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Flanders: the Grade 1 winner and producer was bought by John Magnier

  PICTURE: Matt Goins 

Overbrook dispersal bolsters Keeneland

Year Cat Offered Sold Agg Average Median
2009 248 195 169 45,360,000 268,402 175,000
2008 304 229 150 42,006,000 280,040 160,000

MARES forming the final stage of the Overbrook Farm dispersal dominated the top of the market in the second session ofthe Keeneland November breeding stock on Wednesday, with the draft providing nine of the ten most expensive lots of the day, including all of the top five.

All told, 38 horses in the Eaton Sales-consigned Overbrook dispersal sold for $20,957,000, making an average of $551,500. They made up just under half of the turnover for all horses on day two.

Their presence arrested a sharp decline in turnover and average on 2008 figures seen on day one of the sale on Tuesday.The draft was offered without reserve and also boosted the session's clearance rate.

Top lot honours went late in the session to four-year-old Honest Pursuit, a dual winner last year who doesn't possess black-type, but is by Overbrook's lynchpin stallion Storm Cat, out of Grade 1 winner Honest Lady and a half-sister to another top-flight winner in First Defence. Her grand-dam is Juddmonte matriarch Toussaud, who died last December.

Goldikova's owner-breeders the Wertheimer brothers went to $3.1 million to secure the filly, a price which installed her as the most expensive broodmare at the auction so far, and which easily surpassed the $2.25 million paid by Katsumi Yoshida for 2002 horse of the year Azeri in Monday's opening session.

Alain Wertheimer, who was present at Keeneland with Alec Head and his daughter Criquette Head-Maarek, said: "Obviously, if you could buy that kind of family every day, you wouldn't have to pay that kind of money."

2007 Grade 1 winner Cotton Blossom was next best. Florida pinhooker Dean De Renzo went to $2.3 million to secure the Acorn Stakes-winning daughter of Broken Vow on behalf of Betty Moran's BrushwoodStables.

The mare had been purchased for $1.9 million at the end of her racing career at Fasig-Tipton in 2007. One explanation for her enhanced value despite the tough market is the fact that she is in foal to Street Cry, the sire of Saturday's history-making Breeders' Cup Classic heroine Zenyatta.

Brushwood Stables purchased Mushka, runner-up in last Friday's Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic, for $2.4 million to top the second day of last year's Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

Grade 3 winner Summer Raven, offered in foal to Unbridled's Song, became the first seven-figure purchase on day two when knocked down to Kentucky agent Reynolds Bell on behalf of an undisclosed US client for $1.7 million.

The quintet of Overbrook-offered top lots was completed by a couple of purchases by Edward Evans, the owner of Breeders' Cup Classic gate withdrawal Quality Road, who, incidentally, had bought a yearling daughter of Elusive Quality and Summer Raven at Keeneland in September.

Evans bought Dark Sky, a winning four-year-old sister to Nebraska Tornado, for $1.3 million, and Wild Poppy, a winning half-sister to Grade 1 winner Surfside by El Prado, for $900,000.

Plenty of European buyers took advantage of the weak dollar, including Newsells Park Stud, Hugo Merry, Charlie Gordon-Watson and Glidawn Stud.

BBA Ireland's three purchases included Pretty Proud, a sister to Whywhywhy in foal to Tapit who cost $530,000, and Luminous Eyes, a Group 3-winning daughter of Bachelor Duke for $525,000.

John Magnier was on the mark for just one horse, Flanders, a champion two-year-old filly and dam of Surfside. The mare, also from the Overbrook dispersal, cost the Coolmore supremo $400,000.

Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock adviser John Ferguson, the leading buyer at Keeneland November for the past two years, has not been present at Keeneland this year, but Dick O'Gorman, another regular buyer for the sheikh, bought two totalling $600,000 on Wednesday.

Keeneland director of sales Geoffrey Russell said: "We knew that the Overbrook dispersal would be a major attraction for the November Sale and the market has given a fitting response to the 30 years that the Young family has invested in the thoroughbred industry.

"The results continue to demonstrate that quality sells; there's still plenty of money for the right horse. The other impressive factor with regard to today's session is that the clearance rate is up."

The sale continues on Thursday.








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