Updated on 09/16/2011 6:56AM

$1.9 million filly tops Barretts


POMONA, Calif. - The one-day Barretts selected 2-year-old sale, which last year appeared to be on the ropes, rebounded with a record-setting top price of $1.9 million for a Stormy Atlantic filly, and financial gains across the board.

Saudi prince Ahmed bin Salman, seated in a private conference room across the hall from the bidding arena, purchased the Stormy Atlantic filly, who is out of the Seattle Slew mare Super Chef, after shaking off Michael Tabor's agent Demi O'Byrne. The final price of $1.9 million was a record for a filly at a 2-year-old auction. It also marked an extraordinary pinhooking success for the California father and son team of J. R. and James K. Chapman, who bought the filly at Keeneland's September yearling sale last year for a mere $31,000.

The new mark for a filly at a juvenile auction fell short of the world 2-year-old mark of $2 million, which has been met three times, at Barretts in 1999 and 2000 and at Keeneland in 1999.

Sales like the topper helped bump the sale's numbers up. Scratches winnowed the catalog down from 167 to 121, nine fewer horses than were offered at last year's auction. Gross revenue rose nine percent from last year to $10,950,000, while average climbed six percent to $150,000, and median jumped 29 percent to $90,000. The buyback rate, which hit 45 percent last year, fell to 40 percent.

"The market was very lively for horses that put it all together," Barretts president Gerry McMahon said as the sale wound down Tuesday evening. "In terms of action on quality, well-prepared horses, that was as good a sale as we've had here in a few years."