A son of Horse of the Year Tiznow brought $650,000 to top the Barretts sale March 10 at the Hinds Pavilion in Pomona, Calif. Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet Stables purchased the colt on a telephone bid from the Wavertree Stables consignment
With a slimmer catalog than in years past, the Barretts sale sold 50 horses for $6,263,000 to average $125,260, a decline of 42.13% from the 2008 sale, which averaged $178,027 for 73 sold. This year’s median was $80,000, a drop of 37.5% from the $110,000 median in 2008. A total of 81 horses went through the ring, with 31 (38.27%) listed as not sold. In 2008, 59 of the 132 through the ring were not sold, for a buy-back rate of 44.7%
“All things considered, it’s not too bad,” said William S. Baker, vice president and controller of Barretts Equine. “The horse that topped the sale was a classic two-turn horse. The top players were here, and we were pleased that the Japanese came back. It certainly didn’t help that Magna declared bankruptcy last week.”
Magna Entertainment owns two of the major racetracks in California, Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields.
Baker said that many buyers were looking for bargains in today’s economic climate. He noted that several from Japan were outbid on horses.
Japanese buyers accounted for five of the purchases, including two six-figure horses listed as purchased by Narvick International. Emmanuel de Seroux of Narvick said that the two horses, a son of Consolidatorwho sold for $300,000 and a daughter of Bernstein who sold for $100,000, were purchased by Chikura Takahashi on behalf of Katsumi Yoshida. Yoshida owns stakes winner Suni, which Narvick bought for $120,000 at last year’s Barretts March sale.
Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree Stables consigned the sale topper, who is out of the Storm Cat mare Hurricane Judy, and is a half-brother to stakes winner Ronton. The colt had sold for $200,000 at the 2008 Keeneland fall yearling sale.
Dunne noted that the sale-topper had galloped regularly at his Florida training center with Wavertree’s Medaglia d'Oro colt who topped the recent Fasig-Tipton Calder 2-year-old sale. Both previewed in :10 3/5 for an eighth of a mile before their respective auctions.
“It was more on the way they moved and the way they showed at the barn,” Dunne said. “We all need to say thank you to the buyers. Now we can go out and buy nice horses and not feel like we’ve got to break them off in nine and change to get them sold.”
Dunne singled out John Howard and Mark Edmonds as two of his team members that were particularly instrumental in getting the horses ready for the sale.
Wavertree sold five horses for $1,400,000 to lead all agents at the sale. The second-leading consignor was Southern California-based John O’Hara, agent, who sold seven for $930,000. They included the two horses that Narvick purchased for Yoshida.
A daughter of Tapit brought $540,000, the second-highest price of the sale and the top-priced filly. Out of the Miswaki mare Cross Your Heart, the filly sold to Demi O’Byrne from the Jerry Bailey Sales Agency consignment.
“She breezed well and was very good-looking,” said O’Byrne. “The sire has done awfully well, too.”
O’Byrne bought the filly for Michael Tabor, John Magnier, and Derrick Smith. He said Todd Pletcher, who accompanied him at the Barretts sale, would train her.
Bailey sold all three of the fillies he put through the ring, including a daughter of Thunder Gulch—Tricky Squaw, by Clever Trick, for $300,000 to Marjorie Post Dye. The Thunder Gulch filly was the fifth-highest-priced horse of the sale, following a $390,000 daughter of Tiznow sold by Scanlon Training Center and a $325,000 daughter of Giant's Causeway sold by Wavertree.
“Today’s filly market of the 2-year-old sales is about the top of the market of what I’ve seen,” Bailey said.