Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Keeneland April Sale Records Highest Price Paid for Juvenile At Public Auction in 2009

Lexington, KY (April 6, 2009) – Trainer Bob Baffert signed the ticket for $1.9 million for Vallenzeri on opening night of Keeneland’s April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale. It is the highest price paid for a juvenile at public auction in 2009.

Baffert bought the colt – by Horse of the Year A.P. Indy out of Horse of the Year Azeri – on behalf of client Kaleem Shah. Vallenzeri breezed an eighth of a mile in :10.1 during the sale’s Preview Day show on April 2. He was consigned by Eddie Woods, agent.

“I am really excited to get him,” Baffert said. “He’s well conformed, he has a fluid way of moving, and with that type of pedigree – by a champion and out of champion – you have to step up to the plate and take a chance.”

Vallenzeri was bred by the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust, and Paulson’s son, Michael, sent a congratulatory note following the sale to Keeneland President & CEO Nick Nicholson and Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell.

“It is very exciting to have sold Vallenzeri,” Russell said. “Eddie Woods consigned last year’s Kentucky Derby winner (Big Brown), and he just may have sold next year’s as well.”

On Monday, Keeneland sold 31 horses for gross receipts of $6,885,000, down 3.4 percent from 2008 when 34 horses brought $7,127,000. Average price of $222,097 increased 5.95 percent from last year’s $209,618. The median price of $120,000 was down 27.27 percent from $165,000 in 2008.

“We are very happy with tonight’s session, particularly that the gross was down only 3.4 percent,” Russell said. “Two-year-old sales are performance sales. Those horses that perform well bring good prices.”

Steven Young, agent, went to $530,000, the session’s second-highest price, for a full brother to graded stakes winner Noonmark, consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, agent. The colt worked a quarter-mile in :21.2 on Preview Day.

“He’s by one of the hottest studs in the country right now (Unbridled’s Song) and he was training well,” said Young. “I think we got a great deal for a top prospect.”

Baffert also paid the evening’s third-highest price of $370,000 for a colt by Songandaprayer that posted the fastest Preview Day work, going an eighth in :9.4. Out of the unraced Storm Bird mare Beach Bunny, the colt was consigned by Wavertree Stables Inc. (Ciaran Dunne), agent.

The April Sale continues Tuesday evening, beginning at 7 p.m.

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