07/22/2013 10:26AM

Del Mar: Figures soar at second Paddock Sale


Led by a 2012 Kentucky stakes winner who sold for $510,000, the second Paddock Sale at Del Mar on Sunday evening saw sharp increases in gross, average and median prices compared with the inaugural sale in 2012.

According to preliminary statistics from Barretts Sales and Racing, 17 horses sold for a total of $1,257,000, an average of $73,941 and a median of $50,000. There were two horses withdrawn and eight listed as not sold.

The statistics were higher despite a smaller catalog. In 2012, 25 horses were sold, 11 listed as not sold and nine were withdrawn. The gross for Sunday’s sale increased 35 percent from the 2012 figure of $933,000, while the average increased 98 percent from $37,320 last year. The median soared 150 percent, from $20,000 in 2012 to $50,000 this year.

The reason for those significant gains was the 3-year-old filly Oscar Party, by Dixie Union, who sold for $510,000 to trainer James Cassidy, agent for Deron Pearson of Valencia, Calif.

Cassidy outbid Gary Hartunian, who races as Rockingham Ranch, and trainer Kristin Mulhall, who bid on the phone. All there were active at $400,000, with Cassidy outlasting Mulhall in the final bids.

Oscar Party has won 2 of 7 starts and earned $103,777. She won the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Kentucky Downs last September, and was later fourth, beaten a head, in the Grade 3 Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland. Earlier this year, she won an allowance race at Churchill Downs and finished third in the Grade 3 Regret Stakes there on June 15.

Cassidy said he expects Oscar Party to start at the current Del Mar meeting, which runs through Sept. 4.

“She’s a nice, lovely filly, probably the best horse in the sale,” Cassidy said. “You look what she’s done in her races. She vetted out and she looks the part.”

Oscar Party was the only horse purchased by Cassidy for Pearson. She is out of stakes winner and multiple Grade 3-placed Dream Lady, by Old Trieste, and is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Major Gain.

Pearson, who is in the technology business, has been an active at sales in the United States and England in recent years. Earlier in the day on Sunday, Pearson’s Lilbourne Eliza and Disko Dasko finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in the Grade 2 San Clemente Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on turf at Del Mar.

“We’ll do what’s best for her,” Pearson said of Oscar Party. “I watched her races and I thought she was a little green in some of her races.”

Pearson said that he has often been attracted to “turf horses that have some black type. I’d like to breed, too.”

Oscar Party previously raced for James Covello and was trained by Wayne Catalano. Steven Venosa of Ocala, Fla., consigned the filly, as agent.

Aside from Oscar Party, one other horse sold in excess of $100,000 – the 2-year-old filly Side Letter, by Henny Hughes, who was purchased by Hartunian for $150,000.

Side Letter has started twice, winning a maiden special weight race at Golden Gate Fields and finishing second in the Juan Gonzalez Memorial Stakes at the Alameda County Fair at Pleasanton on July 6. She is out of the unraced Dixie Union mare Southern Scholar, a full sister to Grade 3 winner Dixie Band.

A California-bred colt by Unusual Heat out of Foreverinthegame was bought back for $105,000. Named Eternal Flame, the colt is a full-brother to Gervinho, who won a division of the Oceanside Stakes on Del Mar’s July 17 opening card.

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