The second day of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale posted numbers at a similar pace to last year's comparable session on Thursday, led by the $650,000 broodmare Conquest Eclipse.
There was plenty there to draw Fred Mitchell of Clarkland Farm to raise his hand for the final bid on Hip 570. The 7-year-old Malibu Moon mare won two of nine starts, with in-the-money efforts in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante Stakes and Chandelier Stakes as a juvenile.
Then, there's the page. Out of the unraced Repriced mare Grand Traverse Bay, Conquest Eclipse is a half-sister to Grade 3-placed stakes winner Bear'sway. Grand Traverse Bay is a half-sister to Sweet Damsel, whose produce record includes Grade 1 winner Colonel John, Grade 1-placed Mr. Hot Stuff, Grade 3-placed Caroline's Gold, and stakes-placed Kayce Ace.
Finally, Conquest Eclipse was part of the first book of mares for 2018 Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year Justify, who led all covering sires by gross during Wednesday's opening session, including the $3.2-million session-topper Take Charge Brandi.
Mitchell and the Clarkland Farm operation have had an eventful sale season in 2019. Clarkland Farm bred and sold an American Pharoah filly out of Broodmare of the Year Leslie's Lady who sold to Mandy Pope's Whisper Hill Farm for $8.2 million at this year's Keeneland September Yearling Sale, the record price for a filly at the bellwether auction. With that in mind, Mitchell could afford to stretch a bit for Conquest Eclipse.
“She was a gorgeous mare, and she was in-foal to Justify, and I really wanted a Justify,” Mitchell said. “We got two mares yesterday that are in-foal to American Pharoah. We just reinvested a little bit of what the filly brought for us in September.”
Summerfield consigned the mare, as agent.
The Keeneland November spotlight is a familiar one for Conquest Eclipse, who was a member of the massive Conquest Stables dispersal at the 2016 November sale. She brought $375,000 during the dispersal, and was retired to begin her broodmare career. In the time between trips through the ring, Conquest Eclipse had fillies by Tiznow and Into Mischief.
Quality Road Colt Leads Weanlings At $600,000
Quality Road's status as an elite commercial sire continued to be cemented on Thursday when China Horse Club and Maverick Racing, the nom de sale ticket of WinStar Farm's Elliott Walden, went to $600,000 to secure one of his colts.
The bay colt, offered as Hip 362, is the third foal out of the unraced Birdstone mare Princess Aspen. Second dam Rhumb Line is responsible for Grade 1 winner Zazu and Grade 2 winner Flashback.
Dell Ridge Farm bred the colt in Kentucky. He was consigned by St. George Sales, agent.
Even Trade In Auction's Second Session
Thursday's session ran in near-lockstep with last year's second day of trade, with 235 horses bringing a total of $36,205,000, down 0.46 percent from last year's comparable date when 234 horses sold for $36,372,000. The average sale price inched back 0.88 percent to $154,064, while the median went unchanged at $125,000. The buyback rate was also nearly even, falling to 22 percent from 23 percent.
“I think the best statistic today was the 'not sold' rate,” said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales operations. “The clearance rate was very, very good today and that bodes well for the rest of the week.”
Lane's End finished Thursday's session as the leading consignor by gross, with 34 horses sold for $6,529,000. Spanish-based Yeguada Centurion was the day's leading buyer, with seven purchases totaling $1,415,000.
City of Light, a resident of Lane's End whose first pregnant mares are being offered at auction this fall, was the top covering sire by gross, with 13 mares bringing $3,270,000. The leading covering sire by average, with more than one sold, was Justify, with two mares bringing an average of $530,000.
At the end of two sessions, a total of 401 horses changed hands for a cumulative gross of $107,704,500, up 10 percent from the same point in 2018. the average was up 0.9 percent to $268,590, the median was ahead 3 percent to $185,000, and the buyback rate was unchanged from last year at 22 percent.
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