03/12/2009 11:00PM

Modest workout doesn't hurt sale topper

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POMONA, Calif. - The sale topper at the Barretts March sale of select 2-year-olds in training last Tuesday lacked one thing common in many highly regarded sale prospects - a blisteringly fast pre-sale workout.

Instead of blazing through a one-furlong breeze in less than 10 seconds or a sub-21-second time for two furlongs, the Tiznow colt purchased by Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stable for $650,000 was timed in 10.60 seconds for a furlong on March 5. The time equaled the 36th-fastest of 84 workouts for the distance.

For consignor Ciaran Dunne, the colt's success at the sale was a relief.

"We can bring nice horses and feel we don't have to break them up going nine and change to get them sold," he said.

The leading filly at the sale, by Tapit, worked faster, a furlong in 10.20 seconds. She was bought by Demi O'Bryne, agent for Michael Tabor, John Magnier, and Derrick Smith, for $540,000. She was offered at the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale but was listed as not sold for $65,000.

"I've been telling everybody I thought she'd top the sale," consignor Jerry Bailey said. "That's about as much as a filly brings at a 2-year-olds in training sale. She just did well."

The horses with the fastest workout times also sold for six figures. A Distant View filly that zipped a furlong in 9.80 seconds was purchased by Paul Reddam for $210,000. A Cactus Ridge filly who worked a quarter-mile in 20.80 seconds was sold to MCF Racing for $100,000.

Dunne's Wavertree Stable, as agent, led all consignors, selling five horses for an average of $280,000 for various clients.

The Tiznow colt and Tapit filly were the only horses to sell for $500,000 or more.

Overall, the one-day sale saw 50 horses sell for $6,263,000, an average of $125,260. The average fell 30 percent from 2008, when Barretts offered a larger catalog.

The sale company cut back on catalog size this year as a reflection of a downturn in the bloodstock market.

"The consignors felt the money was here to buy the horses," Barretts equine manager Kim Lloyd said. "Everyone was nervous and rightfully so."

The leading California-bred at the sale was a Giant's Causeway filly purchased for $325,000 by Ben McElroy. According to Dunne, McElroy was a member of the partnership that purchased the filly for $280,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale last fall.

Dunne described McElroy's purchase of the Giant's Causeway filly as a "reorganized ownership." He indicated that the filly would be sent to trainer Bob Baffert.

"More than likely, she'll go to Baffert, if he's kind to me," he said.

The filly is a half-sister to 2006 Santa Anita Derby winner Brother Derek and Don'tsellmeshort, the champion statebred 2-year-old male of 2003.

Dunne has had a remarkable run at recent 2-year-olds in training sales. Earlier this month, he topped the Fasig-Tipton select sale in Miami with a Medaglia d'Oro colt sold to Sheikh Mohammed for $1.6 million.

"Now, I'll announce my retirement," he joked Tuesday. "For everyone who does what we do, the last two sales have been tremendous.

"We think we sold two nice colts. They were the only two horses at the farm that could work together."

At the Barretts sale, Dunne had a consignment of 13 horses. Of those, five were sold, five were withdrawn, and three were not sold. One of the horses listed as not sold was a Eurosilver colt bought back for $200,000. Purchased for $100,000 at the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale by Greathouse Bloodstock, the colt worked a furlong in 10.40 seconds on March 5.

"It's a tough year to sell horses," Dunne said, speaking of the overall market. "We thought we had an exceptional group of horses. The unfortunate thing is you still own some nice horses."