03/15/2007 11:00PM

Cape Town filly has tough act to follow


ARCADIA, Calif. - Keep an eye on the California-breds that sell for big prices at Tuesday's Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in training. Recent history indicates that one of them could become a major stakes winner.

In 2005, the California-bred Brother Derek was sold for $275,000. He won the 2006 Santa Anita Derby. Last year, Notional was sold for $235,000. He has won two graded stakes this year - the San Rafael and Risen Star stakes - and is among the top Kentucky Derby hopefuls.

At this year's sale, there are 17 California-breds among the 200

2-year-olds on offer - nine colts and eight fillies.

The most prominent California-bred in the sale is a Cape Town filly who topped the Barretts California yearling sale in October at $240,000. Bought by pinhooker John Brocklebank on behalf of a group of investors, the filly has been intended for the March sale since her purchase.

Brocklebank said the filly has been training well. The all-important presale breezes, including one scheduled for Sunday, will be vital in impressing buyers, he said.

"When I first got her I was really excited, and I had to pull the reins on myself a little bit," he said. "She's been very, very consistent. I think she's a very talented filly."

The Cape Town filly is out of Charming Gal, the dam of 2003 Cavonnier Stakes winner Race for Glory. Brocklebank admits he has high hopes that she will be a sought-after 2-year-old on Tuesday.

"Maybe for resell, we overpaid a little bit," he said. "That tells you what kind of individual she was. Whether other people go to the next level, I don't know that, but she is an awful good filly."

Brocklebank said a reserve will be determined "as the sale progresses."

"Right now, I think she'd sell herself," he said last week. "I'm very pleased with her."

Brocklebank has the largest consignment for the sale, offering 19 2-year-olds through his B.C. Thoroughbreds, which is operated in partnership with Shane Chipman. They have one other California-bred, a Mutakddim colt bought for $32,000 last October.

The Cape Town filly is one of three California-breds in the sale that sold for $100,000 or more as yearlings. Becky Thomas's Sequel Bloodstock is offering a Kafwain filly purchased for $115,000 at Barretts last October. The filly is out of the Midwest stakes winner Courtly Kathy.

A California-bred filly by Tribal Rule purchased by Jon Kelly for $100,000 at Barretts last October is part of the consignment of Sam Semkin, agent. The filly is out of the stakes winner Miss Inn Zone, who is the dam of the stakes winner Zoning In. Tribal Rule was the leading freshman stallion in California by progeny earnings in 2006.

The number of California-breds in the Barretts sale is down from the last two years. There were 27 offered in 2005 and 34 in 2006.

The presence of the six-figure California-bred yearlings in the sale is an encouraging sign to Doug Burge, the general manager of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association.

"What's promising is some of the top yearlings that were sold to Florida pinhookers are cataloged," he said. "I hope we see them in the sale and they do well. I hope we have another Notional."

Barretts president Gerald McMahon said many California-breds that could have been considered for the March sale weren't quite ready and are being prepared for the May 2-year-olds in training sale.

"You have to be ready early to be ready for the March," he said. "A lot of local horses are started later in terms of getting broken and trained."