06/30/2005 11:00PM

Lack of a big horse hurts Barretts sale


Without a leading 2-year-old or a horse of racing age to propel the market, the Barretts summer sale in Pomona on Tuesday suffered declines compared with the inaugural sale in 2004.

Overall, 107 horses sold for $1,164,300, an average price of $10,881 and a median price of $6,500. While the number of horses sold increased from 93 in 2004, the gross fell 7 percent, while the average and median prices were each down 19 percent.

The sale-topper was a 2-year-old colt by Richter Scale who sold for $62,000 to Kathy Berkey, agent. Last year, the sale-topper was a 2-year-old Helmsman filly who sold for $110,000. The average price for 2-year-olds fell 30 percent, to $12,292.

Gerald McMahon, president of Barretts, said the sale was hurt by the absence of an expensive sale-topper among the 2-year-olds.

"I think our top 10 horses were a lot stronger, but we didn't have one for $100,000," he said.

Sale organizers had hoped the presence of Frankelstein, an allowance-class California-bred racing at Hollywood Park, would draw interest in the horses-of-racing-age portion of the sale. But Frankelstein never made it to the ring. He was withdrawn from the sale on Tuesday morning, according to McMahon.

"Apparently, he got sold just before the sale," he said. "It wasn't handled well, but those things do happen."

According to trainer Marty Jones, Frankelstein was purchased by a partnership. Frankelstein is back at Jones's barn at Hollywood Park.

A winner of 2 of 11 starts and $123,420, Frankelstein had finished fifth in the Quicken Tree Stakes for California-breds at Hollywood Park on June 18 in his stakes debut.

McMahon is hoping that the summer sale can draw more horses from consignors in coming years.

"We would like 100 more," he said.

The next sale at Barretts is California's October yearling sale on Oct. 4, which has been reconfigured. The sale is being held in conjunction with the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, which is no longer holding an annual sale at Del Mar.

McMahon said the catalog for that sale is expected to feature approximately 300 yearlings.

Statebreds stepping up

Valentine Dancer, the leading California-bred female money-earner this year, is one of seven statebreds running in graded stakes at Hollywood Park on Sunday.

Owned by breeders Al and Sandee Kirkwood, Valentine Dancer starts in the $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes, a Grade 3 for fillies and mares over a mile on turf. She is seeking her first stakes win in open company since the 2003 Harold Ramser Handicap at Santa Anita.

This year, Valentine Dancer has won 2 of 5 starts and $443,126. Trained by Craig Lewis, Valentine Dancer's biggest victory came in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita in January. Most recently, she was second as the favorite in the Grade 3 WinStar Distaff Handicap at Lone Star Park on May 30.

A win on Sunday would give Valentine Dancer career earnings of $1,168,126, leaving her fourth on the all-time list of statebred fillies and mares.

There are California-breds in three other graded stakes. The longshots I Can Yodele and Tucked Away start in the $300,000 Vanity Handicap for fillies and mares

Memorette is the lone statebred in the $750,000 American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies on turf.

There are three statebreds among the 14 entrants for the $350,000 Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Handicap over seven furlongs - Areyoutalkintome, McCann's Mojave, and Unfurl the Flag.

McCann's Mojave was the champion statebred older male of 2004.