Keeneland January Sale Ends With Biggest Ever Gross, Median

Keeneland's January horses of all ages sale closed out its record-setting run Sunday in Lexington with gross revenue of $72,174,900.

The all-time high total eclipsed the former mark of $66,592,000 in 1988, based on Keeneland records, which include the Nelson Bunker Hunt dispersal. According to The Blood-Horse, which does not include the Hunt dispersal in its figures, the previous record was $60,937,500 in 2000.

The average price for the auction was $44,443, which was the third-highest amount by Keeneland's accounting and the second-highest, according to the The Blood-Horse. This year's median price of $16,000 is a record, passing the previous mark of $14,000 in 2000. The number of horses sold, 1,624, also set a new standard, blowing past the 1,381 former high in 1991.

Compared to last year, the 2006 figures were up 19.3% for number sold, 35.1% for gross, 13.2% for average, and 23.1% for median.

Not included in the 2005 numbers listed above were three stallion shares that grossed $4,200 and a lifetime breeding right that sold for $150,000.

"The January sale has come of age," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales, in a prepared statement.  "It's no longer a local, domestic sale, but a continuation of the November (breeding stock) sale. There was a very international contingent of buyers here from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, South America, and Mexico. These are countries which representatives from Keeneland, in conjunction with the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, have made an effort to visit as part of an emerging markets initiative. We are building relationships with horsemen in these markets, and they are coming to Central Kentucky because it is the horse capital of the world." 

During the January auction's seventh and final session Sunday, 185 horses sold for a gross of $1,402,000, an average of $7,578, and a median of $4,700.

Steph's Tee, a 5-year-old winning daughter of Lil E. Tee, brought the top price of $65,000 while selling as a broodmare prospect. Produced from the stakes-winning El Baba mare Classy Irene, she is full sister to added-money winner Tee to Green and a half-sister to stakes-placed Fast Busy, who is the dam of grade I winner and Eclipse Award finalist Adieu. John G. Sikura purchased Steph's Tee from Old Frankfort Stud, agent.

During the sale's seventh and final session Sunday, 185 horses sold for a gross of $1,402,000, an average of $7,578, and a median of $4,700.

Hip-by-Hip Results from