Record Keeneland Auction Ends

Record Keeneland Auction Ends
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Keeneland's record-setting November breeding stock came to a close Nov. 19.

Keeneland’s record-setting November breeding stock came to a close Nov. 19, setting a new standard for gross receipts of $340,877,200.

In all, 3,381 horses were sold during the 15-day sale, an increase of 7.4% over the 14-day sale of 2006, and the second-highest November sale total behind the 3,461 in 1999. The average of $100,821 was up 1.1% and was the second highest in the history of the sale, trailing the $102,842 of 2005.

The cumulative median was $35,000, which matched the sale-record figure attained in each of the last three years, while the buy-back rate of 22.2% was an improvement over the 2006 percentage of 23%.

As he said throughout the sale, Keeneland director of sales Geoffrey Russell believes the story of the 2007 November sale rests in a weakened U.S. dollar, which provided value-buying for international purchasers.

“The strength of this sale is the weakness of our dollar – that, and the popularity of the American Thoroughbred,” Russell said. “We have a large domestic market that no other country in the world has anything like. And then you add in the international flavor to it, it creates a wonderful atmosphere. No other sale company in the world has that advantage.”

The previous November mark of $317,666,000, which was set in 1999, was broken after nine sessions, and 2007’s final tally was up 8.6% over the $313,843,800 of last year.

“While racing seems to be having problems in our own country, racing internationally is becoming more popular in certain areas,” Russell said. “They are coming here to buy our product, which they believe is superior to everything else that is out there. And we are very happy with the response.”

John Ferguson was the top buyer of the sale, purchasing six for $19,450,000, including the broodmare record $10,500,000 paid for Playful Act in the auction’s opening session Nov. 5. Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings was the next highest buyer, purchasing nine for $11,035,000.

Taylor Made Sales Agency topped all consignors with 306 head sold for $41,089,400. Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency was next, selling 154 for $36,756,800.

The Nov. 19 final session saw 114 horses sold for a total of $673,500, producing an average of $5,908 and a median of $3,700. The buy-back rate was 26.9%.

The top-seller on the final day was the broodmare Sailing Minstrel, who was purchased by R.L. Stallard for $32,000 out of the Patricia Clark consignment. The 18-year-old daughter of The Minstrel–Gulls Cry, by Sea-Bird, who is in foal to Borrego, previously produced grade II winner Navesink.

The second-highest price of the day was the $30,000 given by Stoney Lane Farm for a weanling son of Five Star Day–Why Bother, by Gentlemen, which was sold out of the Nardelli Sales consignment. The colt was bred in Kentucky by Kim Nardelli and Rodney Nardelli.

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