Solvig Tops Second Day of Keeneland January Sale

Solvig brought $750,000 to top the second day of the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale Jan. 9 at the Central Kentucky auction house, but session and cumulative numbers compared to last year took a slight dip.

The multiple graded-stakes winner was purchased in foal to Gainesway Farm stallion Afleet Alexby Canadian Adrian Munro of Highfield Stock Farm from the consignment of Rick Abbott's Charlton, agent for the complete dispersal of the late F. Eugene Dixon Jr.

For the day, Keeneland reported 267 horses sold grossed $23,112,200, which was a decrease of 6.1% from the total of $24,626,400 for the 246 sold in 2006. The average fell 13.5%, from $100,107 to $86,563. The median dropped 14.5%, from $55,000 to $47,000. The buy-back rate fell from 18.3% to 16.6% this year.

Included in Keeneland's session numbers is the Dixon dispersal, which was consigned by Charlton and the Hancock family's Claiborne Farm. The Dixon dispersal grossed $4,825,500 for 64 horses sold. The average was $75,398.

The day's figures also include two stallion shares, one in Claiborne Farm stallion Monarchos and the other in Northview Stallion Station's stallion Not For Love. Blossom Racing Stable purchased the share in Monarchos for $15,000. The Elkstone Group purchased the share in Not For Love for $50,000.

"I would say it was a typical January sale," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland director of sales. "It has a higher variable from year to year than any other sale. This year is just slightly off from last year and the catalog is off from last year.

"The not sold rate was down today but that of course is probably credited to the dispersal because in a complete dispersal everything sells. That probably helped the average a little bit, too."

Russell said it is too early to read any negative connotations into the health of the market. "By the end of business Friday, that will be a better time to decide on how the market is doing. We just need to go through the week to see where we are."

The cumulative results for the two sessions were 478 horses sold, a gross of $42,082,200, an average of $88,038, and a median of $50,000. The decreases compared to 2006 are 10.7% for gross, 7.2% for average, and 3.8% for median. The buy-back rate was 21.8% compared to 20%.

"Both days, I felt were very solid," Russell said. "I think the people that are here are willing to spend the money if the right thing is put in front of them."

Munro said Solvig's foal by Afleet Alex would be sold commercially. No decision has been made concerning a 2007 mating for Solvig.

"She's just got everything," said Steve Johnson of Margaux Stud Farm, who was seated alongside Munro and who advises him on purchases. "She's in foal to the right stallion. She's got the race record. She's just a lovely mare."

Under the Erdenheim Farm banner, with Abbott doing the bidding, Dixon purchased Solvig for $950,000 at the 2006 Keeneland January sale. Gainesway, agent, consigned the filly in foal to Smarty Jones on behalf of her breeder, Bentley L. Smith.

Dixon, nephew of George D. Widener, died in August at age 82. He was the longtime chairman of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission and was instrumental in the passage of account wagering, off-track betting, and slot-machine legislation in the state.

Dixon boarded his mares at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky and at Abbott's farm in Pennsylvania.

A daughter of Caerleon, Solvig captured the Regret (gr. IIIT) and Pucker Up (gr. IIIT) Stakes in 2000 and won three other added-money events. She is out of the Nashwan mare Incha and from the family of such standouts as champion Plugged Nickle, Raja Baba, and Christiecat.

The top-priced yearling offering on the day was a $295,000 daughter of Dynaformer out of the grade II winning Petionville mare Caught in the Rain. Eldon Farm Equine purchased the dark bay or brown yearling from the consignment of Mill Ridge Sales Agency, agent.

The filly was bred in Kentucky by Lochlow Farm and is from the family of stakes winners Elevated and Starry Night.

Hip-by-hip results from Keeneland

 Leading Buyers, Consignors, Broodmares/Prospects, and Sires:  Session Two