03/04/2013 11:57PM

Barretts March 2-year-old sale posts across-the-board gains

Barbara D. Livingston
This Malibu Moon colt, who worked the fastest quarter-mile at the Barretts March under-tack show, topped the select juvenile auction when he sold for $675,000 to Demi O'Byrne.

Led by a Malibu Moon colt bought for $675,000, Monday’s Barretts March sale of selected 2-year-olds in-training showed growth in gross, average, and median prices.

The sale company reported that 61 horses sold for total sales of $8,751,000, a gain of 4 percent compared $8,426,000 from 77 sold in 2012. Average price rose from $109,429 in 2012 to $143,459 on Monday, an increase of 31 percent. The median rose 18 percent, from $85,000 last year to $100,000 this year.

“We had a wonderful sale,” Barretts general manager Kim Lloyd said.

“I was bullish. I was hesitant to be so bullish, but everything was very favorable.”

Lloyd said he based opinion partially on observing the sale prospects as they were trained in recent months at farms in the Ocala, Fla., area.

“All winter long we spent a lot of time in Ocala,” he said. “The horses we saw train were good horses all winter. We knew if we got them to the sale they had a chance to be successful.”

The number of horses sold fell from 77 in 2012 to 61. From a catalog of 138 horses, there were 46 horses withdrawn this year and 31 listed as not sold, resulting in a buy-back rate of 34 percent. Last year, there were 148 horses in the catalog, with 44 listed as not sold and 27 withdrawn for a buy-back rate of 36 percent.

Lloyd said the high number of withdrawals “is part of the juvenile process. We’ll see that everywhere we go.”

Barretts offered the first major 2-year-olds in-training sale of the year.

The Malibu Moon colt was purchased by Demi O’Bryne on behalf of Michael Tabor, who attended the sale. The colt worked a quarter-mile in :20.80 seconds on March 1, the fastest time at that distance during the workout preview.

“He breezed very well, I thought,” O’Bryne said. “We thought he’d bring about that.”

The colt is out of the Forest Wildcat mare Fashion Cat—a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Peace Rules—and was consigned by James Chapman’s Breaking Point Farm. The Florida-based Chapman, a former track trainer in Southern California, purchased the colt for $185,000 at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale.

“The horse did everything right,” Chapman said.

O’Byrne led all buyers, acquiring three horses for $1,425,000. He also acquired a Dunkirk colt for $575,000 and a Flower Alley colt for $175,000 on behalf of Tabor. All three will be trained by Todd Pletcher, O’Byrne said.

The Dunkirk colt was consigned by Bruno de Berdt’s Excel Bloodstock. De Berdt bought the colt for $50,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale.

“We bought the colt with the idea of bringing him to this sale,” de Berdt said. “We thought he’d be an athlete. When he came at you, he had a good walk.”

At Friday’s training preview, the Dunkirk colt worked a furlong in :9.60 seconds, which equaled the fastest time at the distance.

“You don’t know they’ll go nine and three [fifths], but I thought he’d go in ten,” de Berdt said. “He showed it to us. He galloped like a good horse and he prepped like a good horse.”

De Berdt, who operates Excel Bloodstock with business partner Angelo Ferro, had a successful sale, leading all consignors. He had three horses sell for $1,205,000.They were purchased as yearlings for a combined $240,000.

Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree Stable, acting as agent for various clients, was the leading sale agent, selling 10 horses for $1,835,000. His group was led by a War Front colt out of the stakes-placed Pulpit mare Seasoned, purchased for $570,000 by Patrick Biancone.

The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March sale of selected 2-year-olds in training is the next select juvenile sale on the calendar, scheduled for March 12-13 in Ocala, Fla.

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