Two juveniles from the H & E Ranch consignment had local trainers buzzing at the Jan. 22 Barretts mixed sale in Pomona, Calif., and by sale's end Mike Harrington and Jim Cassidy ended up with them.
Rozamund Barclay paid $70,000 for a gray son of Old Fashioned and will send him to Harrington, while Cassidy got a bay With Distinction colt for $69,000 for owner Kiaron DeLahunt.
The 2-year-olds were the top two-priced offerings at the mixed sale, which averaged $8,348, with 184 sold grossing $1,536,100. The average rose 37.6% over 2012, when 162 head averaged $6,065 on gross receipts of $982,500. The sale posted a median of $4,500, compared with last year's median of $3,000. The buyback rate came in at 23%, with 55 of the 239 through the ring not selling during the one-day auction.
"The market is definitely stronger," said Bill Baker, Barretts' vice president and controller. "The short yearlings sold well, and the 2-year-olds were particularly strong. The two highest-priced yearlings were the highest in the sale since 2008, and this was the highest-priced 2-year-old in the sale since 2007."
The $70,000 topper, Hi Fashioned, went through the sale as Hip No. 241. The Florida-bred colt out of Zamsweet, by Zamindar, impressed Barclay, a former trainer at Longacres who lives in Auburn, Wash., not far from Emerald Downs.
"He is an outstanding individual," said Barclay. She led all buyers, getting three horses for a total of $100,000.
Barclay and Cassidy bid on both of the two top-priced horses. Cassidy said the sale topper was his second choice, while his first choice was Hip No. 247, the $69,000 colt he purchased. Also foaled in Florida, the youngster, named Mucho Distinction, was produced from Anythingispossible, by Songandaprayer.
Cassidy bought him for DeLahunt, who has other horses with the trainer, including Jules Journey. That promising 4-year-old son of Good Journey has two wins and five third-place finishes to his credit in nine starts and is slated to compete in the Jan. 26 Crystal Water Stakes at Santa Anita.
Both of the juvenile colts were purchased by H & E Ranch at last year's Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s yearling sale.
Consigned to OBS by Dapple Stud, Hi Fashioned sold for $67,000. From the Abbie Road Farm consignment at the same sale, Mucho Distinction was bought for $55,000.
"Hi Fashioned is very athletic and a lovely mover," said Elena Crim of H & E Ranch. "Mucho Distinction is breathtaking. Both sires are doing very well. We couldn't be more delighted."
A California-bred son of Pioneerof the Nile —Argenta, by Mineshaft , topped all yearlings at $62,000 and was the third-highest price of the sale. Mary Knight consigned the youngster for breeder Vicky Dimitri, and Lexington-based agent Kate Sheehan bought him for an undisclosed client.
"He had the whole package," said Sheehan, who was attending her first Barretts sale. "He had a great walk and a beautiful body, and he was very correct."