Belle Street Stars Saturday at Keeneland

With Godolphin’s Belle Street (Street Sense) leading the way at $550,000, the Book 3 section of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale opened Saturday with strong results as the 10-day auction continues to track well ahead of 2020 figures.

During Saturday’s session, 252 head grossed $19,981,500. The session average of $79,292 was up 36.37% from the corresponding 2020 figure and the median of $65,000 was up 49.43%. With 78 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 23.64%. It was 24.67% a year ago.

Through four sessions, 838 head have sold for $146,615,500. The average of $174,959 is up 12.99% from a year ago and the median of $120,000 is up 33.33%. The buy-back rate stands at 22.62%, down from 27.41% in 2020.

The unraced Belle Street, who sold to Gary Broad, was one of 15 mares sold by Godolphin Saturday for gross receipts of $2.17 million.

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“It’s the same with everything we’ve had go through the ring so far,” said Godolphin’s Michael Banahan. “You can probably put an extra 20, 30, 35% on top what we were valuing the mares at. It’s just been an unbelievably strong market.”

Town and Country Horse Farm president Shannon Potter obtained two mares Saturday.

“It’s been strong. It’s been very strong,” Potter said. “Especially at Fasig and here the first few days. We were really frustrated going into the second day trying to get something bought. But it’s great for the business. I love to see it thriving like this.”

Peter O’Callaghan purchased the session’s top-priced weanling, going to $210,000 to acquire a daughter of Nyquist (hip 1183) from the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment.

“She was our pick of the day,” O’Callaghan said of the pinhooking prospect. “I thought we would get her for a couple of bids less and we were hoping to get her for less than $200,000. That was absolutely our last bid.”

Of the foal market at Keeneland this week, O’Callaghan stated, “It’s extremely competitive for those top foals. There was plenty of racing money here early and some strong pinhooking groups, so whatever you value them at, even if you value them generously, you almost have to add $50,000 to it.

So it’s tough. We bought fewer foals and our expenditure might be even more than last year. It doesn’t make for a good sum, but it is what it is. We just keep moving on.”

The Keeneland November sale continues through Friday with sessions starting daily at 10 a.m.

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