The Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale concluded its 12-day run in Lexington, Kentucky, with increases in average and median bolstered by the sale of 18 horses for $1 million or more.
Champion Stellar Wind (Curlin) (Hip 153) led the way bringing $6 million from Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier., the co-second highest price ever paid for a broodmare prospect at Keeneland. Lane’s End consigned the six-time Grade I winner on behalf of owner Hronis Racing. Stellar Wind will be retired and bred to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, according to Magnier, who led all buyers by gross.
Cumulative sales for the 12-day auction, held between Nov. 7-18, grossed $202,021,700 for 2,424 horses sold. Last year’s 13-day sale grossed $215,213,000 for 2,653 horses. The cumulative average of $83,342 was up 2.74% while the median surged 22% to $30,500 compared to 2016. The cumulative RNA rate was 24.7%; it was 26.9% a year ago. Last year’s November Sale also featured the Complete Dispersal of Conquest Stables, which included 100 horses who sold for $11,207,500. Medaglia d’Oro was leading covering sire with nine in-foal mares sold for $7.91 million at this year’s sale.
“The entire sale was very good,” Keeneland’s Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell said when reached for comment upon the conclusion of Saturday’s trade. “It was a very vibrant marketplace from the start of the sale all the way through. I thought it was very strong, especially in the upper and middle markets. Overall, the feeling that we got from buyers and sellers over the 12 days was that it was a very vibrant marketplace and quality offerings were bringing premium prices.”
Purchases at the top of the market were spread among a very diverse buying bench. Fourteen different buyers representing interests in the U.S., South America, Ireland, England and Japan accounted for the 18 horses sold for $1 million or more.
“It’s a good, diverse group of buyers,” Russell said. “It’s good to see with 18 horses bringing over a million dollars that it’s spread among a diverse group of buyers, both international and domestic. These mares are what everyone wants to buy and it therefore increases the price. Everybody is after that magic word ‘quality.’ The quality offerings–mares and foals–are bringing premium prices at the moment.”
The market for weanlings was also extremely lively, with a colt by Curlin (Hip 365) from the Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales consignment bringing a sale-topping $1 million from agent Andre Lynch. Plenty of first-crop sires were highly sought after as well, including the aforementioned American Pharoah. His five weanlings sold averaged $416,000, led by a $575,000 colt (Hip 984) from the Eaton Sales consignment purchased by Scott and Evan Dilworth. American Pharoah ranked third among all sires of weanlings by both gross and average.
“I thought the weanling pinhookers had a good year this year at the yearling sales, and with the stock market doing what it’s doing right now setting records consistently, there’s more money around and people are a little more confident with their cash,” Mark Taylor of Taylor Made Sales said by phone Saturday.
Russell added, “You had two factors going on–the pinhookers, who are a huge part of the weanling market, but also we’re starting to see some prominent end-users come in and buy foals. When those two forces team together, it increases the prices.”
Taylor Made Sales Agency was the sale’s leading consignor with 224 horses sold for gross receipts of $23,652,500 and an average of $105,592. Taylor Made sold four broodmares for seven figures, led by Oscar Party (Dixie Union) (i/f to Tapit) (Hip 114), who brought $1.9 million from Alpha Delta Stables.
“Everybody is trying to move up the ladder in terms of quality,” Taylor concluded.
The next Keeneland Sale on the calendar is the 2018 January Horses of All Ages Sale, to be held Mon. Jan 8, through Friday, Jan. 12.
Two horses sold for $35,000 a piece to top Saturday’s final session. Gold Indy (A.P. Indy–Girl of Gold, by Seeking the Gold), in foal to Tourist, sold to Adel Alatawy. The 11-year-old was consigned by Gainesway, agent, as Hip 3988. A colt from the first crop of Tapiture out of the Fusaichi Pegasus mare Pegastorm brought $35,000 from Clarmont Bloodstock Club. He was consigned by Brookdale Sales, agent for Copper Penny Stables, as Hip 4055.
On Saturday, Keeneland sold 115 horses for $687,100, good for an average of $5,975 and a median of $3,500. The RNA rate was 31.1%.