Unbridled Elaine, topped Keeneland sale session at $4.4 million.

Unbridled Elaine, topped Keeneland sale session at $4.4 million.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Gross, Median Prices Increase as Keeneland Sale Gets Off to a Healthy Start

Topped by millionaires Unbridled Elaine and Take Charge Lady, Keeneland's November breeding stock sale jumped out to a healthy start Monday, with a 16.2% increase in gross receipts over the same session one year ago. The median price rose 2.8%, the buyback rate was down substantially, and the average price fell 5% over the same session last year.

"It's a great start for the November sale of 2004," said Keeneland sales director Geoffrey Russell.

Keeneland reported 213 horses sold Monday for a total of $80,976,500, with an average price of $380,171 and a median of $185,000. The 51 horses that did not attain their reserves represented 19.3% of the total through the ring.

During the comparable session one year ago, 174 horses grossed $69,661,000. The average price was $400,351 and the median was $180,000 during the first session in 2003. The 74 horses that did not sell represented 29.8% of the total through the ring.

"To surpass last year's gross by $11 million is great," Russell said. "The RNA rate was about as low as you could ever get. The consignors have read the market very well and adjusted their reserves accordingly."

A 6-year-old daughter of Unbridled's Song in foal to Forestry, Unbridled Elaine was purchased by John Ferguson, agent for Sheikh Mohammed, for $4.4 million from the consignment of Taylor Made Sales, agent for the dispersal of the estate of Betty Devenport.

A half-sister to grade I winner Glitter Woman produced from the Taylor's Falls mare Carols Folly, Unbridled Elaine won six of 11 career starts and earned $1,770,740.

Ferguson said that in addition to her stellar race record, part of Unbridled Elaine's appeal was the fact she is in foal to Forestry.

Take Charge Lady, in foal to Seeking the Gold, was purchased by Eaton Sales for $4.2 million on behalf of a partnership that wished to remain unnamed. Overbrook Farm was the underbidder for the mare consigned by Three Chimneys Sales.

"I thought she was as nice as any mare in the sale," said Eaton Sales partner Reiley McDonald, noting that the final purchase price was a little more than he expected to pay for the mare. "She was sound and durable and won at different distances. She looks like she could go out and run tomorrow."

The session's third-highest price of $3.6 million was shared by Stellar Jayne, the grade I winner who finished third in the Breeders' Cup Distaff – Presented by Nextel (gr. I), and Dessert, the 2003 Del Mar Oaks (gr. I) winner.

Consigned by Bruce Kline's Spendthrift Farm, Stellar Jayne was sold as a racing or broodmare prospect and was bought by Ferguson. A 3-year-old daughter of Wild Rush, Stellar Jayne won the Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) and Dogwood Breeders' Cup (gr. III) this year.

Ferguson said a decision on whether the filly would continue to race or be retired would be made by Sheikh Mohammed.

Dessert, consigned by Lane's End and in foal to Kingmambo, was purchased by Shadwell Farm. The 4-year-old daughter of Storm Cat was produced from the champion Lear Fan mare Windsharp, the dam of John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Johar.

"She has got Storm Cat knees, but other than that she is a beautiful mare," said Shadwell general manager Rick Nichols, who added that he thought the mare would have brought more than he paid for her.

The session's fifth-highest price of $2.3 million was paid by Live Oak Stud for Cat Fighter, a Storm Cat filly who won the La Canada Stakes (gr. II) sold as a racing or broodmare prospect. Produced from multiple grade I winner and graded stakes producer Strategic Maneuver, Cat Fighter was consigned by Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency.

Monday's session included a partial dispersal of horses owned by the estate of the late John Franks. Topping the Franks' horses, which were consigned by John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency and sold without reserve, was millionaire Halo America, a 14-year-old daughter of Waquoit. The mare, a grade I winner who earned $1.4 million, was purchased by Sikura for $1,450,000.

Taylor Made Sales Agency was the session's leading consignor by gross, with 48 horses selling for $19,980,000, an average price of $416,250. Ferguson was leading buyer Monday, with five horses bought for a total of $9.5 million, an average of $1.9 million.

At the end of the session, a season to Medaglia d'Oro was sold for $35,000 to benefit the rebuilding fund at the Woodford County (Kentucky) Humane Society. The live foal season was donated by Richard and Audrey Haisfield, who operate Never Tell Farm near Versailles, Ky.

The sale continues daily through Nov. 19.

Top Prices

Price -- Hip No. -- Description -- Seller -- Buyer

$4,400,000 -- 77 -- Unbridled Elaine, gray/roan mare, Unbridled's Song-Carols Folly, by Taylor's Falls -- Taylor Made Sales, agent for dispersal of the estate of Betty Devenport -- John Ferguson Bloodstock

$4,200,000 -- 67 -- Take Charge Lady, bay mare, Dehere-Felicita, by Rubiano -- Three Chimneys Sales -- Eaton Sales, agent

$3,600,000 -- 51 -- Stellar Jayne, gray/roan filly, Wild Rush-To the Hunt, by Relaunch -- Spendthrift Farm -- John Ferguson Bloodstock

$3,600,000 -- 169 -- Dessert, dark bay/brown mare, Storm Cat-Windsharp, by Lear Fan -- Lane's End -- Shadwell Farm

$2,300,000 -- 128 -- Cat Fighter, dark bay.brown mare, Storm Cat-Strategic Maneuver, by Cryptoclearance -- Hill 'n; Dale Sales Agency -- Live Oak Stud

$2,000,000 -- 113 -- Better Than Honour, bay mare, Deputy Minister-Blush With Pride, by Blushing Groom -- Lane's End -- BBA (Ireland)

$1,750,000 -- 181 -- Elloluv, bay filly, Gilded Time-Currency Quest, by Cryptoclearance -- Three Chimneys Sales -- Frank Stronach

$1,700,000 -- 203 -- Happily Unbridled, bay mare, Unbridled-Spire, by Topsider -- Taylor Made Sales Agency -- Frederic Sauque

$1,600,000 -- 14 -- Profit Column, chestnut mare, Private Account-Ballet de France, by Northern Dancer -- Claiborne Farm, agent -- Classic Star LLC

$1,500,000 -- 54 -- Stylish, bay mare, Thunder Gulch-Miss Lenora, by Theatrical -- Lane's End -- Malibu Farm

$1,450,000 -- 295 -- Halo America, gray mare, Waquoit-Ameriangel, by Halo -- Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency, agent for the Estate of John Franks.

$1,250,000 -- 42 -- Silver Tornado, gray/roan mare, Maria's Mon-Silvery Swan, by Silver Deputy -- Runnymede Farm Inc., agent -- BBA (Ireland)

$1,250,000 -- 45 -- Smok'n Frolic, gray/roan mare, Smoke Glacken-Cherokyfrolicflash, by Green Dancer -- Three Chimneys Sales, agent for Dogwood Stable -- Frank Stronach

$1,200,000 -- 177 -- Dublino, Dark bay/brown mare, Lear Fan-Tuscoga, by Theatrical -- Narvick International -- Cheveley Park Stud

$1,000,000 -- 246 -- Mila, bay mare, Unbridled-Incha, by Nashwan -- Claiborne Farm, agent -- Claiborne Farm

Results, leading buyer, leading consignor, leading sire lists from Keeneland