01/27/2009 12:00AM

Encouraging trends at Barretts

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Livened up by its racing-age horses, the Barretts January mixed sale on Monday bucked the recent trend of steep bloodstock market losses.

The one-day auction in Pomona, Calif., suffered only a slight decline in average price and posted an increase in median. The session sold 202 horses, down from 354 last year, for a total of $1,232,400. That was off 45 percent, as expected, due to both the smaller catalog and the general 40 to 50 percent decline in the bloodstock market that started in the fall of 2008.

But the Barretts sale's 2009 average dipped only slightly, falling from last season's $6,288 to $6,101, and the median increased 13 percent, from $3,200 to $3,600. The buy-back rate also rose, but again only slightly, from 28 percent last year to 29 percent.

The 4-year-old Stravinsky filly Sweetpea, already a runner, and a 2-year-old unnamed Orientate filly were joint sale toppers at $50,000. Sweetpea, out of the Mt. Livermore mare Angel Kate, went to Mark Tatch. She was part of Barry and Judith Becker's dispersal of racing-age horses, handled by the Havens Bloodstock agency. Sweetpea is a half-sister to stakes winner Just for Keeps.

Havens Bloodstock also consigned the Orientate filly, a dark bay or brown daughter of Miss City Princess, by Carson City. Kjell Qvale purchased the half-sister to stakes winner Miss Bridget Jones.