11/03/2006 12:00AM

Pepper Oaks to reduce breeding stock


The Thoroughbred breeding operation at Pepper Oaks Farm in Santa Ynez, Calif., will be downsized in the next year. Farm owner Patricia Youngman announced that she will sell some of her breeding stock, and is moving several stallions off the property.

Some things will not change. Swiss Yodeler, one of the leading stallions in California, will remain there, but he will be the lone stallion. Swiss Yodeler will stand for $7,500 in 2007.

Youngman plans to expand her racing stable and dedicate more time to a fledgling website designed to promote horse racing in general - gototheraces.net.

"I don't have a crystal ball," she said when asked how the farm and her operation would look in the future. "I know what my goals are. They're subject to change. I really want to develop my own racing stable and I want to promote Swiss Yodeler as being the outstanding stallion I believe him to be."

Arrangements have been made for some of the stallions that stood at Pepper Oaks in 2006. Malek, a dual-hemisphere stallion, will remain in South America, Cat Dreams has moved to Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, and Fusaichi Zenon has been moved to New Mexico.

Plans are unclear for Strive and for Trail City, who Youngman said are for sale. Sharp Victor has been retired from stud duty, she said.

Youngman said she plans to sell some horses at the Barretts January mixed sale, including yearlings, 2-year-olds, and broodmares.

"I'll keep my racehorses and I'll keep a couple of broodmares that I've gotten sentimental about," she said. "I can't put a number on how large the stable will be. It will evolve as it comes back. I'd like to get back to the racing part."

At the Barretts October mixed sale last week, Pepper Oaks Farm offered 21 broodmares, weanlings, and yearlings, of which 15 sold for $61,200, 4 were bought back, and 2 were withdrawn.

Zam Zam, a 6-year-old Wild Gold mare, topped the consignment, selling for $12,000. Zam Zam, who won the 2002 Bustles and Bows Stakes at Fairplex Park, was sold in foal to Swiss Yodeler.

Youngman is hoping for better results in January.

"It wasn't unexpected," she said of the October sale. "Obviously, it wasn't a strong sale, and it was disappointing to a lot of people."

Youngman's website is in its infancy. She is hoping that it will draw more people to the track, and it will not concentrate

strictly on gambling.

"I think we've made our mistakes," she said. "If gambling was our only business, we should be in Vegas. We're in the entertainment business. We have to draw in the entire public and make racing friendly to the entire public. The gambling is a natural offshoot. They see the beauty and then they'll say maybe I will put two dollars on."

Numbers down at October auction

The Barretts October sale had lower gross, average, and median prices than last year's sale.

The two-day sale saw 368 horses sell for $2,054,500, an average of $5,583. The average declined 2.8 percent over last year's sale, which had a larger catalog. The median price fell from $3,000 last year to $2,850.

The sale toppers were females who sold for $47,000 - Figurehead, a 3-year-old by Deputy Minister who sold in foal to Bertrando, and Some Came Running, a 7-year-old by Phone Trick who sold in foal to Singletary.