05/12/2017 9:06AM

Barretts holds its last May sale with focus on California-breds


The Barretts sale company has been in a fairly constant state of evolution over the past few years.

Recent calendars have seen the California-based auction house relocate from its longtime home at Fairplex Park to Del Mar, invest in the racing-age market with its paddock sale, and move its sale of select 2-year-olds in training from the beginning of the season to a few weeks down the road.

The trend continues with the Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training, which will be the last edition of the late-season, open juvenile sale for the foreseeable future.

Kim Lloyd, general manager at Barretts, said the decision came down to difficulty finding a suitable place on the calendar. Since moving to Del Mar, the May sale has had to work around the Del Mar National Horse Show, which runs on the same property from mid-April to early May. The placing for this year’s auction clashes with the under-tack show for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training on the East Coast.

Going forward, Lloyd said, the Barretts March juvenile sale will expand to include some of the horses who might have targeted the May sale, while those who require more time will be pointed toward the Barretts paddock sale of race-ready horses in July.

“The Del Mar National Horse Show is a huge event for the [22nd District Agricultural Association, which operates the Del Mar property],” Lloyd said. “In our world, we don’t think anything of it, but for the Ag District, it’s their second-most-important event here at Del Mar, so we appreciate them letting us be here, and now we’ve worked out a different schedule that we think will be beneficial for everybody.”

This year’s auction will take place Wednesday at Del Mar beginning at 2 p.m. Pacific. The under-tack show is Monday at 10 a.m.

The catalog includes 91 entries, down 38 percent from last year’s 146 cataloged horses.

The Barretts May sale is the primary outlet to buy California-bred juveniles in large quantities, and that continues this year, with 43 percent of the catalog consisting of horses bred in the Golden State.

“Typically, our March sale has been a sale for the Florida horses that come in,” Lloyd said. “They get ready earlier and are more precocious. The May sale allows our regional people more time to get their horses ready. It’s easier and less expensive to keep them around here. This offers a chance for them to sell their regional horses and sell them very well.”

Last May’s sale closed with 66 horses sold for $2,613,900, down 38 percent from the previous year’s gross. The average sale price fell 11 percent to $39,605, the median declined 32 percent to $19,500, and the buyback rate closed at 39 percent.

The 2016 edition was topped by a Candy Ride colt out of the stakes winner She’s Sensational who sold to Sophia Shah for $290,000. Later named Borg, the colt ran fourth in his debut May 6 at Santa Anita.