03/25/2016 10:30AM

Brisk trade expected at repositioned Barretts juvenile sale

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A later date on the calendar could result in a different vibe for Wednesday’s Barretts select sale of 2-year-olds in training at Del Mar.

In recent years, the sale had been held in the last week of February or the first few days of March. A move to late March puts the one-day sale well into the season of 2-year-old sales nationwide. Buyers who may have been a bit selective at auctions in Florida in the last month might be more willing to bid Wednesday. At least, that’s the point of view of Barretts general manager Kim Lloyd.

“Just looking at the market, people are shopping,” Lloyd said. “People are looking for horses after the first two sales. For sure, people who are coming from Florida are in to sell. We think they’ll sell well.”

The sale, which begins at 2 p.m. Pacific, has 126 horses in the main and supplementary catalogs. Fewer will go through the ring, with withdrawals expected in the coming days.

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Steven Venosa, the Florida-based sales agent, said on Thursday that he will not bring his prominent 13-horse consignment. Venosa was the leading consignor at the 2015 select sale.

“We opted not to go this year,” Venosa said.

A training preview is scheduled on the Del Mar racetrack at 10 a.m. on Monday. The one- and two-furlong workout times of that preview, combined with physical inspections from owners and trainers, will go a long way toward determining how the market fares.

“I expect this year to be stronger than last year,” Lloyd said. “I think we have more depth at the top end.”

Last year, 45 horses sold for $6,148,000, an average of $136,622. The average was down 23.1 percent from the 2014 average of $177,750 but was closer to the $143,459 average of 2013 and was higher than at the sales from 2010-12.

The leading hip at the 2015 sale was a Twirling Candy filly purchased for $400,000 by Conquest Stables. There was one notable buyback last year, Street Fancy, the winner of the Grade 1 Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos in December, for $400,000.

Typical of a sale of 2-year-olds in training, nearly all of the prospects were offered as yearlings in the last nine months at sales such as the Keeneland September yearling sale, Fasig-Tipton July and October yearling sales, and the Barretts August and October yearling sales.

California-based trainer and agent John Brocklebank has a prominent consignment as agent for Dickman Legacy Ranch. The group includes an Unbridled’s Song colt listed as bought back for $245,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September yearling sale and a Midshipman colt bought for $100,000 at the same sale.

Bruno DeBerdt, Andy Havens, and Adrian Gonzalez from California have consignments, while Ciaran Dunne, Becky Thomas, and Eddie Woods are among the Florida-based agents who have made the annual trip to California.

This will be the first year Barretts has conducted its March select sale at Del Mar. The company was based at its founding home on the Los Angeles County fairgrounds in Pomona from its inception in 1990 until last spring, when it relocated.

The 2015 select sale, held in late February, was the final sale in Pomona, although the October yearling sale will be held there this year and again in 2017 because of stabling issues related to the Breeders’ Cup races in Southern California at that time, Lloyd said.

Lloyd said Barretts is committed to Del Mar.

“Del Mar is our home base,” he said. “This is where our future lies.”