By Patricia Ranft
In a departure from the first four sessions of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, in which broodmares or broodmare prospects were the session sale toppers, the highest-priced offering sold Nov. 7 was a weanling, a son of Giant's Causeway out of the winning Dixieland Band mare Queen’s Music, that brought $310,000.
The colt was purchased by Clear Ridge Stable from the consignment of Noel Murphy’s Castle Park Farm. The session-topping colt’s dam is a half-sister to Scottish Equitable Gimcrack Stakes (Eng-II) victor Splendent and Premio Chiusura (It-III) winner Aim for the Top.
“There was great strength in the foal market today,” said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland’s director of sales. “Pinhookers were very busy, which shows their optimism in the market. As one prominent pinhooker noted today, ‘Good foals are recession-proof.’ ”
The second- and third-highest prices on the day were also brought by weanlings. A son of Cherokee Run—Limited Entry, by Carson City, brought $300,000 as the session’s second-highest price from Ferguson Valley. Consigned by Lane’s End, agent, the colt is from the family of Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) winner Family Enterprize.
Pearl Street Farm went to $280,000 to acquire the session’s third-highest price, a son of Tiznow out of the Wild Rush mare Dirty Rush, from consignor Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.
The highest-priced broodmare of the session was Ourfavoritesong, who brought $200,000 from Quarter B Farm/Tim Boyer. The 4-year-old mare, who is in foal to Tiznow, was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent. Ourfavoritesong, by Unbridled's Song out of the Danzig mare Danzig Key, is a half-sister to Anne Arundel Stakes (gr. III) winner Martha’s Music (by Sultry Song). She also is from the family of Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) winner Nine Keys and Manhattan Handicap (gr. I) victor Silver Voice.
The 230 horses sold Nov. 7 grossed $12,786,000 and averaged $55,591. The median was $45,000. A year ago, the 245 hips sold in the fifth session brought $22,034,500 for an average of $89,937 and median of $65,000. The number sold dipped 6.1%, and the gross plummeted 42% compared to last year’s figures for the same session. The average dropped 38.2%, and the median declined 30.8%. The percentage of buy-backs for the 2008 fifth session was 31.1%, compared to a buy-back rate of 24.6% for last year’s comparable session.
Cumulative figures for the first five sessions were 954 sold for a gross of $144,067,000. The number sold and gross were down 14.9% and 46.9%, respectively, from the corresponding figures of 1,121 and $271,446,500 from a year ago. Compared to 2007, the average dropped 37.6%, from $242,147 to $151,014, while the median fell 37.2% from $125,000 to $78,500.
The Keeneland November breeding stock sale continues through Monday, Nov. 17.