03/06/2006 12:00AM

Richter Scale colt quickest in preview


LEXINGTON, Ky. - After Fasig-Tipton Calder's world-record-breaking performance, buyers and sellers of juveniles now turn their attention to the March 14 Barretts sale in Pomona, Calif.

The Barretts juveniles took to the track for their first public under-tack preview on Sunday, and they made it clear that the Barretts catalog has some fast horses in it.

The day's fastest work was by Hip No. 17, a quarter-mile breeze in 20.80 seconds. Hip No. 17 is a Richter Scale-Ada Ruckus colt, a full brother to Canadian stakes winner Quite a Ruckus. Named Call Zoll, the colt is in the B.C.3. Thoroughbreds consignment and is offered on behalf of Timberline.

Eight 2-year-olds ran times of 10 seconds for one-furlong breezes. They were Hip No. 7, a Forestry-Western Bowl filly consigned by McKathan Farms, agent; Hip No. 8, an Orientate-Whalah colt offered by Kirkwood Stables, agent; Hip No. 39, a Tactical Cat-Bourbon Street Gal filly from the Havens Bloodstock Agency's consignment; Hip No. 41, a Distorted Humor-Bridge to Cross filly, offered by the Jerry Bailey Sales Agency; Hip No. 58, a Carson City-Cochet Cochet colt, also consigned by the Jerry Bailey Sales Agency; Hip No. 67, an Orientate-Endlessly filly from the B.C.3. Thoroughbreds consignment; Hip No. 98, a More Than Ready-Lady Bellaghy filly offered by the Jerry Bailey Sales Agency; and Hip No. 180, a Stormin Fever-Trav n' Kris colt consigned by the Scanlon Training Center agency.

HorseRacing TV will televise Sunday's preview on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Eastern and again at midnight.

The Fasig-Tipton Calder sale produced a $16 million Forestry-Magical Masquerade colt, shattering the previous world record of $13.1 million for a horse at public auction. The previous record was set in 1985 when Robert Sangster, represented by the BBA (Ireland), bought Seattle Dancer at the Keeneland July yearling sale.

The Barretts sale will take place at the Fairplex pavilion in Pomona. The one-day sale begins at 2 p.m. There will be one more under-tack preview, on Sunday at 10 a.m.

Owner of Romans's buy still a mystery

There's a lingering mystery over the ownership of a Storm Cat colt listed as sold for $2.2 million at Fasig-Tipton's Calder sale on Feb. 28.

Randy Hartley and Dean De Renzo, who sold the $16 million Forestry colt, also consigned this colt, a son of Brushed Halory. He became the subject of a bidding war between Coolmore agent Demi O'Byrne and trainer Dale Romans.

Romans, most famous as the trainer of Ken and Sarah Ramsey's 2005 Dubai World Cup winner Roses in May, isn't normally seen making seven-figure purchases at auction, as he readily acknowledged after signing the ticket.

"That's the first time I've ever bought a horse of that caliber," he said.

But bought for whom? Romans wouldn't say. He identified his client only as "a partnership," and said he would train the colt, whose family includes graded or group winners Van Nistelrooy, Halory Hunter, Key Lory, and Prory.

On Monday, nearly a week after the purchase, Romans still wasn't saying anything about the buyers' identities, but he suggested the colt might be about to change hands.

"I think there are some negotiations going on over him," Romans said, declining to make any further remarks, except to say the colt had shipped to Ocala, Fla., after the auction.

The unusual sight of Romans holding a $2.2 million receipt prompted speculation. There was initial suspicion that WinStar Farm, which owned the colt in partnership, had bought him back. But WinStar president Doug Cauthen denied that, saying WinStar sold all of its interest. Cauthen, too, declined to identify the buyer after the sale but hinted it was a major player in the Thoroughbred game.

"It will all come out eventually," Romans said at the time.

* George Krikorian's Grade 3 winner Makeup Artist has retired to Hill 'n' Dale Farm in Lexington. Breeding plans are in the works for the 6-year-old daughter of Dynaformer and Deux Anes, by Longleat.

* The High Hope Steeplechase, held annually at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky., has moved its office to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's Secretariat Center on the Kentucky Horse Park grounds. High Hope also announced that it has named the TRF a major beneficiary of the steeplechase, which also raises money for Central Kentucky Riding for Hope and the Blue Grass Farms Chaplaincy. The 40th High Hope steeplechase meet will take place on May 21.