Bob Baffert

Bob Baffert

Mathea Kelley

Top Barretts Horses Going to Baffert, O'Neill

The average price at the May 2-year-old sale was up 18.3%, auction officials said.

Doug O’Neill and Bob Baffert, who train I'll Have Another  and Bodemeister , one-two finishers in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will also be training several of the high-priced horses out of the Barretts May 2-year-old sale.

The $300,000 sale-topper will be going to Baffert, while the next highest, at $210,000, is headed for the O’Neill barn.

In all, 70 2-year-olds sold May 14 for $3,056,500, an average of $43,664. That’s an increase of 18.3% from the 2011 average of $36,903. The median was $24,000, and the buy-back rate was 17.6%, with 15 of the 85 through the ring not sold.

“The sale was strong on all levels,” Barretts general manager Kim Lloyd said. “The median was up 20%, which meant the middle was especially strong. The buy-backs were down from last year, another indication of the health of the sale.”

Bloodstock agent Brett Lindenbaum signed for the $300,000 sale-topper, a son of Master Command out of the stakes-placed Salt Lake mare Grinch. Lindenbaum said he purchased the colt for an undisclosed client, but that Baffert would train him.

Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree Stables Inc. consigned the youngster.

“He was a lovely horse,” Dunne said. “He was a beautiful yearling when we bought him. We aimed him at this sale from day one. We figured he might be a bit of a standout here.”

The colt sold as a yearling at Keeneland for $37,000.

Dunne also consigned the $210,000 2-year-old, a son of Lion Heart—Seattle Qui, by Seattle Slew. A half brother to stakes winner Classical Slew, the colt sold for $130,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale.

Dennis O’Neill, brother of Doug O’Neill, bought him for Paul Reddam, who owns I’ll Have Another. O’Neill attended the May 14 sale the night before getting on a plane for Baltimore, Md., to join his brother in the run-up to the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).

Both the Master Command and Lion Heart colts breezed in :10, the second-fastest eighth at the May 11 under tack preview.

“I loved the breeze,” Dennis O’Neill said of the Lion Heart colt. “I like the bottom side of the pedigree, and he vetted perfect.”

O’Neill also went to $135,000 on Reddam’s behalf for a son of Majestic Warrior—Marfa’s Squall, by Marfa. Becky Thomas’ Sequel Bloodstock consigned the colt, who is a half brother to stakes winners Western Prize and Wicked Deed.

Baffert will also train the top-priced filly, a $200,000 daughter of Rock Hard Ten out of the stakes-winning Norquestor mare Requesting More. Lindenbaum purchased her for himself and Turf writer Bob Ike, who operate Summit Racing, from Steven Venosa’s SGV Thoroughbreds.

“She has a great mind,” Lindenbaum said. “She never turned a hair at the barn or in the ring.”

Lindenbaum also paid $60,000 for Likealovesong, a daughter of Dance Master—Unostella, by Orientate, for Summit Racing from Cash Asmussen’s Monarch Thoroughbreds LLC consignment.

While many of the horses sold at the May auction will remain in California, one from the Sequel consignment, Whatchalookinat, is headed for Japan. Hirofumi Morishima bought the son of Horse Greeley—Boom Boom Bertie, by Thunder Gulch, for $160,000.