A pair of weanlings--a filly and a colt--stole the show Nov. 7 during the second session of the 14-day Keeneland November breeding stock sale, with both establishing record-price marks.A half-brother to Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner Electrocutionist sold to Japanese bloodstock agent Nobutaka Tada in the name of Globe Equine Management for $2.7 million, to establish a North American record price for a weanling sold at public auction. That price topped the $2.4 million paid for Carpocrates (Storm Cat-Spain) during the 2004 Keeneland November mixed sale by Dromoland Farm.A filly by Gone West out of the champion mare Islington sold to French bloodstock agent Marc-Antoine Berghgracht for $2.4 million to establish a Keeneland record price for a weanling filly. That price topped the $2.3 million paid by Shadwell for Ghashtah (Nijinsky II-- My Charmer) during the 1987 November sale.The North American record for a weanling filly is $2.5 million for Dance of Life, purchased at the Newstead Farm dispersal at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky.For the session, Keeneland reported 178 horses sold for $65,880,000 to average $370,112. The median was $250,000 with 55 horses (23.6%) failing to sell. Compared to last year, the number of horses sold declined 7.3% from 192 head sold, while the gross rose 11.1% from $59,317,000. The average jumped 19.8% from $308,943 and the median was up 12.4% from last year's mark of $222,500.
Through two days of selling, 342 horses sold have grossed $149,675,000, a decrease of 4.9% from last year's gross of $157,138,000. The average is up 3.4% to $437,646 over last year's number of $123,220. The median increased 1.9% from $270,000 in 2005 to $275,000 this year. The RNA rate is 26.6% with 124 horses failing to meet their reserves."The international aspect of the market was again very interesting," said Keeneland director of sales Geoffrey Russell. "I thought today was another consistent day and I was pleasantly surprised with the number of million dollar horses, but we like those type of surprises."Though the weanlings stole the show, the highest price of the day was $2.8 million, paid by English bloodstock agent Hugo Lascelles to acquire the 5-year-old Irish-bred mare Because, in foal to Kingmambo, on behalf of an undisclosed international breeder. She was sold by Eaton Sales, agent.By Sadler's Wells, the mare is a full sister to champion Irish filly Quarter Moon and Irish 1,000 Guineas (Eng-I) winner Yesterday. The mare was consigned by Eaton Sales, agent."She's from about as an outstanding family as we've seen in a long, long time," Lascelles said. "Her pedigree is very alive; there is so much happening in her family. She's a very exciting mare."Lascelles said the new owner is not a commercial breeder but one who races his homebreds. He indicated the mare will likely remain in Kentucky and return to Kingmambo next year.Tada signed the ticket for the weanling colt for an unnamed client. The colt was consigned to the sale by Indian Creek, agent.Tada said the foal would race in Japan and it is his client's dream to win the Prix de l' Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I). "I liked everything about him, his physical, the pedigree, and he walked well," Tada said. "He has been an incredible foal all along," said Indian Creek's Shack Parrish, who noted the son of Montjeu had 136 individual looks Nov. 6. "He's been fine all along. He's a well-mannered horse with a hell of a pedigree."The Kentucky-bred colt, foaled April 28 this year, was produced from the Arazi mare Elbaaha, who was consigned by Indian Creek to the 2006 Keeneland January mixed sale carrying the top-priced weanling but failed to meet her reserve and was bought back for $1.175 million. "We're really happy now that we didn't sell her," Parrish said of the reserve price. Electrocutionist, a European champion who carried the colors of Godolphin, died of an apparent heart attack Sept. 9. The Kentucky-bred son of Red Ransom won the $6-million World Cup March 25, and finished second in his last start, the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot July 29. Electrocutionist also finished second behind Ouija Board in the Prince of Wales' Stakes (Eng-I).Electrocutionist won eight of his 12 career starts, including three group Is, and won more than $5.6 million. He was owned by Earle Mack and trained in Italy by Valfredo Valiani before being bought by Godolphin. He raced four times for the Dubai-based stable.Berghgracht purchased the bay filly for Alberto Abajo, who is involved in the real estate business in Spain and is new to the Thoroughbred business. The filly will be sent to France.
"The price was over what we wanted to spend," Berghgracht said. "We planned to stop at $1.5 million, but she was just outstanding, and we liked her." Berghgracht said Abajo planned to purchase a collection of broodmares but chose to purchase the weanling because he felt she was outstanding and her type of pedigree is not often available in Europe. Bred in Kentucky by Ballymacoll Stud Farm, the filly is out of European champion mare Islington, who raced for the executors of late Lord Weinstock with trainer Michael Stoute. Islington is a full sister to stakes winners Greek Dance, New Morning, and Election Day. She was consigned by Paramount Sales, agent for Ballymacoll.The sale continues through Nov. 19, with sessions beginning daiy at 10 a.m. Hip by hip results from KeenelandLeading Sires: Session Two