Lutyens, a 4-year-old son of Dixieland Band
, sold for $45,000 to top the first session of the Barretts January mixed auction in Southern California. In all, 253 horses were sold for a gross of $1,684,500, an average of $6,658, and a median of $4,000. Compared to last year's opening session, the gross revenue dipped 31.9%, and the average fell 25.5%. However, the median of $4,000 was a 14.3% increase. The buy-back rate rose from 10.9% last year to 11.8% this year.
Even though some of the statistics did not keep pace with last year's figures, Barretts president Jerry McMahon said: "The sale was very strong for what we had. Last year's sale included a much larger and better group of horses of racing age, which skewed the overall totals." Those horses included Taste of Paradise, who sold for a sale record high of $425,000.
The session-topping Lutyens is a former standout auction yearling, having brought $1.6 million when sold at the 2002 Keeneland September sale. Then, John Ferguson Bloodstock purchased the chestnut colt from Lane's End, agent. Racing for Darley Stable, Lutyens had made just one career start prior to the Barretts auction, finishing third in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race last October at Santa Anita Park. Produced from the winning Mr. Prospector mare Hidden Garden, Lutyens is a full brother to multiple grade III winner Jazz Club
and is from the family of 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft. David and Holly Wilson bought Lutyens at Barretts from the consignment of Eoin Harty Racing.
The second and final session of the Barretts auction is today, beginning at 10:30 a.m. (PST).