Updated on 10/09/2012 11:59AM

Golden State Series expected to give lift to Barretts October yearling sale


Last fall, the formation of the Golden State Series for 2- and 3-year-old California-breds was announced days before the Barretts October yearling sale in Pomona, Calif.

The new series, which was launched in March of this year, has greatly enhanced purses for young California-breds. When the 2011 yearling sale started, the impact of the new series had not been felt in the sport.

A year later, the situation appears to be different. For Tuesday’s yearling sale, the California-breds will be extensively scrutinized as potential candidates for the 2013 Golden State Series – and beyond.

[LIVE VIDEO: Barretts October yearling sale]

The latest proof that the purses of the Golden State Series are having an impact on California-bred stakes is evident in the California Cup races at Santa Anita next Saturday. The richest of the five stakes are the two races for 2-year-olds – the $250,000 Juvenile and $250,000 Juvenile Fillies. Last year, they were worth $100,000 each. The California Cup Classic for 3-year-olds and up, which had been the richest Cal Cup race since the series started in 1990, is worth $175,000 this year.

Barretts general manager Kim Lloyd contends that the Golden State Series has already affected the commercial bloodstock market in the state through higher demand for California-breds at 2-year-olds in training sales earlier this year and at a horses of racing age sale held at Del Mar in July.

“People were looking for Cal-breds to run,” Lloyd said. “Those bonuses will have an effect.”

The California breeding industry could use a boost. Last month, the Jockey Club announced that the projected foal crop for 2012 in California will be 1,600 foals, an alarming decline of 9.2 percent from the 2011 crop of 1,762.

“Supply is down and demand is up,” Lloyd said.

Tuesday’s yearling sale has 236 yearlings. There are 199 Cal-breds in the catalog.

In 2011, the yearling sale averaged $16,881 after 154 horses sold for a gross of $2,599,700. The average increased 19.4 percent over the 2010 mark of $14,128. The 2011 sale was a two-day event, but this year’s sale will be held only on Tuesday, beginning at 1 p.m.

“I think we’ll see a bump in average and median,” Lloyd said.

In 2011, the sale-toppers were two colts who sold for $100,000.

Predicting a sale-topper can be tricky, but there are expectations that two California-breds by Tapit, a colt and a filly, could attract attention, along with a California-bred colt by Dixie Union.

“We looked at them in June,” Lloyd said of the selection process for all the yearlings.

“It’s how they develop by October; that ones that develop will sell.”

Among notable California-based stallions represented in the sale, there are 17 yearlings by Tribal Rule, 11 by Stormin Fever and Unusual Heat, nine by Bertrando, eight by Papa Clem, seven by Dixie Chatter, and five by Kafwain.

Unusual Heat, Tribal Rule, and Kafwain are the top three stallions in the state by progeny earnings this year. Heatseeker, the leading freshman stallion by progeny earnings, has one yearling colt in the sale.