gross is up because of fewer horses bought back. This year, 613 have sold for $134,944,000 and 177 hips were listed as RNA. Last year, with 562 sold and 240 bought back, the gross through three days was $129,629,500.

The average for three days has decreased from $230,775 to $220,137, but the median has remained constant, at $110,000.

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