Del Mar Paddock

Del Mar Paddock

Benoit Photography

Del Mar's Paddock Sale to be Held July 20

Third annual auction of 'race-ready' horses includes Heir Kitty and Handsome Mike.

Heir Kitty and Handsome Mike  are among the horses expected to be offered for sale at Del Mar during the third annual "race ready" racehorse sale at the track's paddock July 20.

The Del Mar Paddock Sale, designed to attract new owners to the sport, immediately follows the first Sunday program of the popular summer meet.

Notable stakes winners Heir Kitty and Handsome Mike lead the list of prospective sale horses.

A 4-year-old filly, Heir Kitty has won four races and more than $400,000, including the La Brea Stakes (gr. I). She's one of the favorites for this Saturday's Great Lady M. Stakes (gr. II) at Los Alamitos Race Course. Five-year-old Handsome Mike captured the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) and the Commonwealth Stakes (gr. III), and has earned more than $950,000.

Also on the selling block is the 4-year-old filly Ciao Bella Luna, a grade II winner, as well as the stakes-winning 3-year-old filly Sushi Empire, being pointed for the San Clemente Stakes (gr. IIT) on the turf at Del Mar on the day before the auction.

The sale provides an opportunity for any and all to become in-action owners at the ongoing race meet. It could offer as many as 35 horses to bidders, including juveniles, 3-year-olds, and older horses of both sexes.

Barretts Sales, which conducted the two earlier sessions, once more will handle the 2014 sale.

The first two sales helped supplement entries at Del Mar and at other California tracks with out-of-state horses.

The first year of the sale in 2012, 25 sale horses subsequently made 36 starts at the Del Mar meet, then more than 100 total in California before the year was out. Last year's smaller sampling of 17 sale horses made 37 California starts before 2013 finished. Several of the horses that went through the sales subsequently became stakes winners.

Barretts general manager Kim Lloyd noted that the upcoming session will not have near as many out-of-state horses as the others, but is much higher in quality of the stock.

"This event is getting better and better," said Lloyd. "Interest this year is strong and this might be our best session yet. We've brought brand new owners into the game with both of our earlier sales and that's the key for us. New owners are good for everyone in our game."  

Out-of-state horses in the sale all qualify immediately for Del Mar's successful "Ship and Win" program, now in its fourth year. Horses bought out of the sale who run at Del Mar earn an automatic starter check for $1,000, plus a bonus of 33.3% on top of their regular purse share in their first seaside start.

Last-minute sellers can still contact Barretts at (909) 629-3099, or at

Those considering attending the sale as potential buyers may wish to take part in the TOC's "new owners" seminar, which will be held the day of the sale from 9 to 11 a.m. PDT in the track's Veranda Café overlooking the paddock. Reservations are suggested and can be arranged by phone (626) 574-6620, or online at

The sale will follow the day's final race and should last for about 90 minutes. Drinks and snacks will be available in the paddock area and there are no charges or fees to attend the event.

Del Mar's 36-day season runs from July 17 to Sept. 3.