10/31/2003 12:00AM

Barretts sale pulls about-face

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Prices fell in major categories at the October mixed sale at Barretts in Pomona earlier this week, a reverse from the 2002 sale which showed substantial increases over 2001.

This year's sale was the largest event in the 13-year history of Barretts - 782 weanlings, yearlings, horses of racing age, broodmares, and stallions.

Of those, 513 sold for $2,860,400, an average of $5,576 and a median of $3,200. Last year, the sale grossed $3,176,600 on 423 horses, an average of $7,510 and a median of $3,500. This year's average fell 25 percent compared to 2002, which was up 43 percent over 2001.

Broodmare prices fell. Last year, 171 broodmares sold for $1,403,700, an average of $8,209. This year, with more broodmares to choose from, 239 sold for $1,512,900. The average of $6,330 marked a decline of 23 percent.

"We had 100 more broodmares on the market than last year," said Barretts president Gerald McMahon. "Most of the time when you do that you suffer. I attribute it more to numbers than anything else."

McMahon said the 2002 sale was helped by dispersals or reductions from Cee's Stable, Golden Eagle Farm, and Ridder Thoroughbreds, whose consignments included many horses of racing age.

"That really impacted the averages to the plus side," McMahon said.

Prices for yearlings and horses of racing age increased slightly. The average price for horses of racing age rose 2 percent, to $10,961; average yearling price grew by 6 percent, to $3,746.

Broodmares dominated the list of top sellers. The most expensive lot was Nanogram, who sold for $72,000. Last year, two broodmares sold for $100,000 or more and the sale-topper cost $145,000.

Nanogram, a 6-year-old Quiet American mare, won twice and earned $189,672. Nanogram also finished second in the Grade 3 Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap at Santa Anita in 2001 and third in the 2002 running.

The Maddy is run on the hillside turf course, a layout over which Nanogram excelled.

During her racing career, Nanogram was owned by a partnership that included Leon Rasmussen, the late breeding columnist for Daily Racing Form. Nanogram was consigned by Mary Knight, agent, and was purchased by Sheila O'Callaghan.

Nanogram is out of two-time stakes winner Nannetta and was not in foal when she sold.

Two California-bred mares sold for $55,000 - Got the Votes and Jacodra's Devil.

Got the Votes was purchased by Blooming Hills from the Harris Farms consignment. By Slew o' Gold, Got the Votes, 7, sold in foal to Cee's Tizzy. Got the Votes is a half-sister to California champion Work the Crowd, who earned $644,550.

Jacodra's Devil, the winner of the 1995 Santa Anita Budweiser Breeders' Cup Handicap, was sold in foal to Bertrando. She was consigned by River Edge Farm, agent, and bought by Rich and Gaby Sulpizio's Magali Farms of Santa Ynez.

Last year, Magali Farm led all buyers, acquiring three broodmares for $181,000. This year, Nevada Bloodstock led all buyers, with 11 purchases for $104,000. Golden Eagle Farm led consignors, selling 59 horses for $514,600.

McMahon said the sale was hurt by the wildfires that raged through Southern California.

"I'm sure we were impacted by the fire," he said. "It may have taken the edge off what could have been a solid sale. Some regional horsemen had to stay at their farms."