Keeneland Ends November Sale on Positive Note

Keeneland closed the books on the 2005 edition of its November mixed sale Friday with an increase in gross and records for average and median prices. The total number of horses sold fell slightly compared to last year.

"The sale exceeded our expectations for the year," said Keeneland director of sales Geoffrey Russell. "The sale was strong and consistent from start to finish. Now everyone can relax and enjoy the holidays and plan for the January sale."

The cumulative figures for the sale were:
--The gross of $289,602,900 for 2,816 hips sold over the 12 sessions was up 3.5% over the $279,680,200 figure for 2,873 sold one year ago. The number of horses sold decreased 2% from last year. The gross was the third-highest in the sale's 62-year history. The sale's record gross of $317,666,000 came in 1999.
--The average price of $102,842 represented a 5.6% increase over the 2004 figure of $97,348, which was the previous sale record.
--The median price of $35,000 is up 9.4% over the 2004 median of $32,000, which matched the previous high set in 1999 and 2003.
--The overall RNA rate was 24.1% (894 hips), less than one-half percent increase over last year's RNA rate of 23.1% (863).

"The average remained strong all the way through the sale," Russell said. "And you are always happy when the median goes up. Overall, it was an impressive sale."

The event's first day included the sale of champion filly Ashado for $9 million to John Ferguson, the buyer for Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. Ashado shattered the previous world record price for a female horse, set when Cash Run sold for $7.1 million during Keeneland's November 2003 sale. The price was the fourth-highest paid for a thoroughbred at auction.

Friday's final session posted increases in the number of horses sold, gross, and average. The median remained level.

The session was led by a pair of weanlings each selling for $55,000. Grand Oaks Stable purchased a son of Black Minnaloushe for $55,000 and Hill 'n' Dale Bloodstock equaled that amount for a son of Golden Missile.

Abbott Properties bred the son of Black Minnaloushe in Kentucky from the Personal Flag mare Pretty Personal. Four Star Sales, agent, consigned the colt, who is a half-brother to stakes winners Personal Pro and Pretty Suzi.

Frank Stronach's Adena Springs bred the son of Golden Missile in Ontario, Canada, from the stakes-winning Not For Love mare Forever Partners. The chestnut colt, who was consigned by Denali Stud, agent, is her first foal.

The session's top-priced broodmare, Royal Corona (by Holy Bull), was purchased for $50,000 by Ronald McPeek. Denali Stud, agent, consigned the mare in foal to Milwaukee Brew .

Royal Corona is from the family of stake winners Ocean's Answer, Canadian champion Northernette, and European champion Storm Bird. The mare has a yearling Golden Missile colt and produced a Sligo Bay colt this year.

The numbers for Friday were:
--Gross receipts of $1,591,400 for the 197 horses sold represented a 22.4% increase over the $1,300,400 gross when 188 horses were sold during the corresponding session in 2004.
--The average price of $8,078 was up 16.8% over the 2004 session average of $6,917.
--The median remained level at $4,200.
--The 74 horses which did not sell represented an RNA rate of 27.3%, compared with a rate of 24.8% when 62 went unsold last year, an increase of 10.1%.