Brisk trade continues on Tuesday as average runs 20 per cent above 2017
Quality Road filly tops the eighth session at $420,000
A Quality Road filly bred by Stone Farm was the standout during Tuesday's session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, and was purchased by Sarah Kelley for $420,000 to top the auction's eighth day.
As has been the case since the marathon sale began last week, there was brisk activity in the barn area and outdoor and spirited bidding throughout the Tuesday session, as buyers showed no signs of fatigue.
Keeneland reported 271 yearlings were sold for $19,603,400, up 25.9 per cent when compared to the eighth session last year in which 285 horses brought $15,571,000.
The average of $72,337 was 32.4 per cent above last year's $54,635. The median of $50,000 represented a 25 per cent gain from $40,000 in 2017. The 105 head that went unsold Tuesday equated to a 28.1 per cent RNA rate.
With five sessions to go, Keeneland has sold 1,704 horses for $345,890,600, a 19.7 per cent increase from $288,869,000 in 2017.
The cumulative average is up 22.3 percent from $166,017 to $202,987, while the median was up 30 per cent from $100,000 last year to $130,000.
From 2,635 cataloged through the first eight days, 597 yearlings have failed to sell, representing 25.9 per cent of the total through the ring.
"Trade has been brisk - very solid and active," said Joe Seitz of Brookdale Sales. "We always do really well in the middle part of the sale. We've had a lot of activity in the back walking ring and some horses were shown 90 to 100 times yesterday even when it was raining. We were overrun with vets at the barn this morning, which is a good thing."
Consigned by Stone Farm, the Quality Road filly (Hip 2550) was a May 22 foal and the first produced from the Pulpit mare Chapel, a daughter of multiple Grade 2 winner Owsley and a half-sister to stakes winner Senada and stakes-placed Arthur's Tale and War Hoot.
"She's an outstanding individual and we're very happy to have won her," said McCalmont, adding that the filly was actually purchased by Jon Kelley as a gift to his wife, which is why it carried Sarah's name on the sale slip.
"She's a late foal from an organic farm," McCalmont said. "She has a lovely pedigree and the Kelleys were very comfortable with buying from Arthur and Staci Hancock."
Arthur Hancock said the filly was likely placed in the middle of the sale by Keeneland representatives because of her late foaling date.
"For the last three or four weeks she really began to grow," Hancock said. "She is poised and well balanced with a nice walk and has a great mind. She would have stood out anywhere."
The second- and third-highest priced yearlings on the day were both from the Bridie Harrison consignment as agent for breeder Peter E Blum Thoroughbreds.
Hip 2616, an Into Mischief colt named Authentic, was bought by SF Bloodstock/Starlight West for $350,000 and a Malibu Moon filly (Hip 2575) went to Spartan Bloodstock on a final bid of $335,000.
The Into Mischief colt is out of the winning Mr. Greeley mare Flawless and descends from a female family that includes Grade 1 winners Seventh Street, Reynaldothewizard and American Gal.
Named Crystal Ball, the Malibu Moon filly is out of the unraced Giant's Causeway mare Déjà Vu, a daughter of multiple stakes winner Sassy Pants and a half sister to Grade 1-winning millionaire Madcap Escapade and Grade 1 winner Dubai Escapade.
The sale continues on Wednesday.
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