Jan 8, 2013 8:02 PM
Buyer enthusiasm for quality individuals drove strong trade throughout day two of Keeneland's January Horses of All Ages Sale, resulting in two seven-figure sales and double-digit increases in gross, average and median price.
Cumulatively, Keeneland has sold 449 horses for $35,345,100, up 17.37 percent over the comparable two sessions in 2012 when 487 horses brought $30,115,300. The average of $78,720 increased 27.30 percent from $61,838 recorded last year. The median rose 16.67 percent from $30,000 to $35,000.
During the first two days, 10 horses have been sold for $500,000 or more compared to four during the opening two sessions last year. Three horses have brought seven-figure prices versus only one in 2012.
On Tuesday, 248 horses grossed $20,013,700, an increase of 23.67 percent over 2012 when 278 horses brought $16,183,100. Average price was up 38.63 percent from $58,213 to $80,700. The median of $40,000 rose 48.15 percent from last year's $27,000.
Contributing to the gains on Tuesday was the complete dispersal of Issam Fares' Fares Farm, Lane's End, agent, which sold 54 horses for $6,736,000, for an average of $124,741 and a median of $102,500.
"It was a very good day," said Keeneland Vice President of Sales Walt Robertson. "The top of the market was great. We've seen strong participation from domestic buyers, which we welcome."
Topping the Tuesday session - and the sale to date - is the $1.45 million bid by Canadian Nat Rea's Regis Farms for a yearling filly by Street Sense. The price is the second-highest ever paid for a yearling at the January Sale, ranking just behind the $3.4 million bid in 1998 for the filly Inkling. The top price for a yearling colt is $1.15 million spent for Videographic, also sold in January 1998.
Out of stakes-winner Please Sign In, by Doc's Leader, the filly is a half-sister to Shadwell Fillies' Mile (G1) winner Certify and Oak Leaf Stakes (G1) winner Cry and Catch Me, and from the family of such champions as English champion Habitat, European champion Suave Dancer, Italian champion Suave Tern and German champion Shicklah.
She was consigned by Alfred Nuckols Jr.'s Hurstland Farm, who bred the filly in partnership with William Kartozian and Darley.
"She was a beautiful filly for her size. I've had the whole family for four generations and she's probably the nicest individual to come along so far," Nuckols said. "This has been a very special family for Hurstland Farm and for the Nuckols family."
Half-sisters Keertana and Snow Top Mountain - each multiple graded stakes winners - brought the day's second- and third-highest prices. Both mares were consigned by Four Star Sales, agent for the late Barbara Hunter's Brownwood Farm.
"It was very nice to see how highly people thought of Ms. Hunter's breeding program," Robertson said.
Craig Bandoroff's Denali Stud, on behalf of an undisclosed domestic client, paid $1 million for Keertana, a seven-year-old daughter of Johar out of the Storm Cat mare Motokiks. Motokiks is a full sister to stakes winner Catoki and a half-sister to Italian champion Knifebox and Discovery Handicap (G3) winner Parochial.
A millionaire on the racetrack, Keertana recorded 11 wins in 29 starts, including six stakes - the Regret Stakes, Grey Goose Bewitch Stakes, Glen Falls Handicap, The Very One Stakes and Louisville Handicap, all Grade 3, as well as the Indiana Downs Distaff.
Dr. Jens von Lepel, representing Virginia-based Audley Farm Equine, went to $950,000 to acquire Snow Top Mountain, sold in foal to Blame.
By Najran out of Motokiks, the six-year-old mare finished in the money 17 times in 24 starts, recording wins in the Suwannee River Stakes (G3), Edward P. Evans All Along Stakes (G3) and Kentucky Cup Ladies Turf, among others.
"She is a very nice mare; great racing performance, that is really what you want," von Lepel said. "It's very hard to find really good-quality mares, and you have a lot of competition. Everyone is looking for quality."
Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings purchased three horses for $1,820,000 to be the session's leading buyer, highlighted by two mares - Salty Strike and Supreme - for $800,000 each.
Salty Strike, a five-year-old daughter of Smart Strike, won the 2011 Dogwood Stakes (G3) and 2012 Gardenia Stakes (G3). She was consigned by Lane's End, agent, as a racing or broodmare prospect.
Stakes winner Supreme, in foal to leading sire Giant's Causeway, was consigned by Lane's End, agent for the complete dispersal of Fares Farm LLC. The six-year-old Empire Maker mare is out of Mon Belle, a full sister to 2001 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Monarchos.
Lane's End ranked as the day's leading consignor, selling 68 horses for $8,402,500.
The January Sale continues through Friday, January 11. Sessions begin daily at 10 a.m. EST. The entire sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.