08/17/2001 12:00AM

Del Mar sale may go to one day


DEL MAR, Calif. - More changes could be in the works for the Del Mar Yearling Sale, which set a record for average price earlier this week.

After tinkering with the format in recent years, including changing the venue in the mid-1990's and adjusting the catalog size, the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association had its most successful sale this year.

But CTBA general manager Doug Burge said there would be discussions in the winter about making the sale a one-day event in 2002, focusing on a post-racing session on a Monday evening, featuring approximately 135 to 140 horses.

This year's two-day sale, held last Monday and Tuesday at the Del Mar HorsePark, set a record average price of $43,663. That's an 18 percent increase over the previous record of $36,798, set in 1999, and a 36 percent increase over the 2000 average of $31,915. Nine horses sold for $100,000 or more, including seven on Monday's first session.

"It's not broke, but there may be a way to enhance it," Burge said. "I think we'll examine making some small modifications. When you look at the electricity that we had on Monday and that we lost on Tuesday, we may sit down with some of the consignors and we may look at a one-day sale.

"Even though last year, the sale topper came on Tuesday, the Tuesday has had a smaller crowd," Burge said. "On Monday, expectations were high. Monday night was very exciting. We'll review and discuss it. If it makes sense, we might do it."

California-breds helped fuel the record average. All nine of the yearlings that sold for $100,000 or more were bred in this state. Two of the top three yearlings are by Bertrando, a top sire in the state.

Aside from the sale, Bertrando had a great week. He is the sire of Officer, the top 2-year-old in California, who is undefeated after three starts, including a seven-length win in the Grade 3 Best Pal Stakes on Wednesday.

Bertrando sired the sale topper, a filly bought for $200,000 by Martha Bonde, the wife of northern California trainer Jeff Bonde, from the consignment of Berkey Bloodstock.

Another leading filly was a daughter of Falstaff, bought for $165,000 by Stanley Fulton of Las Vegas, who is in the process of building a racing stable in New Mexico and California. The Falstaff filly, a full-sister to Go Go, a starter in Sunday's Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar, was consigned by Yearsley Bloodstock, who led all consignors with gross sales of $772,000.

Bertrando sired the top colt, who was bought for $155,000 by John Deeter from the Tommy Town Thoroughbreds consignment. The colt is out of Demoiselle Stakes winner Minister Wife.

Zamora to hold dispersal sale soon

John Zamora, the owner of JZ Stock Farm in Temecula, Calif., is conducting a major dispersal in the coming months, which may include the stallion Olympio.

Zamora is offering 20 yearlings at the Barretts October Preferred Yearling Sale on Oct. 2 and will sell six weanlings, 11 horses of racing age, and 16 mares at the Barretts October Mixed Sale on Oct. 29 and 30. In January, he said he would offer another 30 or 40 horses of all ages.

Aside from his breeding operation, Zamora owned Classy Cara, a Washington-bred who finished third in the Kentucky Oaks and won two important stakes - the Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park and the Honeymoon Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Zamora cited the need to fund operating costs at a recently purchased printing company, Graphic Press of Los Angeles, as the reason for the dispersal. According to a published report in a trade publication, Zamora recently spent $40 million in printing equipment.

"What I'm doing in the horse business is to liquidate and raise cash to put more into this business," he said. "This is a commitment to the printing business. I'm putting everything into it."

Zamora said it was unclear whether Olympio or Tricky Creek, another stallion at his farm, would be moving from JZ Stock Farm. "I've gotten a few calls from all over," he said. "I'd rather keep the horses in California and keep part of them."

Zamora said he will not leave racing entirely.

"I'll probably be involved in partnerships and just not have as many on my own," he said "I'm not getting out of it totally. I'm trying to raise enough money to get this going. If it does, I'll probably rebuild my racing stable."