01/27/2004 12:00AM

Barretts sale average up on first day

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The Barretts winter mixed auction in Pomona, Calif., got off to a good start Monday with a $425,000 session-topper and increased gross and average.

At Monday's session, the first of two days' selling, Grade 2 stakes winner Taste of Paradise easily brought the day's highest price of $425,000. Purchased by David Bloom, Taste of Paradise, winner of last year's San Diego Handicap, was consigned by Berkey Bloodstock Services, agent. He was sold to dissolve a partnership and was cataloged as a racing or stallion prospect.

Monday's session sold 277 head for gross revenue of $2,473,800, up from last year when 269 horses brought $2,122,800. The session average also climbed this year by 13 percent to $8,931, but the median fell 17 percent to $3,500.

As of 5 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, the session-leader was a $40,000 yearling In Excess colt that Deanna Rynearson bought from Mary Knight, agent.