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Difficult first day
at Keeneland

THE disappointment of Azeri's failed sale compounded a difficult first session at the Keeneland January Sale with theaggregate falling by 44 per cent compared to the $21,325,900 total achieved in 2008 to $11,945,900.

The average for the 202 horses sold of $59,138 was a fall of 45.9 per cent from $109,364 in 2008, while the median decreased by 50.9 per cent from $55,000 to $27,000. The clearance rate was 76 per cent.

"I spoke to many consignors and buyers today, and they thought the sale was performing to their expectations," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales. "Given the current state of the global economy, people have adjusted their expectations. Consignors brought their horses here to sell, as evidenced by the not-sold rate, which was down nearly 20 percent."

Top spot was shared between two mares - Island Fashion, in foal to Ghostzapper, and the Grade 3 runner-ip Almonsoon, who was sold as a racing prospect. Both made$950,000.

Naohiro Hosoda signed the ticket for Island Fashion on behalf of Katsumi Yoshida, owner of Northern Farm in Japan.

"She is a good racemare, she's still young, and she's in foal to Ghostzapper," said Hosoda of Island Fashion, winner of more than $2 million, includingthe Alabama (G1) and La Brea (G1) Stakes and the Santa Monica Handicap (G1), during her racing career.

A nine-year-old mare by Petionville, Island Fashion was consigned by Pope McLean (Crestwood Farm), as agent for Jeff Nielsen's Everest Stables.

Southern Equine Stables bought Almonsoon, who was consigned by Hill ‘n' Dale Sales Agency.

"We're looking for about 30 foundation mares, and the more I looked at her, the more I thought she could be one of them," said trainer Eric Guillot, who signed the ticket on behalf of Southern Equine. "She's gorgeous and she's got the pedigree; she's by Giant's Causeway and a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winners (A.P. Arrow and Geri)."









King's Theatre £1,143,037
Presenting £1,059,143
Beneficial £986,639
Oscar £896,303
Milan £863,940
Westerner £839,346
Flemensfirth £755,621
Kayf Tara £657,982
Midnight Legend £595,809
Stowaway £503,470