06/28/2007 11:00PM

$120,000 Aldebaran filly targeted for Del Mar start


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - It may not be long before the highest-priced 2-year-old from this week's Barretts summer sale makes her racetrack debut.

An Aldebaran filly purchased for $120,000 by trainer Dan Hendricks, agent for Frank Scardino, was already in training at Hendricks's stable at Hollywood Park on Thursday. Hendricks is hoping the filly can start during the early weeks of the Del Mar meeting, which begins July 18.

Hendricks said he is assessing the filly's condition, but felt confident that she will start soon. "I try to take all the 2-year-olds I buy straight to the track to see if I should go on or whether they need time off," Hendricks said. "As tight and sound as she is, I think she'll be able to go on.

"You should be able to buy one and go straight on with it. That's the theory behind these sales. If not, we'll give her time."

The Aldebaran filly worked three furlongs in 34.40 seconds at a training preview Monday, the fastest three-furlong workout of the horses in the preview.

"And she blew the turn," Hendricks said. "We considered her the best 2-year-old in the sale."

She went for more money than Hendricks and Scardino had predicted. "We wanted to pay about $80,000, but someone else had the same idea," he said.

The filly was consigned by B.C.3 Thoroughbreds, agent, and had been offered at two auctions in the last year. She was sold for $55,000 to Hidden Point Farms Inc. at the 2006 Keeneland September yearling sale. She was offered at the Ocala Breeders' March sale of 2-year-olds in training but was listed as not sold for $80,000.

The Aldebaran filly is out of the Irish-bred mare Almost Skint, by Last Tycoon. Almost Skint won the Liberada Handicap at Calder and placed third in the Leopardstown 1000 Guineas Trial Stakes and third in the Grade 2 Orchid Handicap.

Aldebaran, who won 8 of 25 starts and $1,739,186, stands at Darby Dan Farm in Kentucky for a fee of $30,000. Aldebaran was the champion sprinter of 2003.

The one-day summer sale on Tuesday showed considerably higher figures than in 2006, because of high interest in a four-horse complete dispersal of Meadows Creek Farm.

The sale-topper was the 3-year-old Laddies Poker, a maiden race winner at Santa Anita in April, who sold for $525,000 to Dennis O'Neill, agent for Paul Reddam.

Part of the Meadow Creek dispersal, Laddies Poker was scratched from the Will Rogers Stakes at Hollywood Park in May. He will be pointed for the Del Mar meeting and possibly a start in the $100,000 Oceanside Stakes on Julyo18, Dennis O'Neill said.

The Meadow Creek consignment, handled by Andy Havens, agent, also had the sale's leading filly. Gilded, winner of the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2006, was purchased for $420,000 by trainer Paddy Gallagher, agent.

Overall, 89 horses sold for a record gross of $1,680,200 and a record average of $18,879. The average increased 99.7 percent over 2006, while the gross increased 48 percent.

The sale included horses of racing age and 2-year-olds in training.

A 2-year-old Sky Mesa colt that had the fastest one-furlong time, 10 seconds, was sold by Greg Vartanian Bloodstock to Jaime Gomez for $58,000. Gomez is primarily a Quarter Horse trainer at Los Alamitos, but has had a few starters on the Southern California Thoroughbred circuit.

A 2-year-old California-bred Muqtarib filly that had the fastest quarter-mile time of 21.80 seconds was sold by Clear Creek Farm, agent, to trainer Marcelo Polanco, agent, for $20,000.