The 2017 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale came to a close on Saturday, with 18 horses selling for $1 million or more over the 12-day stand.
Champion Stellar Wind was the overall sale topper, bringing $6 million on the first day from Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier to become the co-second-highest-price ever paid for a broodmare prospect at Keeneland. The Curlin mare, consigned by Lane’s End, agent, as Hip No. 153, has been retired with a date to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah on the horizon.
Book 1, held during the first two days of the sale, actually produced 17 of the sale’s 18 seven-figure horses, including 2016 Kentucky Oaks (G1) queen Cathryn Sophia (Hip 30, $2.3 million), who is in foal to Pioneerof the Nile, and a Curlin weanling half-brother to Grade 1 winner Violence (Hip 365, $1 million).
“The buoyant market we experienced in September flowed throughout this November Sale,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing and Sales Bob Elliston said. “Buyers are positive about the economy and the horse industry, and they are enthusiastic to invest, often more than originally budgeted, in that outstanding individual.
“Consignors set reasonable reserves and final prices blew past those reserves in many cases. The strong showing from Book 1 and the middle market gives us reason to be optimistic that this trend will continue.”
A total of 2,424 horses grossed $202,021,700 through 12 days of selling, representing a 5.9 percent decline over last year when 2,531 horses had brought $214,603,100 after 12 days at auction. The $83,342 average saw a slight dip of 1.7 percent when compared with the 2016 average of $84,790, while the $30,500 median rose 1.7 percent over the $30,000 median from a year ago.
The 2016 sale ran for 13 days, and 2,653 horses brought a final aggregate of $215,213,000 for an average of $81,121 and a median of $25,000. Comparing the final average and median of 2017 with the corresponding cumulative numbers for the 2016 auction reveal increases of 2.7 percent and 22 percent, while the final gross declined 6.1 percent.
The 2016 November Sale included the complete dispersal of Conquest Stables, which sold 100 horses for $11,207,500.
Saturday’s final session saw GOLD INDY, consigned as Hip 3988, and a colt from the first crop of Tapiture, sporting Hip 4055, tie as the day’s highest sellers at $35,000.
Adel M. Alatawy purchased Gold Indy, an 11-year-old daughter of A.P. Indy, from the Gainesway, agent, consignment. The Kentucky-bred bay mare is believed to be in foal to Tourist on a March 30 cover.
Gold Indy is out of the unraced Seeking the Gold mare Girl of Gold, making her a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Heart Butte. Girl of Gold is herself a half-sibling to Grade 1 heroine Fantastic Look, who produced Grade 1 victor Designed for Luck, and stakes vixen Fantastic Ways, who foaled Grade 3 scorers Miss Fortunate, Worldly Ways and Trial by Jury.
The Tapiture colt sold to Clarmont Bloodstock Club LLC from the Brookdale Sales, agent for Copper Penny Stables, consignment. The Kentucky-bred bay is out of the Fusaichi Pegasus mare Pegastorm, who is herself a daughter of multiple Grade 2-placed stakes heroine Storm’s Darling and a half-sister to Grade 3-placed multiple stakes victor Sweet Ducky.
The colt’s fifth dam is champion Smart Deb.
For the session, 115 horses sold for a total $687,100, an average of $5,975 and a median of $3,500. Those numbers represent drops of 25.2 percent, 3.1 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively, over the corresponding 2016 session where 149 horses were purchased for a gross $918,900, an average of $6,167 and a median of $3,700.
The next sale on the Keeneland calendar is the January Horses of All Ages Sale, scheduled for January 8-12, 2018.
KEENELAND NOVEMBER QUOTES
Donato Lanni, Director of Bloodstock Services for Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm
“November was a continuation of September; it was electric. There was a big appetite for quality horses. Anything with quality brought a lot more than what we thought they were worth. So that’s a good sign, a good indicator.
“Our horses are competing with the rest of the world and winning. We have a lot of speed in this country and people know that, keeps them coming back to Keeneland. It’s been a very good market.”
Liz Crow of first-time November Sale consignor ELiTE
“The market was so strong. A lot of people showed up, and there was a lot of demand for good quality horses. If you’re buying, it’s hard to buy at the top end of the market. It’s good for us as a consigner. If you put good horses on the market now, you get rewarded.”
Keeneland Vice President of Racing and Sales Bob Elliston
“This sale has such an international appeal; there was an abundance of top-level buyers who were active deep into the second week. Our sales staff, in concert with our representatives in Europe, Australasia, China and Japan, travel across the U.S. and around the world to recruit buyers and continually strengthen our buying bench. It’s a hallmark of what we do at Keeneland.”
Don Alberto Executive Director Fabricio Buffolo
“A lot of people are looking for the same thing. They want the top mares, the best mares. It’s very competitive at that level and you end up sometimes paying more than what you wish to pay. That’s the nature of the business. We believe that if the economy keeps going like it is, next year it’s probably going to be even more competitive on that level.”
Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell
“The weanling market was very strong, and first-crop sires created a lot of buzz. Both pinhookers and end users were buying. Pinhookers have done well so they were back in force. End users, many of whom breed their own horses, have decided that the November Sale is a good place to buy. That dynamic created added competition.”
Adrian Regan, Manager of Hunter Valley Farm
“It was a very strong market for weanlings the whole way through (the sale). We were expecting as much coming into the sale because (the) September (Sale) was so good. It was stronger than I expected to be honest.”