01/23/2015 11:36AM

Barretts kicks off year of growth, transition


A season of transition for the Barretts sales company in Pomona, Calif., begins on Monday with a familiar launch – the January mixed sale that has started the California auction season for more than two decades.

Monday’s sale of breeding stock, 2-year-olds, yearlings, and horses of racing age will be the second-to-last sale at the Barretts facility on the Los Angeles county fairgrounds. Following the select sale of 2-year-olds in training on Feb. 23, no further sales will be held at that site.

The company will permanently shift its sales events to Del Mar, beginning with a 2-year-olds in training sale in May, a paddock sale of race-ready horses in July, a select yearling sale in August, and an open yearling and horses of racing age sale in October.

In the first months of 2016, the January mixed sale and select sale of 2-year-olds in training also will be held at Del Mar.

“We think that will serve the needs of the industry,” Barretts general manager Kim Lloyd said.

In its first year of establishing a presence at Del Mar, Barretts will have one of its busiest sales calendars in some time. The 2015 calendar has one more sale than Barretts has conducted in recent years when a yearling sale was conducted in October, but the company did not hold a yearling sale in August.

The California Thoroughbred Breeders Association holds a yearling sale in Northern California at Pleasanton each August.

The October horses of racing age sale this year will be new for Barretts. The sale was proposed for 2014 but implementation was postponed a year.

The July paddock sale at Del Mar has become a fixture on the opening weekend of the race meeting in recent years, but the yearling sale there will be the first time that horses of that age have been sold at that venue by any company since 2004.

Lloyd said the Barretts calendar for 2015 could change in the future, depending on results and feedback from participants.

“We’ll try to do what we think is best,” Lloyd said. “We can adjust as we see different needs. We feel Barretts is an important part of the game to recruit new owners and give breeders a chance to do business.”

Monday’s January mixed sale begins at 11 a.m. Pacific and has a catalog of 371 horses, which includes a supplemental catalog of 37 horses.

Last year, the January sale had 224 horses sell for a total of $1,944,900, an average price of $8,683 and a median price of $5,350. Those were the highest figures for number sold since 2011 when 256 were purchased. The gross was highest since 2010 when 275 horses sold for $2,013,000. The average and median prices were highest since 2007 when the sale averaged $9,539 and had a median of $4,500.

The average reached $7,320 in 2010 but fell to $5,310 in 2011. The average price has risen each year since then.

“It’s been a vibrant sale the last few years,” Lloyd said. “It helps to move horses along. We have a larger catalog than we’ve had.”

The 2007 sale was highlighted by the dispersal of Granja Vista Del Rio Stable. The most expensive horse in that sale was the mare Selvatica, who sold for $560,000.

In 2014, a yearling colt by Midnight Lute and a 2-year-old colt by Majestic Warrior shared the highest price of $70,000 at the January mixed sale. The Majestic Warrior colt, now named Sunset Sparkle, has had a series of recorded workouts for trainer Dan Hendricks at Santa Anita since mid-November.

Monday’s sale includes 18 horses owned by Karen and Mickey Taylor, co-owners of 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. The Taylors are conducting a complete dispersal, through Rick Taylor’s Special T Thoroughbreds, that includes the 13-year-old stallion Council Member. There are seven racing prospects and three yearlings by Council Member that are part of the dispersal.