California-bred Tiznow proved a drawing card at the Barretts California Cup Yearling Sale Oct. 5. The stallion’s only offspring in the catalog, a California-bred daughter of the Lion Hearted mare Storm Hearted, topped the sale at $120,000.
The Tiznow filly was the only horse to bring six figures, as the sale followed the downward trend of auctions around the country. The 178 yearlings sold averaged $12,413, a decrease of 25.62% from the 2008 average of $16,689. With a larger catalog than last year, the gross of $2,209,600 was down 11.14%. The median of $5,000 represented a decline of 44.44%, and 80 horses (31% of those put through the ring) were not sold.
“In this economy, everyone wants to bargain shop,” said William S. Baker, vice president and controller of Barretts.
The sale was repositioned to coincide with California Cup and scheduled for two days after the racing program at Oak Tree for California-bred and California-sired horses. Barretts co-sponsored the sale with the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, and officials of both companies felt that the change helped attendance.
“The people we wanted were here, and they stayed to the end of the sale,” said Doug Burge, the CTBA’s executive vice president and general manager.
Added Kim Lloyd, Barretts’ vice president of sales, “It was a well-attended sale. The money’s just not out there.”
Trainer Janet Armstrong bought the Tiznow filly for Syd Belzberg’s Budget Stable of British Columbia. Andy Havens’ Havens Bloodstock Agency Inc. as agent, the sale’s leading consignor, sold the youngster for Lee and Susan Searing’s CRK Stable.
“I wanted one Cal-bred, and this was my first pick,” said Armstrong. “She’s a very classy filly by a good sire.”
Baker noted that this was the third consecutive Barretts sale topped by a son or daughter of Tiznow.
Havens said that the Searings purchased Storm Hearted, the dam of the sale topper, as part of a group of mares to support their stallion Cindago.
“She was the real thing with some size and scope,” Havens said of the sale topper. “She’s a Cal-bred, and she has everything you wanted.”
Cal-breds made up nearly 90% of the catalog and accounted for nine of the top 10 prices at the sale. Several buyers said that the new owners’ bonus was attractive in seeking out state-breds. Owners of Cal-bred maiden special weight winners now receive an additional $20,000 for races in Southern California and $10,000 for Northern California races.
Three Scoops, a Cal-bred son of Sky Mesa —River Gold, by Seeking the Gold, was the top-priced colt at $65,000. Phil Lebherz’s Lebherz Thoroughbreds bought the colt, who was consigned by Special T Thoroughbreds as agent for Win More Farm.