10/03/2014 6:06PM

Barretts sale held in period of transition


The October yearling sale at the Barretts sales pavilion in Pomona, Calif., on Tuesday will mark the end of an era.

Next year, after a January sale of horses of racing age and a March sale of select 2-year-olds, Barretts will move its events to Del Mar. Barretts general manager Kim Lloyd said last week that two yearling sales are tentatively scheduled for 2015 – a select sale in August and a broader sale in November. In recent years, the October yearling sale has been the only yearling sale in Southern California.

For the final October yearling sale in Pomona, the catalog features 260 entries, 12 more than last year, with 10 early outs reported as of Wednesday. It contains a group of horses that Lloyd said could easily produce higher returns than the 2013 sale, which was down from 2012.

“Our perception is that it’s a touch better group,” Lloyd said. “Being honest, I always think it’s a touch better. The year before, the market was up, but last year, it was down. I expect it to pick up to the 2012 level. I think the market fluctuates.”

In 2012, 174 yearlings sold at the October sale for a total of $4,006,600, an average of $23,026 and a median of $18,000, according to sales company figures. In 2013, 159 horses sold for $3,130,500, an average of $19,689 and a median of $13,000. The 2011 sale had an average price of $16,881.

The sale topper in 2013 was a California-bred colt by The Pamplemousse who sold to Arnold Zetcher for $160,000, the only horse to bring six figures. The colt, named Mighty Mousse, was in training with Bob Baffert this year and finished third in his debut on Sept. 6 at Los Alamitos but is currently sidelined, Baffert said Wednesday.

The second-highest-priced colt last year, by Artie Schiller, sold for $95,000 and later was pinhooked for $220,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. June sale. Named Conquest Dreamin, the colt has yet to start.

Lloyd said the mood among buyers may have shifted in recent months following the closure of Hollywood Park last December. He theorized that last fall, buyers were unsure where their horses would be stabled in 2014, and that the demeanor may have calmed now that Santa Anita, San Luis Rey Downs, and Los Alamitos have taken the bulk of the stabling in Southern California. There also are horses stabled at Fairplex Park through the end of this year.

“We thought [the stabling] had an effect on the sale,” Lloyd said. “It looks like we’re working through the transition period.”

On Tuesday, six of the 10 leading stallions in the state by progeny earnings have yearlings in the sale. Lucky Pulpit, the sire of Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome, tops the state’s general stallion list and has 23 yearlings cataloged in the sale. Tribal Rule, who died this year, has 15 yearlings.

There are 10 yearlings by Unusual Heat, who led the state’s stallions in progeny earnings from 2008 through 2013 and currently ranks third. There also are four yearlings by Good Journey, two by Decarchy, and one by the pensioned Benchmark, who all rank among the top 10 stallions in the state.

The large group of Lucky Pulpit yearlings includes Hip No. 102, a filly out of stakes winner Jetinwith Kennedy who is a half-sister to four stakes winners; Hip No. 119, a colt out of Lasting Beauty, the dam of Perfectly Pretty, who produced the Grade 1 winner Idiot Proof; and Hip No. 177, a colt out of stakes winner Revillew Slew, who won 13 times in her career.

Idiot Proof stands at stud at Victory Rose Thoroughbreds in Vacaville, Calif., and has a colt in Tuesday’s sale.

Unusual Heat is the sire of Hip No. 24, a colt who is a half-brother to millionaire Grade 2 winner Moscow Burning, the 2004 California-bred Horse of the Year; Hip No. 93, a filly out of Lone Star Park stakes winner Hotlantic who is a half-sister to the undefeated Long Hot Summer, the winner of the Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 27; and Hip No. 238, out of two-time stakes winner Top of Our Game.

Long Hot Summer, by Street Boss, topped the Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training this year, selling for $260,000.

The state’s top three second-crop stallions are represented in the sale. Leader Papa Clem has five yearlings cataloged, while Square Eddie has three, and Dixie Chatter has 17. Square Eddie was the leading freshman sire in California in 2013.

There are 14 stallions with their first crop of yearlings cataloged in the sale – Albertus Maximus, Bold Chieftain, Exhi, Haynesfield, Informed, Noble Court, Paddy O’Prado, Regal Ransom, Run Brother Ron, Scorewithcater, Sidney’s Candy, Sierra Sunset, Slew’s Tiznow, and Twirling Candy.