Bloodlines from leading California breeders Martin and Pam Wygod dominated the Barretts California Cup yearling sale at Fairplex Oct. 12. Not only did the Wygods offer a complete dispersal of their West Coast breeding stock in conjunction with the yearling auction, yearlings by Eclipse Award winner Bertrando, one of the stallions who stood at the Wygods’ River Edge Farm, brought the top two prices of the day.
Bob Baffert bought the $105,000 sale topper for Arnold Zetcher, who attended the sale with the trainer. Named Derby Gold, the colt is out of the Seeking the Gold mare River Gold. Special T Thoroughbreds Inc. consigned him as agent for breeder Win More Farm.
"He’s a very classy-looking horse," said Baffert, "and he has a great female family."
Baffert said that Derby Gold will go to Hidden Springs in Yarnell, Ariz., to be broken. The same farm broke Baffert’s Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) winner Misremembered.
The Wygods consigned the second-highest-priced yearling, the session’s top filly, for $87,000. Purchased by Narvick International Inc. as agent, the Bertrando youngster is out of Wisdom Keeper, by Pirate's Bounty.
The Wygod dispersal began the sale, with their mares and weanlings comprising the first 92 hip numbers. A total of 88 head sold for $823,100, averaging $9,353. The sale continued with its first session of yearling offerings at the Hinds Pavilion in Pomona, Calif., and the second yearling session will follow Oct. 13. During the first yearling session, 53 sold for $961,500, an average of $18,142. In 2009, the sale encompassed only one session.
Elena Crim of H.E. Ranch in Scottsdale, Ariz., paid $52,000 for the top-priced broodmare, Digestivo, a 4-year-old daughter of War Chant —Gastronomical, by Sunshine Forever.
"She’s beautiful and very correct," said Crim. "I also liked that she is a young mare."
Crim also bought Magical Maze, by Deputy Minister, for $20,000 and Local Flavor, by Bertrando, for $17,000. The owner of 45 Thoroughbred broodmares, she said that she particularly liked being able to buy some of the Wygods’ families. The Wygods were dispersing their California stock after deciding earlier this year to consolidate their breeding operation in Kentucky and sell their River Edge Farm in Buellton, Calif.
"They are a part of history here in California," said Crim. "They’ll be sorely missed."
Martin Wygod attended the sale with his daughter, Emily, who owns part of the family’s American Oaks (gr. IT) winner Harmonious. A former show-horse rider, Emily is becoming very involved in the Thoroughbred business.
"We hope whoever ended up with the weanlings, mares, and yearlings have the greatest success, and I’m rooting for them," said Martin Wygod.
California breeder Shirley Kimball was the leading purchaser during the Wygod dispersal, buying six mares with an eye toward breeding them to her stallion Tale of the Hills, a son of Tale of the Cat . In the name of her SK Stable, she went to $45,000 for Field of Interest, a 6-year-old daughter of Unbridled's Song—Field of Vision, by Deputy Minister.
Kimball especially concentrated on mares by Bertrando. She bought Lyrical Goddess, Spring Festival, and Visual Treat, all by Bertrando.
"I am probably the biggest Bertrando fan there is," said Kimball. "I watched him as a racehorse. I would ditch work to watch him run."