Some record prices, an increase in million-dollar horses, and the presence of the world's top buyers drove significant increases in totals as the Keeneland's November Breeding Stock Sale reached its midpoint Saturday.Following six days of selling, 1,407 horses have grossed $269,049,500, up 4.3% from last year's gross of $257,839,900 for the corresponding period. The average of $191,222 represents a 3% increase over $185,630 in 2005. The median rose 22.2% from $90,000 in 2005 to $110,000 this year.On Saturday, Keeneland sold 271 horses for gross receipts of $20,496,000, up 37.1% from the corresponding session in 2005 when 258 horses brought $14,952,500. The average of $75,631 was up 30.5% from last year's figure of $57,955, while the median rose 41.2% to $60,000 compared to $42,500 in 2005. "The results continue to bear out the fact that Keeneland is where the world comes to shop for top-quality Thoroughbreds," said Geoffrey Russell, director of sales. "Thanks in part to the Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs and a favorable exchange rate, we have an internationally diverse group of buyers from Europe, Asia, Australia and South America who are actively spending deep into the sale. Horsemen the world over know that the strongest selection of Thoroughbred bloodstock is found at Keeneland." In its first week of sales, Keeneland sold 27 horses for $1 million or more compared, to 26 sold in November 2005. The 3-year-old stakes winner Half Ours, sold as a racing or stallion prospect, brought a final bid of $6.1 million from Aaron Jones to establish a Keeneland sale record for a horse in training. The colt was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency and sold to dissolve the partnership of owners Jones and Barry Schwartz.Among the week's other highlights was the sale of the grade I stakes-winning mare Madcap Escapade, sold in foal to Pulpit, for $6 million to John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Bloodstock. Sikura purchased the mare from the consignment of Claiborne Farm, agent for owner W. Bruce Lunsford. Sikura also bid $4.5 million to acquire Sassy Pants, the dam of Madcap Escapade, from the consignment of agent Dromoland Farm Inc. Keeneland sold two record-breaking weanlings during its opening sessions, establishing a North American record price for a weanling colt sold at public auction when Japanese agent Nobutaka Tada, signing in the name of Globe Equine Management Ltd., paid $2.7 million for a half-brother to the recently deceased European champion Electrocutionist. Agent Indian Creek Farm (Dave C. Parrish, Jr.) consigned the colt. A filly by Gone West out of European champion Islington (Ire) set a Keeneland sale record for a weanling filly, going for $2.4 million to Marc-Antoine Berghracht of the M.A.B. Agency, who bid on behalf of Spanish businessman Alberto Abajo. The filly was consigned by Paramount Sales, agent for Ballymacoll Stud Farm.
Top price during the Saturday session was $425,000 paid by agent Lonnie Kirby for the 3-year-old mare Golden Sphinx, in foal to Elusive Quality . By Storm Cat out of the graded stakes winner Gold Sunrise, the mare was consigned by agent Brookdale Sales. Keeneland's November Breeding Stock Sale runs through Nov. 19. Sessions begin at 10 a.m. each day.