07/21/2017 12:40PM

Schedule change brings growth to Barretts Del Mar paddock sale

Benoit & Associates
The catalog for the Barretts paddock sale at Del Mar doubled in size for the auction's 2017 renewal.

The catalog for the Barretts paddock sale at Del Mar doubled in size for its 2017 renewal, but the growth seen this year figures to be just the first step in the auction’s long-term development.

Next year, the sale of race-ready horses will replace the discontinued Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training as the company’s open, late-season auction in that segment of the marketplace. The juvenile portion of the catalog has already seen notable growth heading into this year’s renewal.

“Last year, we had eight 2-year-olds preview for the sale, and this year, it looks like we’re going to have about 25, give or take a few,” said Barretts general manager Kim Lloyd. “That’s promising for next year. When we eliminate the May sale, we’ll expect a lot more. It’s growing the way we’d like it to grow.

“People are getting an idea of what we’re trying to do,” he added, “so they’re jumping on the bandwagon, so to speak.”

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Overall, the catalog expanded to 42 horses in its sixth edition after supplemental entries, doubling last year’s 21 entries. It is the largest group of offerings the paddock sale has attracted since its inaugural edition in 2012, when 45 horses were cataloged.

The auction takes place Wednesday in the paddock at Del Mar after the day’s final race. Horses will be available for inspection starting Sunday in the horse-show arena located on the clubhouse turn between Barn W and the Surfside Race Place building.

An under-tack preview will be held at Del Mar on Monday after morning training, with horses each breezing a minimum of three furlongs. Lloyd said the breeze show is required for all unraced horses in the sale but is open to experienced horses coming off a layoff and needing to prove their fitness.

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“Most of them have a series of works, and we’re looking forward to seeing them perform at the race meet,” Lloyd said about the unraced prospects. “They’re easier to sell when you’ve seen them perform on the track and you have videos to watch.”

Last year’s Barretts paddock sale finished with eight horses sold for $302,000, marking a 59 percent decline in gross from the 2015 sale, where 19 horses brought $728,500.

The average sale price fell 2 percent to $37,750 from $38,342, while the median finished down 32 percent to $22,500 from $33,000. The buyback rate finished at 56 percent, up from the 2015 figure of 34 percent. Despite last year’s auction selling fewer horses, the two sales each moved one horse at six figures.

Topping last year’s sale was California Diamond, a Harbor the Gold colt who came into the paddock sale with a win in the Santa Anita Juvenile and sold to Rockingham Ranch for $125,000.

California Diamond also proved to be the most successful alum of last year’s sale, winning a trio of stakes in California and running second in the Grade 3 Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar. He was named the top California-bred 2-year-old male of 2016.