10/02/2007 11:00PM

Barretts sale numbers down by double digits

EmailPOMONA, Calif. - Tuesday's California October yearling sale at Barretts showed declines in major categories compared with the 2006 sale. The sale-topper was a colt by Friends Lake purchased for $150,000 by bloodstock agent Bruno de Berdt.

The one-day sale saw 169 horses sold for $3,364,600, an average price of $19,909 and a median of $11,000. The gross fell 22.3 percent, while the average was down 21.3 percent from 2007. The median showed the most significant loss, down 31.2 percent from $16,000 in 2006 to $11,000 this year.

The buy-back rate reached 40 percent, a slight increase in the number not sold from 38.7 percent last year. The sale had a slow start. Of the first 73 horses to go through the ring, 35 were listed as not sold, 32 were sold, and six were withdrawn.

The overall average, median, and gross were the lowest in the three years the sale has been conducted as a joint venture between Barretts Sales and the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association.

The Friends Lake colt is part of the sire's first crop. The colt is out of Marchtothemine, a 16-year-old mare by Mining who was stakes-placed at Fairplex Park. Marchtothemine has produced one prominent foal, the filly Ellieonthemarch, by Old Trieste, who earned $138,322 and was graded -stakes-placed at Gulfstream Park.

De Berdt frequently buys yearlings and pinhooks to 2-year-olds in training sales in the spring.

The Friends Lake colt was consigned by Andy Havens Bloodstock, agent. Havens led all consignors, selling 31 horses for $706,700.

Tuesday's sale lacked strength at the top of the market. In 2006, six horses sold for $100,000 or more, including a Cape Town filly who topped the sale for $240,000. This year, there were four horses who sold for more than $100,000. In 2005, there were five horses who sold for $100,000 or more.

Southern California trainer Brian Koriner led all buyers, acquiring five horses for $313,000. Koriner said he was acting on behalf of a group of clients of his racing stable, who intend to bring the yearlings to a 2-year-olds in training sale in the spring.

Koriner purchased a California-bred colt by Congaree for $130,000 and a Formal Gold colt for $92,000.

The leading filly, by Swiss Yodeler, was purchased for $140,000 by Bill Peeples of Santa Barbara, Calif. Consigned by B.C.3 Thoroughbreds, agent for Eary Equine, the filly is out of Yes We Do, who was stakes-placed at Golden Gate Fields.

Ireland: Goffs gross, average down

The Goffs Million auction's last of three sessions took off early Wednesday when English agent Charles Gordon-Watson paid about $852,000 for an Indian Ridge colt out of Alleluia.

The colt is from the family of the filly who sold for about $3.4 million to top the three-day auction, a Sadler's Wells-Albanova filly purchased by Demi O'Byrne for Coolmore.

Wednesday's high-priced colt, offered as Hip No. 414 from the Airlie Stud consignment, stayed in the top spot for the rest of the session, which suffered declines in gross and average price even though more yearlings sold. The final Goffs Million session closed Wednesday evening with 155 horses bringing a total of about $22,881,880. Calculated in the local currency of euros, that was down 15 percent from last year's aggregate for 148 yearlings. The 2007 average fell 19 percent to about $147,625. The median price was not available.

On Tuesday, O'Byrne paid the sale-topping price of about $3,408,000, for a Sadler's Wells daughter from Albanova, by Alzao, consigned by Staffordstown.

But that price did not lift the auction above last year's three-day cumulative figures. The 2007 edition sold 489 yearlings for about $76,496,820, a decrease of 9 percent from last year's total for 510 horses. The three-day average price of about $156,435 was down by 5 percent. But the median increased 3 percent to about $102,240.

Buy-backs improved from 15 percent last year to 13 percent in 2007.

Maryland: Malibu Moon colt leads

Former Maryland stallion Malibu Moon provided a high-priced yearling Wednesday at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic's Eastern fall yearling sale in Timonium, Md. As the three-day auction wound toward its conclusion, a $200,000 son of Malibu Moon was the final session's highest-priced yearling at 6 p.m. Charles Bassford purchased the colt from Huntingfields, with Bill Reightler acting as consigning agent. The chestnut colt is out of the Conquistador Cielo mare Blue Sky Princess, a Grade 2-placed stakes winner and the dam of Maryland stakes winner Inner Harbour. The session-leading yearling is a half-brother to Inner Harbour.

The Wednesday session followed lively trade at the auction's second session on Tuesday. A $325,000 Stormy Atlantic-Princess Birdeye filly topped the proceedings on a final bid from Jay Em Ess Stable, which also purchased a $170,000 Lion Heart-Twin Induction colt.

Welker Sales agency consigned Tuesday's session-topper, and Paramount Sales, agent, sold the Lion Heart colt.

Tuesday's session sold 194 yearlings for $4,616,600, an increase of 11 percent from last year's total of $4,152,300 for 221 yearlings. The average price at the session was up 27 percent, climbing from $18,789 to $23,797. But the median slipped slightly, from $11,500 to $11,000 this season.

Still, the two-day cumulative numbers lagged behind last year. Through Tuesday, 369 horses had brought $8,886,400, down 9 percent from last year's gross for 446 horses. The two-day average did rise 10 percent to $24,082, but the median fell 9 percent, from $11,500 to $10,500. The buy-back rate for horses who went through the ring was a fairly moderate 27 percent, as compared to 31 percent last year.

- additional reporting by Glenye Cain Oakford