02/26/2010 1:00AM

Florida gives Barretts sale a boost


Barretts Sales in Pomona, Calif., will offer 133 horses at its March select sale of 2-year-olds in training March 22, a slight increase from a 2009 catalog that had 122 horses.

The increase can be attributed to support from Florida-based consignors, said Kim Lloyd, Barretts vice-president of sales.

"That will add some depth to the quality of the sale," he said.

In 2009, the sale saw 51 horses sell for an average of $123,280, down from the 73 horses that sold for $178,027 in 2008. The 2009 sale topper was a Tiznow colt purchased for $650,000.

The colt, named Hurricane Hal, was purchased by Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stable and was unplaced in two starts at Churchill Downs last fall. Hurricane Hal had his first work of 2010 at Sam Houston Race Park last week.

Barretts is located on the Los Angeles County fair grounds, adjacent to the Fairplex Park racetrack. The Fairplex Park racing surface is scheduled to open for training for the sale horses this Friday, Lloyd said.

Six champs back for more in 2010

Six of the seven California-bred division champions from 2009 are expected to race this year.

In 2009, two horses shared the title of California-bred horse of the year: Dancing in Silks, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita in November, and California Flag, who won the BC Turf Sprint. Dancing in Silks was the champion older male and sprinter, and California Flag was champion turf horse.

The other champions were Repo, 2-year-old filly; Caracortado, 2-year-old male; Excessive Blend, 3-year-old filly; The Usual Q.T., 3-year-old male; and Lethal Heat, older female.

Three have already started. Caracortado, who has emerged as a Kentucky Derby candidate in recent weeks, won the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 13 and is being pointed for the $150,000 San Felipe Stakes on March 13.

Dancing in Silks has been unplaced in two sprint stakes at Santa Anita, including a fifth in the Grade 2 San Carlos Handicap on Feb. 20.

Dancing in Silks was considered for the $2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai on March 27, but because of the recent losses he is likely to stay home for a campaign geared toward the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs in November, trainer Carla Gaines said Thursday.

The Usual Q.T., the champion

3-year-old male and the winner of four turf stakes last year, was last of nine in the Sunshine Millions Classic on the main track Jan. 30 but bled in the race. Trainer Jim Cassidy said he intends to start The Usual Q.T. in the Grade 1 Frank Kilroe Mile on turf at Santa Anita on March 6.

California Flag has not started since finishing fifth in the Hong Kong Sprint in December, but is on schedule for the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint on turf in Dubai on March 27, trainer Brian Koriner said.

Lethal Heat, unraced since finishing seventh in the BC Ladies' Classic in November, will resume training in April with a return to racing at Del Mar, trainer Barry Abrams said.

"We decided to give her a good freshener," Abrams said.

Lethal Heat was winless in eight starts but placed in six stakes last year.

Repo had her first work of 2010 last weekend and will return to racing at the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting, trainer Doug O'Neill said. The winner of two sprint stakes last summer, Repo has not started since finishing 11th in the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes in October.

Excessive Blend is the only champion not returning to the track. The winner of two stakes at Del Mar last summer, she was retired after suffering an injury last summer. Owner Warren Williamson has bred Excessive Blend to Lemon Drop Kid.