A bay daughter of Distorted Humor fetched $475,000 and topped the ninth day of the Keeneland September yearling sale as the middle market continued to show its strength by posting across-the-board gains.
McCarthy and Hertrich Livestock signed the ticket for the filly, who was consigned by Calumet Farm. The filly is out of the stakes-placed Seattle Slew mare Mysteries, who is also the dam of Japanese champion Hishi Akebono, multiple group I winner Agnes World, and stakes winner My Sea Castles. Additionally, Mysteries is the granddam of French champion Librettist and group I winner Dubai Destination.
For the session, Keeneland reported 286 horses sold for a gross of $14,670,600. The average was $51,296 and the median $42,000. The buy-back rate was 20.6%, an increase from last year's session rate of 19.3%.
Compared to the same session in 2006, the number of horses sold decreased 2.4%. The gross increased 21.1% from last year's figure of $12,112,700, while the average jumped 24.1% from last year's mark of $41,340. The median was up 40% from $30,000.
"The sale so far, I think, has been spectacular," said Keeneland director of sales Geoffrey Russell. "Today was very strong, and there was plenty of action from all sources, which reflected in a huge increase in gross, average, and median."
Compared with the first nine days of last year's sale, the number of horses sold decreased 2% from 2,316 to 2,269. The gross was down 6% from $377,183,700 to $354,731,200, and the average decreased 4% from $162,860 to $156,338. The median was up 12.5% from $80,000 to $90,000.
"At the moment, we have a lot of people on the grounds still willing to spend money for good horses," Russell said. "The consignors I have spoken to for tomorrow (Sept. 20) said they were very busy in the barn area. There are new people coming to town, and the horses have been well inspected in the barn, so those are positive indicators."
The top-selling colt of the day was a son of Jump Start who brought $260,000 from B. Wayne Hughes. Consigned by Dromoland Farm, agent, the colt was produced from the unraced Unbridled's Song mare Heythisis Sarah. Out of the winning Caveat mare Saratoga Warning, Heythisis Sarah is a half-sister to stakes winner Act Smart (by Smarten).
The sale continues Sept. 20 with the session beginning at 10 a.m.