01/17/2003 1:00AM

Videos show off Knight's 2-year-olds for sale


Mary Knight cannot wait to get her 2-year-olds started this year.

While many consignors wait until February or later to sell 2-year-olds at in training sales, Knight is one of the exceptions. When the two-day Barretts January Mixed Sale in Pomona starts on Tuesday, Knight will have 28 juveniles ready for an auction full of broodmares, yearlings, and horses of racing age as well.

Unlike the March or May 2-year-olds in training sales at Barretts, the focus of selling 2-year-olds in January is different, Knight said.

Instead of concentrating on one- or two-furlong workouts that are the focal point in late winter or spring sales, juveniles at the January sale are only galloping. To show their progress at this time of year, Knight provides potential buyers with a video, showing the prospects in light exercise.

Knight considers the videos an invaluable marketing tool, and a guide for potential buyers.

"A lot of people don't like what the 2-year-olds have evolved into," Knight said. "After the March and May sale, so many of the buyers will have to stop and turn a horse out and lose all the training.

"This lets the buyers see there is nothing wrong with the horses. You have the advantage to see that the horses have been tested, but they are not sore or their minds aren't wound up. The horse isn't put through the ringer, so to speak."

Overall, Knight does not have high expectations for the juveniles at this week's sale. She compares them with the ones that will be offered at the regionally based May sale as opposed to the more lucrative March sale, which draws buyers from around the world.

"The truth is, these are horses that we would ordinarily keep until May," Knight said. "I found that they sell just as well if not better if we have them broken and sell them."

When the juveniles enter the sales ring, a video showing them in gallops is played on the sale pavilion's closed-circuit monitors.

The sale company supports the extra effort.

"Anything that a consignor can do to show more to buyers is a positive thing," said Barretts president Gerald McMahon. "At this time of year, it's beneficial to the buyer."

This week's sale, which will be conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday beginning at 11 a.m., features 681 horses, the largest January sale in company history. Of those, more than 130 are 2-year-olds.

Last year, the sale average reached $7,082 from 460 horses sold. There were 68 2-year-olds that sold for an average of $6,011. Last year, Knight had 25 2-year-olds sell for an average of $8,436, including four for $20,000 or higher.

"We were really pleased," she said. "They sold for a lot more than they would have had they not been broken and galloping. We get such a cross-section of buyers at this sale who have all sorts of needs. What doesn't suit Southern California does just fine in New Mexico or West Virginia, where people can justify spending money because their purses are good."

The 2-year-olds have been Knight's focus since the fall.

"We turned them out and started breaking them at the first of October," she said. "We were getting them comfortable with a rider on their back. They've been going 45 days at the track."

The juveniles arrive at the sale from several venues, such as Blane Schvaneveldt Ranch, San Luis Rey Downs, Walking G Ranch, and Lakeview Farm.

"It costs my customers an extra $1,500 to go through this program, but I think we eliminate a lot of the competition," Knight said.

Knight has consignments from a variety of clients for this week's sale, including Ballena Vista Farm, Vessels Stallion Farm, and Walking G Ranch.

She mentions a Cee's Tizzy colt (Hip No. 20), an Honor Grades colt (Hip No. 38), a Free House filly (Hip No. 164), and an Olympio filly (Hip No. 169) as individuals that have caught her eye.

"This is just the beginning process and some are very green," she said. "The fact is that with the video people can see their attitude and action."