Elusive Quality tops Thursday morning session at $850,000.

Elusive Quality tops Thursday morning session at $850,000.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Keeneland Sale Remains Strong after Four Days

The steam roller known as the Keeneland September yearling sale continued to roll right along during Thursday's fourth session of the 14-day sale, besting the gross, average and median of the previous year. An Elusive Quality colt out of the Glitterman mare First Glitter commanded a final bid of $850,000 from bloodstock agent Buzz Chace, representing Aaron and Marie Jones.

The Florida-bred colt was consigned to the sale by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent. Pat Sengupta's Manali Farm bred the colt, who is from the family of grade III stakes winner Belle's Gold and stakes winners Real Ruckus and Air Cool.

"Mr. Jones saw this colt three days ago and just fell in love with him," Chace said. "I thought he was a star. He is by a very nice sire, and has all the right parts."

The colt will be sent to David McKathen's Ocala, Fla., farm to be broken.

Thursday's session grossed $37,175,000, with 273 head selling for an average price of $136,172. The median was $100,000. Last year, the session grossed $31,809,500 with 252 head selling for an average of $126,228. The 2003 median price was $90,000.

In total, the sale has grossed $231,743,000 compared to $198,223,500 in 2003. The 2004 average is $258,066, with 898 head selling for median price of $150,000. In 2003, 856 head averaged $231,570. The median was $140,000.

The Keeneland sale has a dark day Friday, with the sale resuming at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

"The momentum continues to roll along," Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland director of sales. "We hope people with the day off tomorrow will look at book three and continue to keep the ball rolling."

Russell said he was pleased with middle market continuing to hold steady and strong. "This is the top end of the middle market," Russell said. "People who couldn't get it done in book one moved right along to book two. Those who weren't successful in book two will move on to book three."

B. Wayne Hughes took home the two highest-priced fillies of the session, going to $800,000 to acquire a daughter of Touch Gold out of the grade III winning Arches of Gold from the consignment of Threave Main Stud, agent. About six hours earlier, Hughes spent $600,000 for a daughter of Unbridled's Song out of the unraced Storm Bird mare Listen Now from the consignment of Nardelli Sales.

"It was higher than we expected to go (for the Touch Gold filly), but I don't think Wayne was going to wait around all day and get outbid," said trainer Ron Ellis, who will condition both fillies. "Nice fillies with pedigree are hard to come by. Wayne came here with the idea that any filly he liked as an individual were worth going for and both of these fillies are very similar."

The Unbridled's Song filly is a half-sister to grade II stakes winner Listen Here and stakes winner Indy Bird and is from the family of grade I winner Listening (by Night Shift) and grade II winner Beautiful Noise.

John Oxley went to $750,000 to acquire a son of late stallion Deputy Minister out of the grade III-winning Spectacular Bid mare Princess Pietrina. Four Star Stables consigned the Kentucky-bred filly to the sale.

Champion racehorse and leading sire Deputy Minister, who stood at Fred Seitz' Brookdale Farm near Versailles, Ky., died Sept. 10. He was 25.

Oxley hesitated after his bid of $725,000 before going to the winning price of $750,000. "My wife said 'one more time' so I decided to keep going," Oxley said of his purchase. "He is a lovely colt and the price was right, although I thought I could get him for a little less."

A resident of Oklahoma, Oxley said the colt vetted very well and he showed a lot of class. "The eyes are still here for the good horses. He is a tall-legged colt and very beautiful."

The colt is from the family of grade II winner Miss Baja and grade III winner Stoneleigh's Hope.

A dozen hips after acquiring the Deputy Minister colt, Oxley went to $375,000 to take home a son of Giant's Causeway out of the Seeking the Gold mare Resurge. The Kentucky-bred colt was consigned by Castleton Group and is from the family of grade II winner Bio and stakes winner Order.

Top Prices for Thursday, Sept. 16

Price --Hip No. -- Description -- Consignor -- Buyer
$850,000 -- 922 -- Bay colt by Elusive Quality -- First Glimmer -- Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent -- Buzz Chace, agent.

$800,000 -- 1204 -- Bay filly by Touch Gold -- Arches of Gold -- Threave Main Stud, agent -- B. Wayne Hughes.

$750,000 -- 1071 -- Dark bay or brown colt by Deputy Minister -- Princess Pietrina -- Four Star Stables, agent -- John and Debby Oxley

$600,000 -- 0997 -- Dark bay or brown filly by Unbridled's Song -- Listen Now -- Nardelli Sales, agent -- B.Wayne Hughes

$475,000 -- 1092 -- Bay filly by Dixie Union -- Ryn -- Hermitage Farm -- Castletop Stables

$450,000 -- 1085 -- Bay colt by King's Best -- Rising Spirits -- Vinery -- Pegasus Farms

$450,000 -- 1087 -- Chestnut filly by Fusaichi Pegasus -- Rose Park -- Michael C. Byrne, agent -- Mary and Howard Lester

$450,000 -- 1138 -- Gray or roan colt by Brahms -- Tally Ho Annie -- Eaton Sales, agent -- Narvick International

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