With a catalog consisting of nearly 90% California-breds, this year’s Barretts yearling sale is well-positioned for Oct. 5, two days after California Cup XX at Oak Tree. Renamed the inaugural California Cup yearling sale, the auction will begin at 11 a.m. (PDT) at the Hinds Pavilion on the Barretts sale grounds in Pomona, Calif.
Barretts has cataloged 282 yearlings for the sale, which the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association co-sponsors. The catalog features a wide variety of stallions, from leading California sires Unusual Heat, Silic, Benchmark, and In Excess to Kentucky sires Tiznow , Tapit , Sky Mesa , Lemon Drop Kid , Grand Slam, and Empire Maker.
“California Cup is the premier event for California-breds,” said William S. Baker, vice president and controller of Barretts. “It brings owners to Southern California who would normally race in Northern California and back east. It’s a festival of Cal-bred racing, and it’s the perfect time to sell Cal-breds.”
Sale officials hope that adjustments to the California-bred incentive program will make state-breds even more attractive to buyers. One change will award bonuses to owners of a horse that breaks its maiden in non-claiming events.
“When your horse breaks its maiden allowance in Southern California, whether it’s Cal-bred or open, you get a $20,000 bonus as an owner,” said Kim Lloyd, Barretts’ vice president of sales. “In Northern California, you get a $10,000 bonus. That’s a big incentive.”
In addition, horses not foaled in California but by a California-based sire can also take advantage of the program. If they are registered California-sired foals, they can compete in races open to both Cal-breds and Cal-sired runners.
River Edge Farm has two colts in that category by Tribal Rule , who stands at River Edge in Buellton, Calif. Both were foaled in Arizona. Hondo Bow (Hip No. 231) is out of the Souvenir Copy mare Color Collection, who has also produced stakes-placed Lit’sgoodlookngray. The second dam, stakes winner Lady Dixie, is a full sister to French group winner Chimes Band. Tribal Game (Hip No. 35) is out of the Game Plan mare Kick the Can, who finished second in the Scottsdale Handicap at Turf Paradise.
Tom Bachman’s Pegasus Ranch, which sold the top-priced yearling in 2008, has cataloged four horses, including a Cal-bred son of Grand Slam. The youngster ( Hip No. 125) is out of Sham Say Stakes winner Serela, a daughter of Holy Bull.
The two other colts by Grand Slam, both Kentucky-breds, come from the consignment of Havens Bloodstock Agency Inc. as agent. Havens led consignors at the 2008 sale by gross. Hip No. 277 is out of the stakes-placed Danzig mare Foreign Aid, who is from the family of champion Inside Information. Hip No. 221 is out of stakes-placed Charming Gal, a daughter ofSlew's Royaltyand the dam of Cavonnier Stakes winner Race for Glory.
Havens’ group also includes the only Tiznow in the sale, Hip No. 141, a Cal-bred daughter of the Lion Hearted mare Storm Hearted, and the only Empire Maker, Hip No. 120, a Cal-bred daughter of the A.P. Indy mare Scribble. The stallion Tapit has four cataloged, three of them Cal-breds, while Sky Mesa has one, Three Scoops ( Hip No. 109), out of the Seeking the Goldmare River Gold.
Last year’s top-priced horse was a filly by Speightstown , and this year’s catalog includes another Speightstown filly. Consigned by Walking G Ranch as agent, Hip No. 95 is a half-sister to $981,615-earner Excessivepleasure, winner of the Indiana Derby (gr. III) and three other stakes.