07/01/2004 11:00PM

June sale establishes its worth to Barretts

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Barretts will make the June horses of racing age and 2-year-olds in training sale an annual event after a successful inaugural sale last Tuesday, general manager Gerald McMahon said.

The one-day sale at Fairplex Park in Pomona sold 93 horses for $1,254,800, an average of $13,492 and a median of $8,000. The 2-year-olds led the sale, with 53 juveniles selling for an average of $16,006. The 40 horses of racing age grossed $406,500, an average of $10,163.

The sale topper was a 2-year-old Helmsman filly purchased for $110,000 by Howard Roberts Farm.

The average prices exceeded management's expectations. McMahon had predicted that the 2-year-olds would average $12,000.

"The 2-year-olds averaging $16,000 at this time of year was exceptional," he said. "Not that many people were targeting this sale. We'll schedule this for next year unless there are drastic market changes."

Five horses sold for $50,000 or more.

The most expensive horse of racing age was Rockin the Ship, a 3-year-old gelding purchased for $70,000 by Chris Coleman. Rockin the Ship has won 5 of 6 starts, including two 870-yard stakes against Quarter Horses at Los Alamitos - the Gold Rush and Catalina derbies earlier this year.

The annual addition of a June horses of racing age and 2-year-olds sale would bring to six the number of sales that Barretts will host annually. The company holds breeding stock sales in January and late October, 2-year-olds in training sales in March and May, and a yearling sale in early October.

The October yearling sale on Oct. 5 will have 350 horses, McMahon said. There were 346 horses in the catalog for the 2003 October yearling sale. The decision by the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association to cut the size of the Del Mar yearling sale in August from 159 horses in 2003 to 122 horses this year may have a positive impact on the October sale, McMahon said.

"It will be a one-day sale, but we have a real nice consignment," McMahon said. "We have some horses that would have qualified for Del Mar that came from us."

Jackpot will stand at Vessels

Jackpot, the winner of the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap on April 3, will enter stud at Vessels Stallion Farm in Bonsall, Calif., next year, and is expected to be syndicated, according to farm manager Rich Decker,

Jackpot, 6, has won 4 of 16 starts and $288,915 for owner-breeder Cynthia Phipps and trainer Shug McGaughey. Jackpot was recently sent to trainer Jeff Mullins at Santa Anita and will race in coming months before going to stud.

The Gulfstream Park Handicap over 1 1/4 miles is Jackpot's only start in a stakes. By Seeking the Gold, Jackpot, 6, is out of Frolic, who placed third in the Grade 1 John Morris Handicap and Grade 1 Go for Wand Stakes in 1996.

Frolic is a full sister to the sire Out of Place.

Jackpot's four wins have ranged in distance from seven furlongs to 1 1/4 miles. In consecutive starts at Gulfstream Park in 2002, he won a maiden race over seven furlongs and an allowance race over 1 1/16 miles. Last year, he won an allowance race over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Aqueduct, his lone win in five starts that season.

"There's some speed influence in there," Decker said. "I know everyone in California is speed crazy, but most Seeking the Golds have speed."

Decker said Vessels is likely to add more stallions to its roster in coming months. The farm has two other prominent Thoroughbred stallions - In Excess, the leading sire in the state by progeny earnings, and Free House, whose first foals are 3-year-olds.