02/27/2009 12:00AM

Barretts offers filly with high-class siblings

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The gray filly that sells as Hip No. 26 at the Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in training on March 10 has a family with a solid history at the sale venue.

The California-bred filly is by prominent stallion Giant's Causeway and is out of Miss Soft Sell. That makes her a half-brother to the five-time stakes winner Brother Derek, who earned $1,611,138; the California champion Don'tsellmeshort ($402,365); and the stakes-placed Swissle Stick ($121,703).

Brother Derek, who won the 2006 Santa Anita Derby, sold at the 2005 Barretts March sale for $275,000. Swissle Stick sold for $600,000 at the 2004 March sale. Don'tsellmeshort, the champion statebred 2-year-old male of 2003, sold for $75,000 at the company's May sale.

If that does not create substantial expectations, the filly in this year's sale has already proven to be in demand. She was purchased for $280,000 at the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale by Donver Stable, with Ciaran Dunne's Wavertree Stable as agent.

The filly, bred by Mary Caldwell, is part of Wavertree's 13-horse consignment at the one-day Barretts sale.

Dunne consigned Swissle Stick, another California-bred, and says the filly in this year's sale shows similarities to that colt.

"She's probably more in the mold of a Swissle Stick than a Brother Derek," he said. "She acts like a 2-year-old type and is very fast. I would say that she could have a preference for a Polytrack. She's got kind of a grass foot on her. Based on that, they seem to get over the Poly a little better."

Still, Dunne holds hope that she could show improvement later in her career.

"Even though she's probably more sprinter than two turns, she's still got a lot of developing to do," he said.

Last Monday, the Wavertree horses were sent to California from Florida to begin preparation for the sale. The filly will breeze a furlong at the training preview on Thursday at Fairplex Park, Dunne said.

How she breezes, and subsequent inspections from buyers in the days before the sale, will largely determine how well she is received.

"I think there is still a market for the good horses and I think she's probably one of those," Dunne said. "She'll have one of the better pedigrees in the book. She might stand out a little bit in the catalog."

Still, a poor economy leaves him concerned.

"We are and we are not worried," he said. "She broke well and trained out very well. We're bringing a consignment that is pretty strong."

Last year, Dunne's Wavertree Stable had 12 horses in the catalog and sold eight for various clients. The horses that sold averaged $174,375. The group included Suni, a colt by Soto who was purchased for $120,000 and later won two stakes in Japan, becoming that country's top 2-year-old male on dirt, and Ventana, a colt purchased for $410,000 last year who was third in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes at Hollywood Park last November. Ventana was entered in Saturday's Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita.

Dunne's clients have several expensive yearlings in the March 10 sale. His 2009 consignment at Barretts includes a Tiznow colt purchased for $200,000 at Keeneland last year, an Indian Charlie colt purchased at Keeneland for $175,000, and a Harlan's Holiday filly purchased at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky sale last summer for $160,000.

"We mean business by coming out here," he said. "The Harlan's Holiday filly is a monster."

Dunne is zipping back and forth across the United States this month attending to consignments at sales in Florida and California. He said the California 2-year-old market is vital to his stable.

"Yeah, it's a pain in the butt to get here," he said on Thursday, while switching planes in Salt Lake City. "We have a clientele out here that is loyal to us. We've tried to bring our better horses out here."