05/16/2007 12:00AM

Record gross highlights Barretts sale


POMONA, Calif. - Tuesday's May sale of 2-year-olds in training produced a record gross ($11,331,300) and a record average ($62,604), but the one-day sale had significantly different results at the top of the market than last year.

In 2006, four horses sold for $250,000 or more, led by a record $2.5 million Red Bullet colt. On Tuesday, 13 horses sold for $250,000 or more, and the most expensive was a Sky Mesa colt purchased for $650,000.

Tuesday's gross increased 7 percent over a year ago, while the average improved 19 percent. The median fell 7 percent, from $27,000 in 2006 to $25,000 this year. The buybacks, horses unsold after going through the ring, rose from 27.5 percent to 31.7 percent.

"The sale has evolved, particularly at the top end," said Barretts president Gerald McMahon. "We were selling more horses in the higher ranges at $200,000 than we had been doing. It really gives consignors and buyers a place to buy a top horse. That's something we had been hoping would happen."

The Sky Mesa colt brought the

second-highest price in the history of the May sale. He was bought by Dennis and Michael Narlinger's JMJ Racing Stable from the consignment of Becky Thomas's Sequel Bloodstock.

Thomas had purchased the Sky Mesa colt for $220,000 at the 2006 Keeneland September yearling sale and had entered him in the Fasig-Tipton Calder select 2-year-old sale in Florida in March. The colt did not sell at that sale because of

sore shins. For Tuesday's Barretts sale, the colt worked a furlong in

10 seconds on May 11.

Michael Narlinger said the Sky Mesa colt was one of the finest

2-year-olds he had seen at juvenile sale this year.

"He looked like a 4-year-old with a great presence," he said. "We're in the stallion business and [he] looks like a stallion prospect. We've got to win some races to make that


Narlinger said the colt will go to Florida and rest before a decision is made on who will train the colt.

Southern Equine Stable of Lafayette, La., led all buyers, purchasing two horses for $900,000. The horses sold consecutively for $450,000 each - an El Corredor colt and a Tiznow filly. Trainer Eric Guillot signed the tickets.

B.C.3 Thoroughbreds led all consignors, selling 27 horses for $1,434,500.