03/02/2012 2:58PM

Barretts March juvenile sale boasts bigger catalog

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The Barretts March select 2-year-old auction kicks off the select juvenile auction season Monday with a larger catalog that bucks a recent trend of declining numbers and is studded with some Grade 1-related horses.

The sale takes place at 6 p.m. Monday in Fairplex Park’s Hinds Pavilion in Pomona, Calif. Company officials will be looking to build on last year’s success. The one-day auction’s 2011 edition sold 72 horses from an initial catalog of 105, and while gross fell 11 percent for a catalog that was 28 percent smaller, both average and median put up significant gains. Average climbed 11 percent to $100,709, and median advanced 17 percent to hit $70,000.

This year, Barretts fields a 149-horse catalog, up 41 percent from last year.

The Barretts auction, which usually takes place later on the 2-year-old auction calendar, might reap an advantage from its lead-off spot this year.

Among this year’s most notable pedigrees is Hip No. 111, a Midnight Lute half-brother to Grade 1 winner Ultimate Eagle, who recently won the Strub by more than seven lengths. That runner had a chance to improve his younger half-brother’s status on Saturday, when he was expected to be among the favorites for the Santa Anita Handicap.

Other Grade 1-connected juveniles in the Barretts catalog include an Empire Maker colt out of Kentucky Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile’s half-sister Tracing Stars (Hip No. 28); a Forestry half-brother to Grand Adventura (33); a Corinthian half-sister to Oak Leaf third Oro Blanco (36); a Wildcat Heir half-brother to Del Mar Debutante runner-up Who Loves Aleyna (44); an Indian Charlie three-quarter brother to another Del Mar Debutante second, Spring Awakening (53); a Lawyer Ron half-sister to Group 1-placed As You Like (67); an Unbridled’s Song colt out of Elusive Diva (69); a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Never Retreat (113); and an A. P. Warrior daughter of Nonsuch Bay (128).

Other juveniles with notable close family connections are a Closing Argument three-quarter brother to major graded earner Accountforthegold (42); a Chatain half-sister to Postponed (52); a Stormy Atlantic half-brother to $821,000 earner Win Willy (58); and a Tapit half-brother to leading Ontario sire Old Forester (94).