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Enaya Alrabb tops brisk trade as agent Schenck goes to $640,000 to secure her

Book 1 of Keeneland January Sale closes with average and median up on last year

Enaya Alrabb, Tuesday's sale-topper at $640,000
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Topping trade on Tuesday at the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale was Enaya Alrabb, a four-year-old Uncle Mo filly who ran second in the Grade 1 Starlet Stakes as a juvenile.

Bred in Kentucky by Tony Holmes and Dr and Mrs Walter Zent, the filly is out of the graded stakes-placed Rhythm mare Lotta Rhythm and is a half-sister to graded stakes-placed winner Hattaash

She was consigned by Paramount Sales, agent, and purchased by bloodstock agent James Schenck for $640,000. 

"That was on the top end but she was lovely and she didn't turn a hair," said Pat Costello of Paramount Sales, whose outfit ended the day as the leading consignor with 21 horses sold for gross receipts of $1,858,000.

"She was a great racehorse so she deserved to bring it. We were delighted and the owners were delighted. Everybody is delighted. 

"If you bring the goods you get well paid - even better paid than you thought. But if you fall below the barrier it's tough getting it done." 

Schenck went to $560,000 to secure the second-highest priced mare of the day, a War Front filly named Confidently consigned by Glen Hill Farm. Bred in Kentucky by the Playa Maya Syndicate out of the Arch mare Playa Maya, the filly is a half-sister to champion and popular stallion Uncle Mo.

"She brought what we thought," said Craig Bernick of Glen Hill Farm. "She's a very pretty mare and it's January so you never know [about price], but quality sells. She's a beautiful mare.

"We thought about breeding and maybe selling her in November, but when I'm buying a horse myself I like to pick out the stallion. I thought whoever bought her would breed her to the stallion they wanted. I thought it was a good place to sell her."

Glen Hill, who were making their first return to the sale as a consignor in over a decade, were also responsible for the third highest price of the day, selling Inflamed to Shadai Farm for $525,000.

A daughter of Unusual Heat, the mare is the dam of Hollywood Derby winner Mo Forza, who is an Eclipse Award finalist in the category of male turf horse.

"I'm glad to see Glen Hill Farm back in the consignment business and selling two of the top three," said Keeneland director of sales operations Geoffrey Russell. "That was a good start back in the marketplace for them."

Schenck purchased one additional mare during Monday's opening session, a $280,000 daughter of Tapit named Hot Blooded Girl. Consigned by Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency, the six-year-old bay was bred in Kentucky by Northwest Farms out of the stakes-winning Wild Again mare Taste The Passion, who has also produced stakes winners StopshoppingdebbieShampoo, and Smarty Deb. Hot Blooded Girl was offered in foal to Curlin

By the close of Tuesday's session, gross receipts for Schenck's three purchases came to $1,480,000, making him the leading buyer of the sale so far. 

The second session of the sale generally saw brisk trade, posting increases in both the average and median prices.

From a total of 303 head offered, 233 were sold for total receipts of $17,288,800. At last year's session, a total of 253 head changed hands for gross receipts of $18,341,600. The average for 2020 was up 2.35 per cent to $74,201 over last year's figure of $72,496, and the median increased to $40,000, compared to last year's $35,000. 

The 70 horses that went unsold on Tuesday represented an RNA (reserve not attained) rate of 23.1 per cent, up on last year, when 56 horses were bought back for an RNA rate of 18.1 per cent.

Russell said he was pleased that the middle market played strong all day and that the supplemental catalogue helped inject a welcome influx of capital at the close of Tuesday's session, which officially marked the end of Book 1.

He said: "I thought today's session ended very well. The supplements were ones that we thought would be popular with the buyers, and they definitely shone a light tonight.

"I thought the first book was a very solid book of horses, a typical January catalogue without a major dispersal. The quality was good, so I'm happy with that."

Russell added: "James Schenck represented some new buyers who are just getting into the game and he definitely decided to aim for quality. He certainly picked the top quality mares who were on offer yesterday and today."

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That [$640,000] was on the top end but she was lovely and she didn't turn a hair
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