01/27/2012 3:49PM

Barretts purchase made for worthwhile shopping trip

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Ron Stolich made the 80-mile drive from Rancho Mirage, Calif., to Pomona last Monday with a singular purpose. The mare Sci Fi Kin was available at the Barretts January mixed sale, and she was the one Stolich wanted for his Kentucky broodmare band.

“That’s the only reason I went there,” he said on Thursday.

He got her for the right price. Stolich said the $60,000 final bid, which topped the sale, was his last bid. “I thought if I could get her for $60,000, that was a good buy,” he said.

By the end of the week, Sci Fi Kin was in Kentucky. The Unusual Heat foal she is carrying will be eligible for California-bred races because the foal is by a California-based sire, but Sci Fi Kin will stay in Kentucky. Stolich, the former owner of Blooming Hills Farm in Clements, Calif., keeps a group of approximately six broodmares in Kentucky. His old farm was purchased by Pete Parrella and is now known as Legacy Ranch.

Stolich said he has not decided a stallion mating for Sci Fi Kin this spring.

“I’m trying to get better mares all the time,” Stolich said. “I was really thrilled to buy her. She’s my kind of mares, big with a lot of bone. This is a nice mare.”

“I hope that I have a good baby and get her back in foal.”

Sci Fi Kin, consigned by Harris Farms, agent for Madeline Auerbach, is by Siphon out of the multiple stakes winner Akinemod. The foal that Sci Fi Kin will produced this spring is already related to two talented runners.

Sci Fi Kin is the dam of Pretty Unusual, a mare by Unusual Heat who won the Grade 2 El Encino Stakes for 4-year-old fillies at Santa Anita in 2010. She has also produced Jax El, an Unusual Heat mare who has placed in two stakes.

The presence of Sci Fi Kin as the most expensive horse in the sale did not surprise Barretts vice-president Kim Lloyd.

“She figured to sell well,” he said. “She produced a Grade 2 winner and a stakes-placed horse. She was well sold and well purchased, too.”

Overall, the Barretts sale saw 162 horses sell for $982,500. The average rose 14 percent, to $6,065 from $5,310 in 2011, while the median increased 20 percent, to $3,000 from $2,500 last year.

A colt by Awesome Gambler was purchased for $40,000 by trainer Doug O’Neill, the leading 2-year-old at the sale. The colt, consigned by Lovacres Ranch, agent, is out of Rachel’s Edition, 16, who was stakes-placed in Ontario during a three-year racing career. Rachel’s Edition is by Ascot Knight.

The 2-year-old colt, a California-bred, has been galloping for 90 days, according to a note in the sale catalog. Awesome Gambler was the leading freshman sire in California in 2011 and stands at Lovacres Ranch.

Two 4-year-old fillies and a 5-year-old mare sold for $30,000 – Miss Nicole, an unraced 4-year-old mare by Street Cry, who sold as a broodmare prospect; Alala, a maiden race winner at Hollywood Park in December; and Smart Striking, 5, a two-time winner in Ireland who was second in an optional claimer at Santa Anita on Dec. 30.

The uptick in the market was expected, Lloyd said.

“Things are getting better,” he said. “We’re getting solid action in this sale. People are calling from all over the country looking to buy. It gives you a feeling of confidence going forward.”