05/14/2013 12:30AM

Barretts May sale: Strong trade leads to across-the-board increases

Benoit & Associates
An Into Mischief colt sold for $320,000 to lead Monday's Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Support from California-based owners and trainers led to robust increases in major categories at Monday’s Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in-training at the company's sales complex in Pomona, Calif.

Barretts reported that 88 horses sold for a gross of $4,869,200, a 63 percent increase compared with the 2012 gross of $2,986,500. The average rose 28 percent from $43,283 in 2012 to $55,332 this year, and the sale’s median price gained 30 percent, from $23,000 in 2012 to $30,000 this year. The buy-back rate remained level at 19 percent.

The sale topper was an Into Mischief colt purchased for $320,000 by trainer Bob Baffert, acting as agent for a group of owners that he declined to name. There were six horses that sold for $200,000 or more.

The jump in major categories was predicted by Barretts general manager Kim Lloyd. He said the higher prices at Monday’s sale was a reflection on other juvenile sales held earlier this year, including the Barretts March sale of selected 2-year-olds in-training.

“We expected it to be good this year and it has been all the way through,” Lloyd said. “It was a broadening market. There were more people competing for horses.”

The sale-topper is from Into Mischief’s second crop and is out of the 21-year-old Danzig mare Smolensk, who won two Group stakes in France in 1995, including the Group 2 Prix d’Astarte at Deauville. Smolensk is the dam of Martha’s Moon, a Malibu Moon filly, who won stakes at Calder and Delaware Park last year.

The colt’s second dam is Kentucky Oaks winner Blush With Pride, who in addition to Smolensk produced Group 1-placed Maryinsky, dam of Irish champion Peeping Fawn and Group 1 winner and freshman sire Thewayyouare; and Better Than Honour, a Grade 2 winner who was awarded Broodmare of the Year in 2007. Better Than Honour is the dam of champion and Belmont winner Rags to Riches, Belmont winner and young sire Jazil, Grade 2 winner Casino Drive, and Breeders’ Cup Marathon winner Man of Iron.

The colt worked a furlong in :10 seconds flat at Barretts Racing at Fairplex Park during the sale’s under-tack preview last Friday.

“He looks like his sire,” Baffert said. “I liked his athleticism. He’s a fast horse and he looked the part.”

Baffert led all buyers with his sale-topping purchase, but the husband-wife team of Rustin and Juliana Kretz from California separately bought at least two horses for $535,000—a Tale of the Cat colt for $300,000 and a Not for Love colt for $235,000.

The Tale of the Cat colt was purchased by bloodstock advisor Gayle Van Leer, as agent for Rustin Kretz, who did not attend the sale. The Not for Love colt was purchased by trainer Kristin Mulhall, as agent. Mulhall was accompanied at the sale by Juliana Kretz.

Juliana Kretz said that the Not for Love colt had Mulhall’s eye in the build-up to the sale.

“She got her first choice,” Kretz said.

Ciaran Dunne and Becky Thomas were the leading consignors.

Thomas, through her Sequel Bloodstock, sold four horses for $602,000.

Her consignment included a Malibu Moon colt bought for $260,000 by Chuck Winner, a member of the California Horse Racing Board, and David Bienstock.

Thomas purchased the Malibu Moon colt for $200,000 last summer at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected yearling sale. The colt worked a furlong in :10.20 seconds at the training preview last Friday.

“I had two or three I liked in the sale,” said Winner. “I wanted to get a colt. I liked the breeding and I liked the way he worked.”

Thomas described the colt as “one of the best horses I’ve had this year. I put a $199,000 reserve on him. I think he’s a good horse.”

Dunne’s Wavertree Stable sold seven horses for $876,000 for various clients. He was listed as the leading sale agent, according to statistics released by Barretts.

Dunne consigned the sale-topping Into Mischief colt on behalf of New Mexico owners Richard and Connie Snyder, who attended Monday’s sale. The colt was withdrawn from Fasig Tipton’s Florida sale at Palm Meadows in March because of a bruised foot, Richard Snyder said.

“This is a very special horse,” Dunne said, adding that the Snyders “were willing to wait and let him get over his hiccup.”

The colt was purchased as a weanling for $40,000 at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale. At that sale, he was listed as purchased by Gus Bell, who buys on behalf of the Snyders, Richard Snyder said.

“We knew we had a nice colt,” Snyder said. “Ciaran thought we could get $200,000.

For hip-by-hip results, click here.

Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training results

Year Sold Total Average Median Buy-back
2013 88 (+28%) $4,869,200 (+63%) $55,332 (+28%) $30,000 (+30%) 19%
2012 69 $2,986,500 $43,283 $23,000 19%