Mersad Metanovic Bloodstock was the top bidder on the three leading sellers at Del Mar's inaugural Paddock Sale. The auction of race-ready horses was conducted following racing Sunday evening under the auspices of Barretts Equine Ltd.
Mega Dream, winner of the May 27 Great Lady M. Stakes and most recently a head second in the Grade 2 Royal Heroine Mile on July 7, brought the highest price of $300,000.
Metanovic was already a partner in the five-year-old Medaglia d'Oro mare, however, and told Daily Racing Form that he would continue to race her with partners Jerry Durant and Barry Arnason. She is trained by Jeff Bonde.
An earner of $176,585 from a record of 12-4-1-1, Mega Dream was offered as Hip No. 30 by Checkmate Thoroughbreds (Adrian Gonzalez), agent. The dark bay, a half-sister to stakes winner Grant Jack, was produced by the St. Jovite mare Dream Away. Metanovic had purchased her for $40,000 at Keeneland this past January.
Metanovic went to $200,000 to secure the juvenile filly Fightin Mean Mad, a 3 3/4-length debut winner at Arlington Park on June 20. Formerly owned by Richard Ravin, who bred her in partnership with trainer Larry Rivelli, the Illinois-bred is eligible for Del Mar's "Ship and Win" program.
Fightin Mean Mad, by freshman sire Lifestyle, is a half-sister to 2010 Canadian champion two-year-old male Madman Diaries. They are out of the unraced Outflanker mare Harper N Abbey, who is in turn a daughter of multiple Grade 3 heroine Meafara.
Touring the ring as Hip 19, Fightin Mean Mad was consigned by SGV Thoroughbreds (Steven Venosa), agent.
SGV Thoroughbreds was also responsible for Nechez Dawn, Hip 35, who was knocked down to Metanovic for $125,000. Likewise a recruit from Rivelli's Arlington barn, the three-year-old Indian Charlie filly was previously campaigned by Coby Tresner and Alex Matsas.
Nechez Dawn, a $51,000 Texas March two-year-old in training purchase, has won two of three starts while earning $54,780. The bay has won both of her turf sprint attempts, including an entry-level allowance May 23. Out of the winning Valid Appeal mare Valid Annie, Nechez Dawn is a half-sister to stakes-placed Validain.
Deron Pearson snapped up the other six-figure seller, unraced juvenile filly Hot and Pleasing, for $110,000. Sam Hendricks, agent, offered the Unusual Heat half-sister to Grade 3-winning millionaire Excessivepleasure.
Cataloged as Hip 22, the California-bred was produced by the Falstaff mare Pleasing, who is a full sister to multiple stakes victor Brew and a half-sister to multiple stakes winner and graded stakes producer Azusa.
Opening the proceedings was True Swither, a four-year-old gelding retired from racing and converted to a stable pony by Dallas Keen.
Hip 1 was consigned by his wife Donna Keen, as agent for Remember Me Rescue and CARMA. Jim Ford made the winning bid of $12,000, and proceeds from the sale went to support those equine charities.
All told, 26 horses were sold for a total of $1,273,500, resulting in a $48,981 average. Originally 45 were cataloged, but nine were withdrawn and 10 failed to reach their reserve.
The most notable RNA was Zafeen's Pearl, Hip 40, who was led out unsold for $130,000. The five-year-old mare just finished third in the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap on June 16.
For complete results, visit the Barretts website.