William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm, which helped boost the Keeneland fall yearling sale to record levels on Tuesday, played another key role Thursday, selling the session topper for $600,000. The top price of the day was paid by Frank Mansell for a Belong to Me filly produced from the Seattle Slew mare Lassie Connection. Produced from the stakes-winning Buckpasser mare Lassie Dear, Lassie Connection is a stakes-producing half-sister to top European runner Wolfhound and to Weekend Surprise, the grade III-winning dam of Horse of the Year and sire A.P. Indy and Summer Squall.
The sale continued on a record pace, with Keeneland reporting 261 horses sold for a total of $27,132,000. The average was $103,954 and the median $60,000. A year ago, on the fourth day of the sale, Keeneland sold 297 head for $22,478,500. The average was $75,685 and the median $50,000. After the first four days of the sale, Keeneland has now sold 976 yearlings for a grand total of $220,799,500. The average is $226,229 and the median $120,000. A year ago, after the first four days of a record-breaking sale in its own right, Keeneland sold 1,052 yearlings for $171,364,000. The average was $162,894 and the median $90,000.
"I'm really not that surprised at the price that she brought," Bill Farish said of the session topper. "She is a very nice filly and with the pedigree that she has, I thought that she would bring a good price. That family has been a foundation mare for our farm, without doubt. It keeps producing stallion after stallion after stallion. It's really remarkable. It's been a great family and to get a filly out of that family, I think, probably was incentive for people to try and buy this filly."
After grossing more than $45-million on Tuesday, Lane's End grossed another $4,105,000 Thursday to easily top the list of consignors again.
"It's been unbelievable," said Bill Farish. "It's been beyond our wildest expectations. But I think the market shows that there is plenty of money out there for the good-looking horses with solid pedigrees. I think it will keep going, too. I think it will be strong right through the weekend. There are still a lot of people here and they are all looking for horses."
The sale continues daily at 10:00 a.m. through Sept. 23.