Champion Phone Chatter, sold Tuesday for $3.6-million.

Champion Phone Chatter, sold Tuesday for $3.6-million.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Keeneland Numbers Rebound; Phone Chatter Sells for $3.6-Million

After a drastic downturn Monday from the comparable session one year ago, the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale rebounded Tuesday as the second day average and median were more closely in line with the comparable day one year ago.

Keeneland cataloged fewer horses this year and consequently the total number sold and aggregate sales receipts were below those of day 2 in 2000.

Keeneland reported 180 horses were sold Tuesday for a total of $57,193,000. The average price was $317,739 and the median was $160,000. The 66 horses that did not sell Tuesday represented an RNA rate of 26.9%.

During the comparable session in 2000, there were 223 horses sold for a gross of $72,513,000, an average of $325,170 and a $170,000 median. The RNA rate was 28%.

Keeneland sales director Geoffrey Russell said it is apparent that buyers are being selective and that there were more champion or champion-caliber mares offered Tuesday. "At the upper end of the market they are bringing their value," Russell said. "People are being very selective and very cautious in what they are willing to spend on some horses."

Top price Tuesday of $3.6-million was paid by Coolmore Stud's John Magnier to purchase champion Phone Chatter. Consigned by Fred Seitz' Brookdale Farm, as agent for the reduction of breeding stock owned by Herman Sarkowsky, Phone Chatter was in foal to Dixie Union. A 10-year-old daughter of Phone Trick, Phone Chatter has been represented by grade II winner Cat Chat.

Magnier said he paid more than he would have liked to get Phone Chatter, but noted, "the market determines these types of things."

Russell noted that if Phone Chatter had been in foal to a proven sire such as Storm Cat rather than the unproven Dixie Union, "who knows what she would have brought."

Earlier in the session, the dams of two of North America's top handicap horses this year each brought bids in excess of seven figures within minutes of each other.

Acting on behalf of Jayeff B Stable, agent Reynolds Bell Jr. went to $3-million to acquire Dancing Mahmoud, the dam of multiple grade II winner Guided Tour. Consigned by Eaton Sales, Dancing Mahmoud is an 11-year-old daughter of Topsider sold in foal to Seeking the Gold.

"In terms of her production, looks, pedigree and what she is carrying, I had her rated as one of the best in the sale," Bell said. Bell said the purchase price was "exactly what I expected."

Shortly before Dancing Mahmoud went through the ring, Cee's Song, the dam of reigning Horse of the Year Tiznow, was purchased by Dromoland for $2.6-million. Consigned by Craig Bandoroff's Denali Stud to settle an estate, Cee's Song was sold in foal to Cee's Tizzy, meaning she was carrying a full sibling to two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner Tiznow and to $2.8-million earner Budroyale.

The 3-year-old filly Golden Ballet, a multiple grade I winner this year, brought $1.6 million from Aaron Jones. Golden Ballet, by Moscow Ballet out of the Slew o' Gold mare Golden Jewel Box, was sold as a broodmare prospect. She won six of 10 starts, including the Santa Anita Oaks and Las Virgenes Stakes, both grade I, and earned $732,145.

Golden Ballet raced for Bill Heiligbrodt and Barry Irwin's Team Valor and was sold by Denali Stud, agent.

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