Keeneland November sale ends with record average

Friday, November 19th 2004, 8:12 pm
By: News On 6

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) _ Keeneland's November Breeding Stock sale ended Friday, with final numbers showing a record average, a record-equaling median and the third-highest gross in the auction's 61-year history.

During the 12-day sale, Keeneland sold 2,873 horses for a cumulative $270,680,200. That's an 18.5 percent increase from last year's cumulative sales price and the highest since 2000, when the sale grossed $302 million.

The average price this year was $97,348, topping the sale's previous record of $96,605, set in 1983. The median _ the number halfway between the highest and the lowest price _ was $32,000, equaling the sale record set in 1999 and matched last year.

``The sale started strong and continued strong to the very end,'' said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales. ``There was a strong premium on young mares and for weanlings by freshman sires.''

The sale's highest-priced horse was Santa Catarina. The 4-year-old mare, in foal to top sire A.P. Indy, fetched $4.8 million from Eaton Sales. Denali Stud, owned by Craig Bandoroff _ serving as the agent for Robert and Beverly Lewis _ consigned the horse.

Thirty-five horses brought $1 million or more and three went for $4 million or more. Last year, 23 horses in the sale sold for $1 million or more.