Boosted by Wygod Horses, Barretts Post Gains

Boosted by Wygod Horses, Barretts Post Gains
Photo: Benoitphoto.com
Hip #125, Derby Gold, colt, Bertrando - River Gold by Seeking the Gold brought $105,000 to top Barretts California Cup yearling sale.

Barretts’ California Cup Yearling Sale showed strength in a two-day format Oct. 12-13. Led by a $105,000 topper at the first session, the auction averaged $14,128, an increase of 13.8% over 2009.

During the sale’s second session, a daughter of California’s leading sire, Unusual Heat, led all offerings when she sold for $70,000. A half-sister to stakes winner Guiding Hand, the filly is out of the winning Compliment mare Sarah’s Echo. Havens Bloodstock Agency Inc. as agent sold her to trainer Michael Machowsky. The filly was bred in California by Charlotte M. Wrather.

James Abel, for whom Machowsky has claimed horses in the past, bought the Unusual Heat filly. Abel lives in Lincoln, Neb., has a company that builds highways, and owns the Lincoln Saltdogs, a minor league baseball team.

"She was just a beautiful filly, very well-balanced," said Machowsky. "The pedigree is very good, and her full brother (winner California Blaze) is doing well."

In 2009, the sale encompassed only one day, but Barretts officials opted for two days in 2010.

"We tried to reformat it this year," said William S. Baker, Barretts’ vice president and controller. "We put some of the better horses in the first day, though we knew we had plenty of good horses on the second day, as evidenced by the fact that four of the top 10 prices came from the second day."

When leading California breeders Martin and Pam Wygod decided to disperse their West Coast breeding stock, Barretts scheduled those mares and foals to begin the sale Oct. 12, followed by the first session of the yearling sale.

"We knew that would create momentum," said Baker.

A total of 160 yearlings sold for a gross of $2,260,400. Baker was particularly pleased with the buyback rate, which was 19.2% (38 not sold of 198 through the ring).

"That’s one of the lowest buy-back rates we’ve ever had at a yearling sale," Baker said.

The median of $9,000 rose 80% from $5,000 in 2009.

"There was tremendous depth to the sale," said Kim Lloyd, vice president of sales. "There’s more confidence to the market."

The Wygods led the yearling consignors, with 31 selling for $489,000. Havens was the second-leading consignor, selling 31 for $419,900. By sale agent, the Wygods’ River Edge Farm led with 46 sold for $579,900.

Three buyers’ purchases totaled $105,000 to lead the sale--Shefa Enterprises Inc. (Kabir and Virginia Shefa), Arnold Zetcher, and the Chaiken Family Trust.

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