Barretts Paddock Sale Posts Increases

This year, 27 horses were cataloged, with 17 selling for $1,257,000.

In only its second year, the Barretts paddock sale at Del Mar grew in nearly every category July 21, with Oscar Party topping the sale at $510,000.

The auction, created last year to attract horses of racing age to Del Mar's summer race meeting in an effort to bolster field size, averaged $73,941, a figure nearly double that of 2012.

The paddock sale offered 35 horses in 2012, with the sale-topper bringing $200,000. A gross of $933,000 was paid for the 25 sold for an average of $37,320 a year ago. This year, 27 horses were cataloged, with 17 selling for $1,257,000. Six of the horses, including Oscar Party, were eligible for Del Mar's "Ship and Win" bonus program for horses that had not started in California within the past six months.

The 3-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Dixie UnionDream Lady, by Old Trieste, had won two of seven races, including the 2012 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies Stakes. An earner of $103,777, she had most recently finished third in the Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs.

Trainer Jim Cassidy bought Oscar Party on behalf of Deron Pearson. They outbid trainer Kristin Mulhall.

"She's a nice-looking filly," said Cassidy. "We didn't expect to spend this much. You have to like what she's done at the races. She looks the part. She vetted out really well, and she's got a good attitude."

Steven Venosa's SGV Thoroughbreds from Ocala, Fla., sold Oscar Party as agent.

"We were out here last year and had some nice success with the sale," Venosa said. "Some clients of ours felt confident in bringing that filly out because they felt she was that type of horse."

Gary and Mary West bred Oscar Party and raced her in her first two starts. James Covello then acquired her and she was trained Wayne Catalano before being sold at Barretts.

"It is an evolving sale," said Kim Lloyd, Barretts' general manager. "We were especially pleased to see how well Oscar Party sold because we thought she would fit well at Del Mar."

Lloyd was particularly happy with Rangi, who shipped in from England. He was hopeful that she can pave the way for more horses from Europe in future editions of the sale.

McCarthy Bloodstock consigned Rangi as agent, and Mersad Metanovic Bloodstock bought the 3-year-old filly for $75,000. She is a British-bred daughter of New ApproachMiss Queen, by Miswaki. Metanovic bought two other horses at the sale as well.

"Trainer Jeff Bonde will get all three horses," Metanovic said, "and we will put them together in partnerships."

The sale was held in Del Mar's paddock immediately following the day's races. The Thoroughbred Owners of California that morning conducted a new owner seminar to encourage participation, and that included a tour of the sale barn.

Lloyd said that several people who attended the seminar applied for credit at the sale. Buyers included new owner Charles Swafford and Gary Hartunian's Rockingham Ranch. Last year Hartunian bought his very first horse at the paddock sale, and he now owns 26 horses. Peter Miller is his trainer.

Hartunian's two 2013 purchases included Side Letter, the second-highest price at $150,000. Stakes-placed at Pleasanton, the 2-year-old filly is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Henny HughesSouthern Scholar, by Dixie Union. Adrian Gonzalez's Checkmate Thoroughbreds consigned Side Letter as agent.