Global buyers arrest declines at Keeneland

Global buyers help arrest declines at Keeneland By Ron Mitchell of Blood-Horse 11:45AM 19 NOV 2016

KEENELAND'S November breeding-stock sale has substantial international appeal spread across all levels of the market, but it is particularly an important part of trade as the marathon auction nears the finish line.

Boosted by competitive bidding from domestic and foreign buyers, Friday's session saw 211 horses sell for $1,976,200, compared with gross receipts of $1,754,000 for 175 horses during last year's 11th session. The session average fell seven per cent to $9,366 and the $5,000 median represented a 17 per cent decline.

With two sessions remaining at Keeneland, 2,382 head have changed hands for $213,684,200. At the same juncture a year ago, 2,375 had sold for $271,740,000. The cumulative average of $89,708 is down two per cent and the median is down six per cent at $32,000.


Recruiting buyers from other countries, particularly those in emerging markets, is an integral part of Keeneland's outreach programme and this week's activity is one reason why.

"We make efforts to go around the world and we're seeing some of the returns on those initiatives," said Geoffrey Russell, director of sales operations at Keeneland.

In addition to its core international representatives from Europe, Australasia, China, and Japan, Keeneland has representatives from the Lexington sales company travel far and wide to court potential buyers.

Over the course of week two, the deep buying bench has included owners, trainers, or their agents from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. A Keeneland sales representative had been to each of those countries-some more than once-over the course of the past year.

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One of the leading buyers at Keeneland this year has been Korean-based KOID, which has bought more than 50 broodmares for receipts totaling nearly $1.4 million in prices ranging from $2,700 to $100,000.

"Korea is a very exciting market at the moment-a market that has developed into one of the top racing and breeding countries," Russell said. "They are improving the quality of the horses and the racing, and they have the capital to take it to the next level. It is a strong market for the future.

"They have started to move in price range. They have started to import better stallions and they have to have the mares to go with them."

Schibell takes courage

Friday's top price of $125,000 was paid by Hot Wire, agent for Richard D Schibell, for the Medaglia D'Oro filly Courageisamajority, a four-year-old filly in foal to Carpe Diem consigned by Upson Downs Farm.

Out of the Grade 2 winner Hostess, by Chester House, Courageisamajority was a two-time winner who earned $112,419 and descends from the female family of Graded stakes winners Cupid, Heart Ashley, and Ashley's Kitten.

Edmond Hogan, who signed for the session-topper, said Schibell is returning to the horse business after a hiatus.

"It's good to see people coming into and getting back into the game," the agent said.

Top price for a foal of 2016 was the $65,000 bid of Dubois Bloodstock for a Cairo Prince -Nakiska Moon (by Malibu Moon ) filly from the Bill Murphy consignment.

The February foal is a half sister to four winners and descends from the female family of Grade 1 winners Desert Stormer and Better Lucky.

The November sale continues through Sunday with sessions starting at 10am local time.

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