01/23/2009 12:00AM

El Roblar biggest name in mixed sale catalog


Barretts launches a reduced 2009 sale calendar on Monday with a one-day mixed sale preceded by moderate expectations. Recent mixed sales in other parts of the nation have seen declines in revenue caused by a troubled economy.

The Barretts January mixed sale has a main catalog of 314 horses and a supplemental catalog of 19 horses. The sale, which begins at 11 a.m Pacific in Pomona, Calif., includes broodmares, horses of racing age, yearlings, 2-year-olds, and a few stallions.

Broodmares make up a large segment of the market, but there are a considerable number of early-season yearlings. Last year, the sale was conducted over two days, with 354 horses selling for an average of $6,288. The average price saw a decline of 34 percent from the 2007 average of $9,544.

The sale topper of the 2008 sale was the unraced Villa Margurite, a 5-year-old mare purchased for $120,000. She was the only horse to sell for $100,000 or mare.

In the wake of declines at the major Keeneland mixed sale earlier this month, Barretts officials would accept a sale this week with figures similar to 2008.

"Hopefully, we'll get a lot of horses sold and moved," said Kim Lloyd, Barretts vice president of sales. "The horses of racing age seem to do well."

The January sale has done well when major dispersals were part of the auction. This year, there is one minor dispersal - horses of racing age from owners Barry and Judith Becker, through Andy Havens Bloodstock. Most of the eight horses in the Becker dispersal are maidens.

Last year, yearlings led the market, with 97 horses selling for an average of $7,514. At the 2007 sale, horses of racing age led the market, with 62 selling for an average of $17,558.

The 2007 sale featured several dispersals, including Granja Vista Del Rio stable, Edward Nahem, and the commercial division of Pepper Oaks Farm.

By far the most prominent older horse in Monday's sale is El Roblar, a winner of 6 of 14 starts and $389,646 for Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stables. Consigned by Havens Bloodstock, El Roblar sells as a stallion prospect.

Trained by Richard Mandella, El Roblar won his final start, the Grade 3 Inglewood Handicap at Hollywood Park last May. Shortly after that race, he was diagnosed with an ankle injury.

El Roblar, by War Chant, won two other stakes - a division of the restricted Oceanside Stakes on turf at Del Mar in 2005, and the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap at Hollywood Park in 2007.

Two other notable older horses have been withdrawn - the stallion Event of the Year, and the stallion prospect Peace Chant.

The supplemental catalog includes Mamita Chula, a 6-year-old mare who placed in stakes at Fairplex Park and Golden Gate Fields. She sells as a broodmare prospect.

This is the first of four sales at Barretts in 2009, down from six in 2008, and is the only mixed sale on the calendar. Last fall, the company eliminated its June sale of horses of racing age and 2-year-olds in training and its October mixed sale. Neither sale had produced substantial returns for consignors in recent years.

The move to four sales leaves Barretts with a pair of 2-year-olds in training sales - the select sale on March 10 and a general sale on May 12 - as well as a fall sale of preferred yearlings on Oct. 6.