Promising Outlook for Barretts March Sale

Better positioning, bigger catalog of 2-year-olds have auction officials optimistic.

The synergy of the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) weekend coupled with the kick-off of the national schedule of 2-year-old auctions positions the Barretts March sale well for a good showing. Add in a catalog expanded 42% from last year to 149 plus some exciting young sire power, and sale officials are hopeful of a strong sale on March 5.

“Going early ties in to the Santa Anita Handicap, and it’s easier for the Florida consignors to bring their horses out and then go back home and be there for the Florida sales,” said Kim Lloyd, vice president of sales for Barretts. “We look to get the momentum started, and we look for the Florida sales to do very well too.”

California trainers will have an opportunity to buy at home before heading to Florida, unlike in years past. In addition, the Barretts sale has traditionally appealed to Japanese buyers because of its Southern California location and because of the success they have had in purchasing such Japanese group I winners as Suni.

“I thought at the time that it happened that it was going to be a huge plus for Barretts,” said Ciaran Dunne of the switch in schedule. Dunne’s Wavertree Stables Inc., the leading consignor at the 2011 sale, is one of the major Florida horsemen who regularly bring horses to Barretts. “It enables more Florida consignors a chance to come out here because you’re not so jammed up. And it gives the thing a bit of a buzz because it’s the first sale of the year as opposed to just another 2-year-old sale that they’ve got to fit in.”

This year, the tie-in to the Santa Anita Handicap could especially work for hip #111. A son of Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Midnight Lute , the colt is a half brother to Ultimate Eagle, the morning-line favorite in the Santa Anita Handicap. Ultimate Eagle is already the winner of the 2011 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) and Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT), and in his first start of 2012, he demolished the Strub Stakes (gr. II) field by 7 1/4 lengths. Red Rock Training Stables as agent has consigned the youngster, who is out of multiple stakes winner Letithappencaptain, a daughter of Captain Bodgit.

Midnight Lute is one of several stallions with members of their first crop in the catalog. Others include Horse of the Year Curlin , champions Big Brown  and War Pass, Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Brother Derek, millionaire Showing Up, and grade I winner Street Boss .

Proven stallions are also represented. Omni Equuas has consigned a son of Giant's Causeway —Elusive Gold, by Strike the Gold. Elusive Gold has produced multiple grade III winner Gouldings Green. Tapit  has three in the sale: a half brother to grade III winner Old Forester consigned by Hebert Bloodstock as agent, a daughter of grade III winner Hollywood Picture consigned by Callaway Thoroughbreds, and a daughter of Irish-bred stakes winner Jig consigned by Stephens Thoroughbreds as agent. Becky Thomas’ Sequel Bloodstock as agent is offering a daughter of Malibu Moon —Ever Hopeful, by With Approval.

Candy Ride , winner of the Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar, has been a popular sire at Barretts 2-year-old sales, and his son Misremembered  won the Santa Anita Handicap. The stallion has a colt and a filly in the sale: a son of the Mr. Greeley mare Sweet and Clever from Dunne’s consignment and a daughter of the A.P. Indy mare Silent Moccasins from Sam Hendricks as agent.

The Barretts selected 2-year-old sale is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. March 5 at the Hinds Pavilion at Fairplex Park in Pomona.