01/27/2010 12:00AM

Sale of Craig horses boosts Barretts auction

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Barretts January mixed sale enjoyed gains Monday at its opening session, thanks largely to a major reduction of bloodstock owned by Jenny Craig and her late husband, Sidney.

The session, the first of two at the Pomona, Calif., auction, grossed $1,233,600 for 148 horses sold. The average price was $8,335 and median was $4,500. The buy-back rate was 36 percent.

Gross, average, and median figures compared favorably with last year, when Barretts conducted only a single session at the mixed auction and sold 202 horses for $1,232,400. Compared to the 2009 single-session figures, Monday's opening day rang up a only a fractional gain in gross, but average rose 37 percent and median climbed 25 percent. But buy-backs were also up, rising from last year's 29 percent to 36 percent in 2010.

Monday's session toppers each sold for $40,000. One was from the Craig reduction; that was Hip No. 244, a yearling Candy Ride filly out of the winning Deputy Minister mare Chapeau. Walnut Hill Stables bought the filly from Grant Hofmans, who served as agent for the Craig Family Trust.

Chapeau, also part of the reduction, sold immediately afterwards for $7,000 to Donald T. Ladd.

Earlier in the day, a juvenile Holy Bull filly out of the stakes-placed Marquetry Marquise Miss brought $40,000 as Hip No. 98. Mikel C. Harrington, agent, was the buyer. Consigned by H & E Ranch, the gray or roan filly currently is named Holy Script and is a half-sister to stakes winner Miss Tizzy.

One horse brought more than $60,000 but failed to reach her reserve. That was the stakes-placed 6-year-old mare Forest Melody, whom trainer and co-owner Paula Capestro signed for to buy her back.

The auction was to continue with a second and final session Tuesday.