03/24/2017 11:00AM

Tapit colt could end Barretts March sale with a bang

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It may be worth staying to the very end of Wednesday’s Barretts select sale of 2-year-olds in training at Del Mar.

The final hip scheduled to go through the ring – Hip No. 135 – is a Tapit colt supplemented to the sale last week by Florida pinhooker Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree Stables as agent. The colt was withdrawn from the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Park sale of 2-year-olds in training on March 1. Last summer, the colt was listed as bought back for $625,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale.

Whether he sells Wednesday may depend on Monday morning’s key workout session on the Del Mar racetrack. Those times play a pivotal role in how much attention a 2-year-old will draw Wednesday.

Typical of many Barretts select sales, many prospects spent the winter in the Ocala, Fla., area and arrived in California in recent weeks.

“We’re very comfortable with the quality,” Barretts general manager Kim Lloyd said. “The horses coming out deserve to be out here. There should be a lot of competition for the horses.”

This is the second year that Barretts has conducted its select sale at Del Mar, having previously operated from the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona, Calif., where the operation was launched in 1990. Barretts conducts all but one of its sales at Del Mar, with the fall yearling and horses-of-racing-age sale still held in Pomona.

At the 2016 select 2-year-old sale, 43 horses sold for $5,356,000, an average of $124,558, according to sale-company figures. The gross fell 12.8 percent from 2015, while the average was down 8.8 percent. The buyback rate, or horses listed as not sold, was 32.8 percent of the horses through the ring. There were 62 withdrawals from the 126 horses in the catalog.

Lloyd expects higher prices Wednesday.

“We were pleased with the turnout, and we expect a bigger turnout” this year, Lloyd said. “We expect to improve from last year’s sale.”

For this year’s sale, there were 92 horses listed as available for sale as of Thursday, with 37 withdrawn.

“Any number of withdrawals you don’t like,” Lloyd said. “That’s the nature of the beast. They’re not coming out to California unless things line up just right.”

Of the available runners, 15 were listed as sold for $100,000 or more at past sales, while three, notably the Tapit colt, were bought back for $100,000 or more.

Dunne’s Wavertree operation has consigned a Super Saver colt – Hip No. 33 – who was listed as sold for $200,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale to Justin Casse, agent for JSM Equine. The colt is a half-brother to Firing Line, who was second in the 2015 Kentucky Derby.

Other notable pinhooked prospects are a Malibu Moon colt – Hip No. 109 – listed as sold for $135,000 to W.D. North Thoroughbreds at Keeneland last September; an Orb colt – Hip No. 49 – bought for $175,000 by Upside Bloodstock as a weanling at Keeneland in 2015 but listed as not sold last September for $90,000; and an Orb filly – Hip No. 127 – purchased for $100,000 by Bruno DeBerdt, agent, last September at Keeneland.