02/13/2009 12:00AM

Impressive winner Maui Mark not for sale

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ARCADIA, Calif. - The answer was quick and to the point, especially for the loquacious Howard Zucker.

"No."

That was Zucker's response when he received a phone call on Friday morning, inquiring about a potential sale of Maui Mark, the winner of Thursday's seventh race.

Maui Mark returned from a layoff of more than eight months to win the second race of his career in the optional claimer for California-breds. The victory has Zucker, who trains the 4-year-old gelding, and the partnership that owns him, eager to see what Maui Mark can accomplish this year - for them.

"He's not for sale," Zucker said. "I wouldn't take an offer on a horse that's not for sale. It's a jinx."

Maui Mark ran six furlongs in 1:09.26, closing from fourth in a field of 11 to win by a length over Buck's Bro.

"He did it without a whole lot of training, just a couple of months of breezes," Zucker said.

Bred by Steve Warner's Fast Lane Farms, and co-owned by him and others, Maui Mark made four starts last year, with his only win occurring in a maiden special weight race for statebreds at Santa Anita.

Zucker described Maui Mark as "a little erratic" last year, but said the gelding has settled down.

The victory on Thursday has Zucker hoping to run Maui Mark in the $150,000 Tiznow Stakes at 7 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park in late April, which is part of the California Gold Rush Day of stakes for statebreds.

"I think that will be perfect for him," Zucker said.

Maui Mark is likely to have a prep race in a first-condition allowance against open company in March. Such a race would offer a $48,000 purse, with an additional $14,400 available to California-breds. Essentially, it would be a $62,400 purse for horses such as Maui Mark.

"I'm going to look for a race over 6o1/2 or seven [furlongs] against open company," Zucker said. "With the bonus, it will be well worth it."

Maui Mark is by Unusual Heat, the leading sire in California, with 2009 progeny earnings of $669,738 through Thursday. In 2008, Unusual Heat set a single-season record for a California sire with progeny earnings of $5,827,513.

Maui Mark is out of Dalymount, a 13-year-old mare by Man From Eldorado. Dalymount was winless in one start. She has done much better as a broodmare. Aside from Maui Mark, who has earned $70,080, she is the dam of Cinder Cone, who has earned $106,519.

A full brother to Maui Mark, the California-bred Cinder Cone finished second in an optional claimer at Laurel last month. He was trained by Zucker for a partnership that included Fast Lane Farms until the middle of last year.

Barretts sale lists only 123 horses

The Barretts sale of selected 2-year-olds in training on March 10 will have a small catalog.

The sales company in Pomona, Calif., recently released its catalog online, listing 123 horses. There are 17 California-breds in the sale.

By comparison, the 2008 sale had a catalog of 190 horses, with 73 horses selling for an average of $178,027. There were 59 horses listed as not sold and 58 withdrawn.

The 2009 catalog is the smallest since 166 horses were offered in 2002. Since then, the sale has offered between 174 horses (in 2004) and 206 horses (in 2003).

The upcoming sale will be supported by such prominent consignors as Jerry Bailey Sales Agency, B.C.3 Thoroughbreds, Wavertree Stable, Andy Havens Bloodstock, Eddie Woods, and Scanlon Training Center.

Bailey led all consignors last year, selling six horses for $450,000. Stonestreet Stable led all buyers, buying three horses for $1.76 million. Stonestreet bought the sale topper, a Silver Deputy filly purchased for $800,000. Her name is Candescent and she has yet to start.