Phoenix owner Todd Finch bought the sale topper at the Barretts summer sale June 24 as his first venture into Southern California racing. Trainer Anthony Saavedra successfully bid $40,000 on behalf of Finch’s Val-U-Chem for Leesider, a 4-year-old son of champion Bertrando.
The June sale of horses of racing age and 2-year-olds in training, in its fifth year, grossed $445,050 for 65 horses sold, averaging $6,847. Held at the Hinds Pavilion at Fairplex Park in Pomona, Calif., the auction this year lacked the star dispersal of the 2007 edition. The 2007 sale set record numbers when the four horses from the Meadow Creek Farm dispersal sold for $957,500, topped by $525,000 for Laddies Poker.
Including the Meadow Creek horses, the 2007 sale averaged a sale record $18,879. The average without those horses was $8,502.
"There was a shortage of horses available for this sale," said Gerald F. McMahon, president and general manager of Barretts. "All of the sales were a little bit smaller this year, but we felt that we had to keep this market available. We held it as a service to local owners and trainers. It was pretty lively for the best horses in the sale."
Leesider, bred by Martin and Pam Wygod in California, has earned $221,941 over three seasons of racing. His wins include a victory in the 2007 Snow Chief Stakes on the Gold Rush program for state-breds at Hollywood Park. Leesider is out of the unraced Storm Cat mare Sweet Paradise, and his second dam is multiple graded stakes winner Bountiful Native.
Mary Knight sold the sale topper as agent, and her consignment included four to dissolve a partnership between Dan Schiffer and trainer Mel Stute. Stute’s wife, Annabelle, bought all four of those horses to lead buyers with a gross of $58,000.
Havens Bloodstock Agency as agent sold the second-highest horse and the top 2-year-old at the sale. The gelded son of High Demand—Nordic Weather, by Summer Squall, brought $30,000 from trainer Art Sherman.
The sale was about equally divided between 2-year-olds and horses of racing age. A total of 33 2-year-olds averaged $7,602, while 32 horses of racing age averaged $6,069. Of the 97 horses through the ring, 32 were not sold, for a buyback rate of 33%.