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Keeneland January Sale ends with huge declines

THE Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale drew to an end yesterday, with the sixth session replicating the steep declines in trade seen throughout the previous five days.

Race Artist, a 16-year-old daughter of Mr. Prospector consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, brought the highest price of the seventh session when she sold to Peter Blum for $85,000.

A winner of the Grade 3 Virginia Handicap in 1996, Race Artist is a half-sister to So Ritzy, the dam of Grade 1 winner Silver Wagon. Her offspring to date include the stakes winner Cherokee Girl and last year's Grade 2 Ohio Derby runner-up Cherokee Artist.

The first palomino thoroughbred to be offered at Keeneland sold for $14,000 to Dr. Naveed Chowan. The Ballado Chieftain filly, named Splash Of Vanilla, was consigned by Triple B Stables.

In total, 213 horses were sold for an aggregate of $1,795,800 in the sixth session. The average was $8,431 and the median was $4,000.

Over the six-day sale, 1,338 horses found buyers. They grossed $32,824,000, down 53.4 per cent from last year's seven-day sale. This year's average of $24,532 was 48 per cent down on the $47,185 achieved last year. This year's median price was $9,500, which was 44.1 per cent down on last year's figure of $17,000.

One ray of light was the number of no bids and vendor buy-backs, which declined from 24 per cent at the 2008 renewal to 21.8 per cent this year.

Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales, said: "Consignors adjusted their expectations in light of this new global economy and trading was spirited throughout, as evidenced by the decline in the number of buy-backs. Quality individuals still continued to generate interest and value.
"Keeneland has established a diverse, global network of horsemen, and their influence has provided support for consignors in what is a difficult market," he continued.

"In all, buyers representing more than 41 different countries purchased horses at Keeneland this sales year. Keeneland is synonymous worldwide with the very best in thoroughbred racing and sales."

Rachel Pagones examines the Keeneland price crash in Monday's Racing Post.





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