Horse Racing

Keeneland Session 5 Topped by Taking Aim at $270,000

The concluding session of Book 3, Nov. 12, at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale ticked along to a workmanlike pace, with the KatieRich Farms consigned mare, Taking Aim, topping the day’s action at $270,000. Dixiana Farms purchased the mare in foal to champion Jackie’s Warrior  

The 5-year-old Trappe Shot  mare boasts her Tapit   siblings, Tapizar  on the page, a winner in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), and Tamboz, producer of Preakness Stakes (G1) third Creative Minister , grade 1 placed Dolder Grand , Wood Memorial (G2) second Battalion Runner  , and grade 3 placed Oceanwave .

The mare produced Saranac Stakes (G3) runner-up Taking Candy  as her first foal. She sold Sunday in foal to Spendthrift’s freshman sire on a Feb. 14 cover.

Dixiana Farms was the session five leading buyer, making two purchases for a gross of $420,000.

Close to the end of business Sunday, Rock Ridge Thoroughbreds scooped up the mare Charmingly for $250,000, she sold in foal to Maclean’s Music  . Her catalog page boasts Champagne Stakes (G1) winning sire Complexity   and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) placed Valadorna . The full sister to the mare is a winner in the DoubleDogdare Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.

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Hip 1845, 2023 Keeneland November Sale
Photo: Keeneland Photo

Charmingly, Hip 1845, in the ring at the Keeneland November Sale

“We like Curlin mares and purchased Hip 183 (Arrifana—$450,000) out of Book 1 earlier in the sale,” Codee Guffey said. “I had a few ideas on who I want to send Charmingly to next year; Epicenter is one that intrigued me.”

Guffey added: “The better mares, you have to step up and pay for them, but there’s not a lot of middle. It seems like the top end does well, and that’s about all there is.” 

The third highest-priced mare, Fire Island, sold as Hip 1490 from the ELiTE draft earlier in the day. Sheamus Mills Bloodstock purchased the More Than Ready mare for $240,000 in foal to Palace Malice   on an April 28 cover.

While unraced, the mare comes from the fast family of Enchanted Rock and is a full sibling to Verrazano , a $1.6 million earner and two-time grade 1 winning sire. Her Pulpit brother El Padrino  is a winner in the Risen Star Stakes (G2), and La Madrina , by Tapit, is placed in the Garland of Roses Stakes.

“We thought she stuck out here in this book,” consignor Bradley Wesibord stated. “A market correction is going on, especially after starting Book 3, if you don’t have the premium product. I think it’s crucial as sellers and consignors for everyone to understand there is a market correction going on.”

White Birch Farm bred the mare, Weisbord noted, “She hasn’t done much wrong for being only 5-years-old; she stuck out today, and I think Peter (Brant) was rewarded.”

Hip 1528, 2023 Keeneland November Sale
Photo: Keeneland Photo

The Maxfield colt consigned as Hip 1528 in the ring at the Keeneland November Sale

Bill Betz signed for Avocet Bloodstock, which purchased the day’s top weanling offering, a $240,000 colt by freshman sire Maxfield  . Indian Creek consigned the colt for his breeder Fifth Avenue Bloodstock as Hip 1528.

“He went over super in the barns; he’s a smooth-bodied colt, beautifully made and balanced,” Sarah Sutherland of Indian Creek commented. “I think his movement and shape, in general, really seemed to get people excited. He had a lot of vetting and looks, which translated well with the results and his price.”

The Kentucky-bred colt is out of the winning Speightstown   mare In It for the Gold, a producer of three foals, two of which are winners, by Nyquist   and Into Mischief  . She is out of the multiple graded stakes placed mare All Due Respect .

Sunday’s results saw the top 10 offerings sell for $190,000 or more to 10 distinct buyers. Three-time grade 1 winning sire, Jack Christopher   had six mares sell in foal for a gross of $540,000 to be the leading covering sire.

Keeneland reports 256 horses of the 319 on offer Sunday sold for gross receipts of $16,156,500, down 15.8% over 2022. An average price of $63,111 down 15.7%, and the median price declined 14.5% to $50,000. Some 63 individuals didn’t meet their reserve to represent an RNA rate of 19.7%.

During last year’s fifth session, 252 of the 313 horses through the ring sold for an $18,864,500 gross for an average of $74,859 and a median of $58,500. The 61 horses that didn’t sell represent an RNA rate of 19.5%.

“We are learning to adjust how we are appraising and valuing horses,” Sutherland said. “At the top end, it’s business as usual, but where we start to feel things is in the middle. If you want to sell horses, you have to adjust your expectations. If you are willing to do that, I think you can get them sold with no problem, but if you’re in a situation where you want to protect a horse, trying to hold a high standard for what their going to bring, then you might find yourself bringing one home.”

Over the past five days of selling 1,119 horses have sold of the 1,457 to go under the hammer, recording a gross of $166,265,500. An average price of $148,584 and a $80,000 median were made. There have been 338 individuals who have failed to meet their reserve price to show an RNA rate of 23.2%.

To this point last year, 1,094 horses had changed hands of the 1,394 on offer for receipts of $183,561,500. An average of $167,789 and a $100,000 median were recorded. An RNA rate of 21.5% represents the 300 horses that went unsold.

The Taylor Made Sales Agency sold 32 horses during the fifth session for a gross of $1,933,500, at an average of $60,422, to be the day’s leading seller. Through the fifth session, they have sold 148 horses for receipts of $20,714,500 to be the leading seller thus far. West Bloodstock, agent for Repole Stable, has made nine purchases, spending $5,220,000, at an average of $580,000, to be the leading buyer.

Selling from Book 4 begins Nov. 13 at 10 a.m. ET with Hips 1901-2316 heading through the ring. As of Sunday evening, 65 horses had been withdrawn from the sixth session.


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