The figures posted Monday and Tuesday at the keenland yearling sale were those forecast for 1984.
A total of 324 1-year-old thorough-breds attracted $27,651,000, an aveNever in their blue-blooded dreams have the barons of the blue-grass had it so good.
"We were hoping to come up to last year's $66,575." sales director Bill Evans said by phone yesterday in Lexington. Ky., where the Breeders Sa"We knew we had an excellent group of horses in terms of physical condition. We knew we had two new quality consignments in Mereworth and Mangurian to build up the first session.
"We knew we had quite a few buyers." Evans continued. What happened was that the sale got off to its strongest start ever and the momentum kept right on building . Still, the totals for the four sessions were unbelievable.
"The foreign interest was strong again. japan has still slacked off, but England, Ireland and France were as active as ever because American horses continue to do exceptionally well over there.
"I had said last week the strength of this sale would be in the $100,000 or more. The top price - $750,000 - was paid for a Secretariat colt. England's Robert Sangster, who operates Vernon's Soccer Pools in the British Isles and Australia, was the buyer.Sangster made his purchase in the name of British Blood Stock Agency, Ireland. He has three partners in the colt-trainer Vincent O'Brien, Simon Fraser and John Magnior. This quartet paid $200,000 at the kneeland they later named The Ninstrel, which this season won the Epsom and Irish derbies.
Many American horseman thought Secretarit's sons and daughters might not sell so briskly this second time around. One of his yearling colts brought a world record $1.5 million at Keenland las summer. But nothing from the first crop of the 1973 Triple Crown winner has accomplished anything noteworthy on the racetrack so far. The only Secretarit 2-year to start a filly, finished out of the money.
"If Secretariat had had a couple brought twice what he did." Sangster commented. The successful bidder and his partners ooperate several breeding farms in Ireland. They were seeking a young horse with built-in stud potential at Keeneland they decided the Secretariat colt out of lady Victory, by Victoria Park, was their best bet.
E.P. Taylor, who bred The Ministrel, alsoChesapeake City, Md.
The horse world is properly flabbergasted by the flagrant amount of money spent at Keeneland in less than 36 hours this weeks. The average for top quality stock had been climbing steadily, from $56,000 in 1973 to $10,000 more than that last year.
But the $1.5 million dollar colt distorted slightly the 1976 average. This time, there was no one individual to make the overall statistics appear appreciably bette than they were. There was unbelievable strength throughout the catalog.
"It makes you wonder what's next ," Evans acknowledged. "Certainly this is going to be a tough act to follow. A $100,000 average in the near future had seemed awfully hard to envision. But now . . . "
The $100,000 average should arrive before the turn of the decade if the Amercianwealthy man was considered a little light in the head, although heavy in the pocketbook, if he risked $100,000 for any unraced thoroughbred, no matter how impeccable his breeding or flawless its confirmation.