05/14/2002 11:00PM

Barretts average up 2 percent


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Topped on its second day by a $300,000 Saint Ballado colt, the two-session Barretts May sale in Pomona, Calif., ended Tuesday on a strong note, thanks to a pair of dispersals.

N. W. Management, which purchased the $330,000 sale-topping Touch Gold-Silken Magic filly on Monday, also bought the Tuesday session-topper, a son of Heart of America.

Overall, the auction sold 271 lots for $7,507,000, up dramatically from last year, when 164 sold for $4,460,400. Dispersals from the estate of Bart Heller and the Cavanaugh Family Trust made the difference; together, those two consignments contributed about 75 horses to the catalog.

The number sold and gross revenue set a May sale record, but the average price got only a slight gain, rising 2 percent to $27,701. The two-day median fell 20 percent, from $20,000 last year to $16,000. The buy-back rate also dipped, to 21 percent, from last year's 28 percent.