Horses of racing age averaged $38,940 at the inaugural Barretts paddock sale at Del Mar in Southern California July 22. Designed to bring in race-ready horses from out of state to add to the local population, the auction grossed $973,500 for the 25 horses that were sold.
“We were very pleased with the results, and it’s something we can build on,” said Kim Lloyd, Barretts’ general manager. “We wanted to recruit horses from out of state and try to introduce the auction business to new owners. We had quite a few new people apply for credit. We had people ask about getting into partnerships.”
Held in the Del Mar paddock immediately after the races, the sale drew potential buyers along with a couple of hundred fans who watched the proceedings.
Of the 36 horses through the auction ring, 11 did not sell, for a buy-back rate of 30.6%. The median price was $25,000.
“I was pleased with the prices,” Lloyd said. “We had horses at all levels. The sale kicked off with a bang, and horses were selling.”
Barretts and Del Mar collaborated on the sale, and it was presented by Sentient Jet. The sale dovetailed with Del Mar’s “Ship and Win” program, which offers a $1,000 bonus plus an additional 25% of any purse money that the horse wins in its first start at Del Mar. Eligible horses must be from out of state and must not have raced in California within the past six months. Unraced horses are not eligible.
Added-money winner Mega Dream brought the auction’s highest bid of $300,000 from bloodstock agent Mersad Metanovic. But the transaction proved to be a buy-back because Metanovic said that he would continue to race the 5-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro in partnership with Jerry Durant and Barry Arnason. Mega Dream finished second in the July 7 Royal Heroine Mile Stakes (gr. IIT) at Betfair Hollywood Park and won the Great Lady M Stakes at the track earlier this year while being trained by Jeff Bonde.
“If we weren’t going to get a premium for her, we weren’t going to sell her,” Metanovic said. “We’re going to point for the Daisycutter Handicap (at Del Mar) and then the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IIT).”
Barretts originally reported that Mega Dream had been sold, but later determined that she hadn’t changed hands, Lloyd said July 23.
Metanovic signed the sale ticket for Fightin Mean Mad, who topped the Del Mar auction with her $200,000 price. He said he was acting on behalf of Durant.
Racing for Richard Ravin, Fightin Mean Mad (by Lifestyle) has won her only career outing, breaking her maiden by 3 ¾ lengths in a 4 ½-furlong event at Arlington Park in Illinois June 20. Produced from the Outflanker mare Harper N Abbey, the 2-year-old bay filly is a half sister to Madman Diaries (by Bring the Heat), Canada’s champion 2-year-old male in 2010.
SGV Thoroughbreds, agent, consigned Fightin Mean Mad.
“We bought ourselves a Sorrento Stakes (gr. III) prospect,” Metanovic said. “She was the best athlete in the sale hands down besides Mega Dream.”
Bonde, who attended the sale with Metanovic, added that the filly was “beautiful and well-balanced, with a keen eye and a great walk.”
The team of Metanovic and Bonde also bought Nechez Dawn, who has won two of her three races. They paid $125,000 for the 3-year-old filly on behalf of Dave Mowatt, who races in the name of Ten Broeck Farm.
Trainer Jim Cassidy purchased two for Deron Pearson, including Hot and Pleasing. An unraced 2-year-old daughter of Unusual Heat, she sold for $110,000.
The sale began with former racehorse True Swither, who has been retrained as a pony. Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone rode the 4-year-old gelding into the ring bareback, at first in a bridle and then bridleless. The horse was sold to benefit Remember Me Rescue and the California Management Account (CARMA), both of which work to retrain and find new homes for former racehorses.
Jim Ford bid $12,000 for True Swither. He said he bought him as a pony for trainer Mike Mitchell. Mitchell is recuperating from surgery to remove a brain tumor.