Moving the under-tack preview forward a day to dodge wet weather paid off for the Barretts Sales & Racing March 2-year-old select sale. Headed by three horses who breezed an eighth-mile in :09 4/5, 104 horses worked in front of a crowd of prospective buyers at the Barretts racetrack Feb. 27 in Pomona, Calif.
Of the two rainstorms slated for Southern California, the second was expected to dump several inches of rain Feb. 28, the original day of the preview. To show the horses to their best advantage and to keep the surface as safe as possible, Barretts moved the preview to Feb. 27, and the date landed in between the two storms.
"We've been talking to the meteorologists four or five times a day the past week," said Kim Lloyd, Barretts' general manager. "It was a challenging call to make (to move the preview forward) because people had to change plans."
The sale is scheduled for March 3 at 2 p.m. PST at the Hinds Pavilion.
The rain that arrived the night of Feb. 26 was significant enough that Santa Anita Park moved its three turf races Feb. 27 to the dirt. Barretts sealed the track overnight and kept the oval closed for training the morning of the preview. The crew opened and worked the track after the rain stopped in the early morning, resulting in the preview starting at noon instead of 10 a.m. as originally scheduled.
"We were in no hurry to get started today," said Lloyd. "We wanted the track to be just right."
Times were consistent throughout the preview, with the majority of the horses breezing in :10 2/5 to :10 4/5. Three colts, hip numbers 48, 93, and 104, turned in times of :09 4/5, the fastest clockings of the day. Fourteen horses were timed in :10, while 23 others went in :10 1/5.
Hip 48 comes from the Kings Equine consignment of Raul Reyes, a first-time consignor to the Barretts March sale. The colt is by Malibu Moon —Rosy Humor, by Distorted Humor .
Hip 93 is by Street Cry (IRE) out of Alabama Stakes (gr. I) winner Careless Jewel. Eddie Woods has consigned the colt as agent.
Hip 104 is part of Steven Venosa's SGV Thoroughbreds as agent. The youngster is by Giant's Causeway out of stakes-winning Dixie Dreamer, by Mutakddam.
Pleased with the time of the Giant's Causeway colt, Venosa was also happy with how the track played for all of the sale horses.
"The track was very fair," said Venosa. "I think Barretts did a phenomenal job, based upon the storm that came in last night and the upcoming storm. They gave us adequate time to prepare for this. The horses all performed today and all came off the racetrack well."