Updated on 09/17/2011 11:28AM

Early look at 2-year-olds in training sale

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There were two distinctively different previews last week for the Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training, which will be held Monday and Tuesday.

The conventional preview was held on Thursday and Friday at Fairplex Park on the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds, featuring sale prospects breezing a furlong or a quarter-mile.

Across town at Hollywood Park, another preview of sorts was held on Wednesday and Thursday, when a few of the prospects ran in maiden races over 4 1/2 furlongs.

On Wednesday, Don'tsellmeshort finished second in his career debut against California-bred maidens.

On Thursday, the winners of the first and last races were sale prospects.

In Thursday's first race, Outrageous Oyster won her career debut in a maiden special weight for California-bred fillies. Owned by Morey Cohen's 5C Racing Stable, Outrageous Oyster won by three lengths, finishing 4 1/2 furlongs in 52.71 seconds. By Wild Gold, the filly is out of Petaluma, who has produced four winners. Outrageous Oyster sells as hip No. 131.

In the final race on Thursday, Sweet Nine made her fifth career start in a 4 1/2-furlong race for maiden fillies entered to be claimed for $40,000. Sweet Nine raced with blinkers for the first time. She fought for the lead throughout and finished three-quarters of a length in front of the heavily favored Miss Sand Bar.

Trained by Leonard Duncan, Sweet Nine made four starts over two furlongs at Santa Anita in March and April, finishing second, fourth, third, and fifth.

On Friday, Sweet Nine was shipped from Duncan's barn at Hollywood Park to the sale grounds. Duncan is unsure whether Thursday's success will enhance or detract from Sweet Nine's sale price.

"It's what the market will bear," he said. "If someone is looking for a horse that will be competitive on the small California-bred stakes on the northern fairs, she could be competitive."

The victories by Outrageous Oyster and Sweet Nine on Thursday reflect the variety offered in this week's sale, which will start each afternoon at 1 p.m. at the Hinds Pavilion on the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds.

Barretts president Gerald McMahon said 2-year-olds that have started at the racetrack can have mixed results in the sales ring.

"It's a horse-by-horse basis," he said. "Sometimes, they go too fast and get withdrawn. Sometimes they run badly and lose value. Sometimes, they run just right and help their value. It's a mixed bag."

Aside from Outrageous Oyster and Sweet Nine, several other 2-year-olds who have already started are in the sale. Rockin the Ship, a Western Fame colt, won a two-furlong maiden race at Santa Anita on March 13 and is hip No. 327. Aside from that, Don'tsellmeshort (No. 90), Dothewildthing (No. 260), and Fast Splash (No. 318) have placed in maiden races.

Unlike the March sale, which has a higher class of juveniles, the May sale has many 2-year-olds that will begin their careers in claiming races. But it also has stakes prospects. Crackup was purchased for $50,000 from last year's sale and later won the California Cup Juvenile and Great State Challenge Juvenile for owner Stan Fulton. Many will sell for much less than that.

The 2002 sale included dispersals from the Cavanaugh Family Trust and Estate of Bart Heller, which led to a sale of 270 horses, a gross of $7,507,000, and an average of $27,701.

Among the 2-year-olds last year, 226 horses sold for $6,411,600, an average of $28,370. The sale topper was a $330,000 Touch Gold filly named Touch Silk, who has yet to start.

McMahon projects that 330 of the 414 horses entered in this week's sale will pass through the ring.