Lexington, KY (November 3, 2008) – Demand for young, quality mares and broodmare prospects continued to be strong on opening day of Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale, which was highlighted by the sale of Grade 1 stakes-winner Hystericalady for $3 million.

John Ferguson, on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, signed the ticket for the five-year-old mare by Distorted Humor out of Chilean champion Sacramentada. Sold as a racing or broodmare prospect, Hystericalady recorded 11 wins in 23 starts, including the Humana Distaff (G1), Hollywood Breeders’ Cup Oaks (G2) and Molly Pitcher Stakes (G2) twice, for earnings of nearly $2.4 million. She was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.

“She was an outstandingly tough race filly,” Ferguson said. “She has been so consistent; and is out of a top South American mare. She was an obvious candidate.”

That sentiment was echoed by Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland’s director of sales, who said, “Hystericalady is a nice filly who took her game to both the East and West coasts as well as the Midwest, and performed at the highest level wherever she raced. We were delighted to have her in the sale.”

Ferguson also purchased the day’s second- and third-highest priced horses, paying $2.5 million for Away, carrying a full sibling to stakes winner Eight Belles; and $2.3 million for Personal Ensign Stakes (G1) winner Shadow Cast, in foal to Bernardini.

By Dixieland Band out of the Mr. Prospector mare Be a Prospector, Away was consigned by Three Chimneys Sales, agent. She is sold in foal to Unbridled’s Song.

“We’re very excited John (Ferguson) got her and happy that she’s going to a good home; she’s all class,” said Case Clay, president of Three Chimneys Farm.

Shadow Cast, a seven-year-old Smart Strike mare whom Ferguson described as “a very athletic filly,” was consigned by Lane’s End, agent.

Ferguson, as agent for Sheikh Mohammed, was the day’s leading buyer, purchasing six horses for $8,710,000. .

Gross receipts for Monday totaled $48,021,000, down 56 percent from last year’s single session record of $109,064,000. The average of $322,289 was down 42.7 percent from $562,186 in 2007, while the median decreased 32 percent from $272,000 to $185,000. A total of 149 horses were sold this year compared to 194 in 2007. Eleven horses brought $1 million or more, compared to last year’s single session record of 28.

“Last November opened with an historical and record-breaking session during which we sold 28 million-dollar horses versus 11 this year, including a $10.5 million broodmare; that’s a huge difference,” said Russell. “Whether the difference is owed to the economy or to the catalog; it’s probably a factor of both. But this is marketplace where people come to trade horses; and we will successfully trade horses over the next two weeks; though probably not at the level we did last year.”

A weanling filly by Bernardini brought a final bid of $1.475 million, the session’s fourth-highest price and the sixth-highest price ever paid for a weanling filly at the November Sale. Eaton Sales’ Reiley McDonald signed the ticket on behalf of Chesapeake Partners, which he described as a group of Eaton partners that are looking for the “best fillies we can find.”

Consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, the Bernardini filly is out of the Storm Cat mare Teeming, a daughter of 2007 Broodmare of the Year Better Than Honour and a half-sister to consecutive Belmont Stakes (G1) winners Jazil and Rags to Riches. Teeming herself brought $1.5 million as a November Sale weanling in 2001.

“Physically, she is as good as any foal in the sale, and of course, we know the pedigree. Every part of her is exactly what we were looking for,” McDonald said, adding that the filly may be resold at auction or retained for racing.

Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale continues through Monday, November 17. Sessions begin at 10 a.m. daily.