A son of Tiznow sold for $300,000 topped the Barretts 2-year-old sale May 11, as the average fell along the lines of most juvenile sales this winter and spring. Buy-backs and withdrawals of some of the most buzz-worthy horses contributed to the 30.25% decline in average to $37,087.
With 263 horses cataloged, 121 sold at the Hinds Pavilion in Pomona, Calif., for $4,487,500, a decline in gross of 42.59% from 2008. Last year’s average was $53,173. The 2009 median of $20,000 represented a 16.67% drop from last year.
Ninety were withdrawn prior to sale, including a son of Storm Cat who sold as a yearling for $550,000. The buy-back rate improved from a year ago, as 52 failed to sell (30.06%). In 2008, 74 did not sell for a buy-back rate of 33.48%. The buy-backs this year included the highest-price horse through the ring, Privalaged, a son of Southern Image who was hammered down for $470,000.
“For the most part, people decided to either sell the horses for what they could get or they withdrew them,” said William S. Baker, vice president and controller of Barretts. “They were not willing to take a loss, and we had some good horses in here. With Hollywood Park and Santa Anita in disarray, it doesn’t give California buyers a lot of confidence.”
Gary S. and Wendy Broad, who have campaigned such stakes winners as Buzzards Bay and Mr Gruff, bought the sale topper, the only Tiznow in the catalog. Out of the stakes-winning Jeblar mare Jera, the colt is a full brother to stakes-placed Tizthen and a half-brother to Jeranimo, who finished third in this year’s San Felipe Stakes (gr. II).
Stephens Thoroughbreds consigned the sale topper for Vision Racing. John Stephens had bought him for $110,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale Co.'s 2009 March sale of selected 2-year-olds. The colt worked an eighth-mile in :10 2/5 at the May 8 preview.
“We felt that the colt’s brother, Jeranimo, would run back before the (Kentucky) Derby, which would help him,” said consignor John Stephens. “Tiznow’s horses have done well, and this one previewed well.”
Stephens and his wife, Jill, of Ocala, Fla., run Vision Racing with Brandon and Diannah Perry. Stephens also trains horses and broke Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro as a youngster.
Broad said that the Tiznow colt will go to trainer Ron Ellis.
“He’ll get 60 days off and time to mature,” said Broad, who owns Oakmont Ranch, a rehabilitation center in Murrita, Calif. “He’s a great mover.”
George Bolton, a former minor partner in Horse of the Year Curlin, bought a son of Yes It’s True for $275,000, the second-highest price of the sale. Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds as agent consigned the colt, who is out of the stakes-winning Housebuster mare Chelsie’s House. The youngster had breezed three furlongs in :33, the fastest time at that distance of the May 8 preview.
“He’s a beautiful horse, and he looks like he’s ready to run,” said John Moynihan, who advised Bolton on the purchase. Bolton indicated the colt would be sent to trainer Bob Baffert.
Moynihan also advises Jess Jackson on bloodstock purchases, including the recent acquisition of Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra. Moynihan was attending the Barretts sale before heading to Maryland later in the week to watch Rachel Alexandra run in the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
The sale’s top-priced filly at $120,000 was a daughter of Chief Seattle—Exceedtheprospect, by Allen’s Prospect. Trainer Nick Hines bought her for Paul K. Girdner from the Havens Bloodstock Agency consignment. The filly had sold for $20,000 in the 2009 Barretts January mixed sale.