It took nearly nine hours of selling to get to Monday's mare topper at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, and another 10 minutes after that to get to the session topper - the $400,000 stallion prospect Central Banker (Speightstown) - but when all was said and done, it was another solid day of trading in Lexington.
A total of 276 horses sold for $8,944,500 during Monday's Book 4 opener, good for an average of $32,408. That was up 10% from last year's corresponding average of $29,474. The median was up by 2%, from $24,500 last year to $25,000 yesterday. The RNA was 22.5%, compared to a very low 11.9% in 2013.
Through seven sessions at November, 1,597 horses have sold for $189,374,000, an average of $118,581 (+8.6%) and a median of $60,000 (+15.4%). The RNA rate is 22%.
Topping the session was the talented sprinter/miler Central Banker, who earned his biggest career victory in this year's seven-furlong GII Churchill Downs Stakes on the Kentucky Derby undercard. Entering the ring with just two hips to go, Central Banker, who was offered by Claiborne Farm as a stallion prospect only, touched off a lively bidding duel that was ultimately settled with Mike McMahon's $400,000 bid.
McMahon sat with business partner Jamie Hill and his parents, Joe and Anne McMahon, and confirmed that the 4-year-old Central Banker would soon commence stallion duties at his family's McMahon Thoroughbreds near Saratoga, New York.
"He'll be available for Kentucky breeders to view at my farm, Spruce Hill Farm in Versailles, for bthe next few weeks, and then he'll head to New York," said McMahon.
Asked about Central Banker's appeal, he said, "He's a Grade I placed sprinter, a big-time Grade II winner who ran a 107 Beyer, a minus Rag number, and he's by Speightstown. And he's a good-looking horse. He's just about 16 hands and is a beautifully balanced horse. It was a little more than we wanted to spend, but it's competitive to buy stallions."
McMahon said a stud fee hadn't yet been decided. "We're going to talk about it and we have something in mind, and we'll probably announce something in the next few days."
Central Banker was purchased by Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence for $200,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September Sale.
Put into training with Al Stall, Jr., he won the Quick Call Stakes at Saratoga at three, then placed third to Capo Bastone (Street Boss) in the GI King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga. He closed out his year with a late-rallying second to Shakin It Up (Midnight Lute) in the GI Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita. Central Banker hadn't raced since going unplaced in the GIII Belmont Sprint in July. Central Banker is a son of MSW Rhum (Go For Gin) and is a half brother to the fast Grade II winner Gantry (Pulpit).
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News/Keeneland (p)