November Breeding Stock Sale passes 2018 total with two days remaining
Creative Cause broodmare Upandtotheright tops Friday's session
With two days remaining in the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, cumulative gross sales have already exceeded the gross from the entire 2018 sale. Friday's session began the sale's final three-day Book 6.
From 3,992 horses catalogued for the first 10 sessions, Keeneland reported 2,370 horses have been sold for $198,257,400, an average price of $83,653 and a $31,000 median. The buyback rate is 20.1 per cent.
For the entire sale a year ago, 2,644 horses grossed $197,851,300 for an average price of $74,830 and a $25,000 median price.
During Friday's session, the $1,941,400 gross for 202 horses sold was down 33.6 per cent from the same day a year ago, with the average price of $9,611 declining 20 per cent and the session median even at $6,500.
Topping the session was Upandtotheright, a grey/roan daughter of Creative Cause purchased by John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale at Xalapa for $77,000.
Consigned by Lane's End, agent, as Hip 3766, the three-year-old was believed to be in foal to Connect. Produced from the winning Rubiano mare Comfort Zone, Upandtotheright is a half sister to multiple Grade 3 winner The Pamplemousse and stakes winner American Lady.
"She was beautiful," said Hill 'n' Dale's Donato Lanni. "It's a good female family, and she was a good-looking mare."
Lanni has been active throughout the sale. He is among a handful of agents who were buying at the top of the market during Book 1 and were still working it hard during the 10th day of the sale that continues through to Sunday.
"You've got to turn every rock over," Lanni said of his late-sale buying activity. "You can't stop working. I plan to still be here Sunday. You never know what you're going to find. You have to be here.
"I like buying in the last book; it's fun. It's a different crowd, but there's a lot of trading going on. It's just a different type of trading."
The top-priced weanling Friday was hip 3904, a Moyhaymen colt purchased by J & S Racing for $70,000 from the consignment of James B. Keogh's Grovendale.
Bred in Kentucky by Carrie Ann Walker, the colt is out of the War Chant mare Gayatri, a half sister to Grade 2 winner Kumari Continent and Grade 3 winner and stakes producer Passion.
Another buyer who likes to shop the Keeneland sale in the waning days is Brandon Rice, buying weanlings to resell through RiceHorse Stable that he operates with his wife, Ali.
"Because I'm helping my wife break and train the yearlings we've purchased, I can't come up for the entire sale, so I measure my pocketbook, which is not very long, and found it's best for me to come up for Books 5 and 6," Rice said. "Last year, I got some horses in these books I was pretty proud of, so I think I will be a regular here at this time of the year.
"At this point, (sellers) get realistic with their reserves, and guys with short pocketbooks can play ball here."
Rice's father, Bryan Rice, purchased eventual TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Storm the Court for $5,000 as a short yearling and resold him for $60,000 as a two-year-old.
"My eye (for a horse) comes from my grandfather and my father, so I use that same eye to see if I can buy something fancy," Rice said.
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