05/18/2017 9:30AM

$245,000 Animal Kingdom colt tops Barretts sale

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DEL MAR, Calif. - A California-bred colt by Animal Kingdom sold for $245,000 at Wednesday’s Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training, the most expensive horse of what is likely to be the last sale of its kind.

Barretts officials said earlier this year they will not hold an open sale of 2-year-olds in training in May in future years, and will urge consignors to offer prospects at two of the company’s other sales – a select sale of 2-year-olds in March, and a paddock sale held during the Del Mar summer meeting in July.

The Animal Kingdom colt was purchased by California owner Deron Pearson and will be trained by Jim Cassidy.

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The colt was one of three horses to sell for six figures at the sale. A filly by Unusual Heat was purchased for $195,000 by George Bolton and will be trained by Bob Baffert. A colt by Scat Daddy was purchased for $100,000 by Gayle Van Leer, agent.

Unusual Heat, the leading stallion in the state in progeny earnings from 2008 to 2013, was euthanized earlier on Wednesday at Harris Farms in Coalinga, Calif., because of arthritis-induced laminitis, according to a statement released by Madeline and Harris Auerbach, whose family operated the syndicate that owned the stallion.

According to figures issues by the sale company 47 horses sold for $2,029,000, an average of $43,170 and a median of $27,000. The gross fell 22.4 percent from the 2016 sale, when 63 horses sold for $2,597,400. The average rose 4.7 percent from $41,229, while the median was unchanged at $27,000. There were 19 horses listed as not sold on Wednesday, and 25 withdrawn.

The 2017 figures include one horse of racing age that sold for $6,000.

“There was a lot of competition for saleable horses,” said Barretts general manager Kim Lloyd.

“This is a bread-and-butter sale and a lot of people have horses in their barns they can train next week.”

The Animal Kingdom colt worked a furlong in 10.20 seconds on Monday at a training preview on the Del Mar racetrack. Cassidy said the colt’s pedigree and attitude caught his attention.

“He’s an Animal Kingdom Cal-bred,” Cassidy said. “You’d think he’d be the only one. He’s a nice, quiet colt and has a good attitude.

“I was looking for a colt. I thought he was the best colt in the sale.”

Consigned by Kim McCarthy Bloodstock, agent, the colt was purchased for $45,000 at the Barretts October yearling sale by Waves Bloodstock. The colt is out of Bandora, who was third in the Jostle Stakes at Parx Racing and Serena’s Song Stakes at Monmouth Park in 2009.

McCarthy also consigned the Unusual Heat filly bought by Bolton. The filly worked a furlong in 10.20 seconds on Monday.

Bolton said he plans to form a small partnership to race the filly. Bolton said he bid on the filly at the suggestion of  Baffert and bloodstock agent John Moynihan.

Bolton said Baffert believes the times of Monday’s training preview were “two ticks slower” than normal because the surface at Del Mar is undergoing renovation in advance of the track’s summer meeting, which begins in July.

The filly will be pointed for California-bred races this summer, Bolton said.

“I think she could be good in the division,” he said.

Bolton said he hopes to attract a few new partners to the ownership group.

“If it doesn’t work out, she’s probably worth $75,000 as a broodmare,” he said. “If it works out, she could be worth more.”