War Front Colt Tops Barretts Sale

The average price was down slightly and median up at 2-year-old sale


A War Front  colt sold for $250,000 topped the May 10 Barretts sale of 2-year-olds in training, which saw stable numbers when compared with the same auction one year ago.

With a leaner catalog, the sales company reported virtually the same average and median as in 2009—the $36,000 average was just 1.88% under last year while the $20,500 median represented an increase of 2.5%. The buyback rate declined to 23.89%. A total of 86 horses sold this year for a gross of $3,096,000. In 2009, 123 juveniles grossed $4,511,000. The sale was conducted at the Hines Pavilion in Pomona, California.

"That’s the second sale in a row where we’ve had a good clearance rate," said Kim Lloyd, Barretts vice president of sales, referring to the Barretts’ March sale, which had a buyback rate of 31%.

Bill Baker, vice president and controller of Barretts, noted that because of the expense to ship across country, fewer consignors came to the May sale from Florida.

"But the people who did come did well," Baker said.

Jerry Bailey, who sold the sale topper, was pleased with how his group sold.

"I think the 2-year-old sales are stronger than any other type of sale right now," said Bailey. "The closer you get a horse to the races, the more people are willing to pay. The May sale has actually been more consistent for me in the last few years than the March sale."

George Bolton, a partner with Jess Jackson in Horse of the Year Curlin, bought the sale topper, a son of the Miswaki mare Greyciousness.

"Jerry Bailey broke all my 2-year-olds this year," said Bolton, who lives in San Francisco. "He got this horse a month ago, and the horse thrived. Jerry called me two days before the sale and said, ‘I’ve got one that belongs with the other horses you’ve got’."

The youngster developed quickly and worked an eighth-mile in :10 in the pre-sale preview.

"He looks like he might be more than just a sprinter," Bolton said. "He’s sound and we can go on with him."

Bolton plans to put the War Front colt in training with Bob Baffert in Southern California.

John Stephens also brought a consignment from Florida on behalf of himself, wife Jill, and partners Brandon and Diannah Perry. Selling in the name of Stephens Thoroughbreds LLC, agent for Vision Sales, they consigned the top-priced filly in a daughter of Dixie Union—Successfully Sweet, by Successful Appeal , for $210,000. Stephens also sold a filly by Tiznow —Lit’l Rose, by Mr. Prospector, for $200,000.

Trainer Melody Conlon successfully bid on the Dixie Union filly for John Liviakis of Marin county in Northern California. The filly, who previewed an eighth in :10, will go straight to Conlon’s Hollywood Park barn.

"She’s really classy," said Conlon. "They didn’t push her to work, and she worked really easily."

Trainer Carl O’Callahan bought the $200,000 Tiznow filly for Dr. Patrick Sheehy’s Sheehy LLC. It is the same partnership that bought Kinsale King at the 2007 May sale. Kinsale King won this year’s Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I).

"We have a few dollars left over from Dubai," O’Callahan joked, and added, "This sale has been good to Dr. Sheehy. He wanted a nice filly, and we think we got something special."