03/02/2006 12:00AM

Brother Derek's consignor back for more


Consignor John Brocklebank had mixed emotions when a Benchmark colt he offered at the 2005 Barretts March sale of selected 2-year-olds in training was sold for $275,000.

On behalf of Timberline, a group of pinhooking investors led by Salt Lake City businessman Craig Tillotson, Brocklebank had paid $150,000 at the 2004 Keeneland September yearling sale for the colt, and watched him work quickly in advance of the Barretts sale.

The colt is Brother Derek, the favorite for Saturday's $200,000 Santa Catalina Stakes at Santa Anita and the leading contender for the Kentucky Derby.

For Brocklebank, who operates BC Thoroughbreds with partner Shane Chipman, the $275,000 price was a surprise. He expected to get more.

"I try to be realistic in this game," Brocklebank said. "Despite what people think, once you sell a horse it becomes part of your deal. It's been wonderful what Brother Derek has done.

"I was really disappointed in what he brought. I thought he was the best horse I'd been around. I wanted to buy the horse back. I thought he'd bring $700,000 to $750,000, somewhere around there."

Brocklebank and Chipman, who are based in South Jordan, Utah, near Salt Lake City, are returning to California this month for the Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in training in Pomona on March 14.

Their BC Thoroughbreds has 21 juveniles consigned to the one-day sale, including seven California-breds. Their group of statebreds is led by a Distorted Humor colt that Brocklebank purchased for $230,000 at the 2005 Keeneland September yearling sale.

"I don't want to brag on them too much and shoot myself in the foot, but they're a great bunch of colts," Brocklebank said.

Overall, there are 34 California-breds in the 181-horse sale - 20 colts and 14 fillies. Last year, there were 27 California-breds in the sale. Brother Derek is by far the most successful member of that group.

The Distorted Humor colt has loads of promise. He is out of My Glamorous One, who was second in the 1989 Santa Ysabel Stakes at Santa Anita. My Glamorous One has already produced a California-bred champion: Humorous Lady, by Distorted Humor, was the state's top 2-year-old filly in 2002.

Humorous Lady won the Grade 2 Astarita Stakes at Belmont Park and two other stakes.

"I hate to say what he'll do or won't do, but I think he'll light it up," Brocklebank said of the Distorted Humor colt. "He has a full sister that was real active. He could bring between $400,000 and $500,000 and probably should the way he acts around here.

"He's got a little of an attitude, like he would stick gum in the hair of the girl in front of him."

Brocklebank, 48, will know more about how his consignment will be received after the presale workouts, scheduled for March 6 and 12. The BC operation has spent the last few months preparing the 2-year-olds for the grueling build-up to the sale. So far, the Distorted Humor colt has withstood the regimen, Brocklebank said.

"We train them up. We don't mess around," he said. "We breeze them hard and gallop them hard, and if they ask us to back off we will.

"We prepare a horse to try to win and withstand the pressure of racing. This colt has been trained hard. He'll preview hard. He'll come running down through there."

Brocklebank compares his pinhooking operation to a pro sports team, saying that pinhookers draft "in the eighth or ninth round every year" in the yearling sales. They are unable to compete for the most expensive horses, which are sold in the early portion of the Keeneland September yearling sale, he said, but are more active a few days later.

Many of the California-breds offered next week were bought at the Barretts October yearling sale last year, including an Unusual Heat filly purchased for $80,000 by Ashton Management. The filly is consigned by Wavertree Stables, agent.

Another California-bred colt who is almost certain to be scrutinized by many potential buyers is a Red Bullet colt bought for $190,000 by Dapple Bloodstock at the Keeneland September yearling sale. He also is consigned by Wavertree Stables, agent.

Ultimately, all consignors are seeking to emulate Brocklebank's 2005 sale, by selling a juvenile for a profit and watching him develop into an important horse.

Brocklebank was impressed with Brother Derek long before the colt whipped through a quarter-mile in 20.80 seconds in a workout eight days before the 2005 sale.

"I thought that guy was unbelievable," Brocklebank said. "He was the sort you could breeze down the middle of I-15 and nothing would bother him."

A year from now, Brocklebank, or one of his colleagues, may be saying the same thing about one of the 2-year-olds in this year's sale.