Key figures dip as Keeneland sale continues

Key figures dip as Keeneland sale continues By Ron Mitchell of Blood-Horse 11:18AM 14 NOV 2016

MOONLIGHT SKY, a sister to Grade 3 winner Sky Girl, was sold for $240,000 to top Sunday's session of the Keeneland November Breeding-Stock Sale that saw key figures dip from the comparable session a year ago.

The three-year-old daughter of Sky Mesa, consigned by Craig and Holly Bandoroff's Denali Stud, was purchased by Kern Lillingston Associates, as agent for Triton Stable.

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With one win from nine starts, the chestnut filly has earned $106,099 and finished second in her last four starts, the most recent a runner-up effort in allowance company this month at Churchill Downs.

Bred in Kentucky by Clearsky Farms, the filly from the female family of Grade 1 winner Bevo and Grade 2 winners Wilburn and Beethoven was purchased by trainer Mark Casse for $285,000 from the Clearsky consignment to the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale and was trained by Casse for owner John Oxley.

For the session, which closed out Book 3 of the sale that continues until Sunday, Keeneland reported 233 lots grossed $10,147,000, compared with the $11,750,000 paid for 238 horses that changed hands during the sixth session in 2015.

The $43,549 average price represented an 12 per cent decline from the $49,370 figure last year and the median declined 13 per cent from $40,000 to $35.000. The 100 horses that did not sell Sunday were 30 per cent of the total through the ring.

To date, the cumulative average is down slightly from $157,983 to $155,941, as 1,154 horses have grossed $179,956,200, compared with the total $190,528,000 for 1,206 at the same stage of the 2015 sale. The cumulative median is $75,000, compared with $80,000 in 2015 and the not-sold rate is 31 per cent.

Of the 2,150 cataloged through six sessions, 483 horses were withdrawn.

Mark Taylor, sales director at Taylor Made Sales Agency, said the market was predictable for this stage of the sale, with little demand for horses that some breeders are culling.

"It's really tough selling middle-age mares who have no stakes horses or older mares, even if they have stakes horses," he said.

"If you have got relatively young horses carrying their first, second, or third foal that are well-covered [by a stallion] you will get good money. The culls are very difficult. There are not a lot of people in the lower echelons of the market trying to take other people's culls. Culls are culls."

Sunday's second-highest price of $230,000 came from Douglas Scharbauer for New Shaker, a six-year-old daughter of Bernstein in foal to 2014 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Bayern , who entered stud this year at Hill 'n' Dale Farm near Lexington and will stand for $15,000 next year.

Consigned by Hill ‘n' Dale Sales Agency, New Shaker is a half sister to Molto Grande, a stakes winner and multiple Group 3-placed in Japan.

New Shaker's dam, the winning Capote mare New Dice, is a half-sister to four stakes winners, including Grade 1 victor and sire Giralamo, and to the dams of Grade 1 winners Super Saver and Bluegrass Cat.

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