08/07/2009 12:00AM

Hoping return to Pleasanton will boost sale


Larry Ullmann said he is pleased with his consignment for Tuesday's Northern California yearling sale at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.

"I've got a full sister to Run Brother Ron," he said. "I've got a Pure Prize, who is a nice filly. I just scoped her. She's clean. I've got a Good Reward."

Run Brother Run, a two-time stakes winner, was bred by Ullmann and has earned $158,836. Horses like his little sister are vital to the success of the Northern California yearling sale, which has recorded disappointing results in recent years.

Last year, the sale was held at Santa Rosa, and saw 104 horses sell for $471,700. The average was $4,536, a drop of 22 percent from the 2007 sale, which was held at Pleasanton. The sale is operated by the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association and has a catalog of 185 horses. Last year, the sale had a catalog of 208 horses, down from 264 in 2007 when the average price was $5,839.

Ullmann applauded the move back to Pleasanton this year. He said the Pleasanton venue is better because of its access to the Bay Area, and that more trainers are based there and can inspect yearlings this weekend and not on Tuesday morning.

"The money is here," he said. "It's a question of whether the people come out. I think we'll have an advantage at Pleasanton that we didn't have at Santa Rosa. We've got 30 more trainers on the grounds, within walking distance. Santa Rosa did a helluva job. It was just too far."

The one-day sale, which begins at noon, includes primarily California-breds. Ullmann, who races as SLU Inc., has a seven-horse consignment through Old English Rancho. Ullmann's group includes four fillies and three colts. The full sister to Run Brother Ron (Hip. No. 120) is by Perfect Mandate out of the stakes-placed Aloha Mangos, and is a half-sister to the stakes-placed Aloha Mangos Kitty.

The Pure Prize filly, a Kentucky-bred, is out of Storm Kisu, who was third in the 2001 California Cup Distaff at Santa Anita. The Good Reward filly, also a Kentucky-bred, is out of the unraced mare Bobbie's Badgett, a full-sister to Bold Roberta ($449,704) and Roberta's Mango ($254,203), mares that Ullmann bred and raced.

"I'm not concerned too much about the money," he said. "It's getting the people there for the sale. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. We need this sale.

"I consign everything up here. I try to support this sale."

Other prominent consignors include Jack and Barb Hatch's Green Acre Stables, Harris Farms, San Hendricks, Sue Hubbard, Mary Knight, River Edge Farm, Colleen Turpin-Boyce, Wheatland Farms, and Woodbridge Farm.

There is one filly by Unusual Heat, the state's leading stallion in 2008. The Unusual Heat filly (Hip No. 171) is consigned by Harris Farms, agent for Exclusively Ours Thoroughbreds.

The sale includes yearlings from the first crop of stallions Beau Soleil, Good Reward, Lucky Pulpit, and Uncle Denny.

The Lucky Pulpit foal is a filly consigned by Harris Farms. Her second dam is Soviet Problem, who earned $905,546 and was the California-bred horse of the year in 1994.

The Northern California sale is the first of two yearling sales in the state, followed by the California Cup yearling sale at Barretts in Pomona on Oct. 5. The California Cup yearling sale is a joint venture between the CTBA and Barretts.