California October Yearling Sale Looks to Build on Opening Year Success

Last year's inaugural California October yearling sale, co-sponsored by Barretts Equine Limited and the California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association, concluded with solid across the board results. And the two entities hope to build on last year's success for even stronger results during the 2006 edition Oct. 3 at Barretts Fairplex Park facility.

"You always hope to improve on the year before," said Jerry McMahon, president and general manager of Barretts. "Last year, we kind of gauged the market and found our format worked and the sale was very well received."

In the inaugural year of the auction, which replaced Barretts October preferred sale and the CTBA's Del Mar sale, 207 hips sold for $5,239,400, to average $25,311. The median was $17,000. The buy-back rate was 26.9%, with 76 of the 283 yearling offered failing to find new homes.

Last year's sale topper, Symphonic Movement (High Demand-Cover Letter, by Kingmambo) was purchased for $290,000 by trainer John Sadler, agent, from the consignment of Golden Eagle Farm.

"By its nature, it's not super select," McMahon said. "We have horses for every market. There are horses that are well sold for $10,000 and horses sold for six-figures. That's the nature of this market. We want to get the job done for all levels of buyers."

Barretts and the CTBA signed a four-year operating agreement prior to last year's inaugural auction. The agreement will be revisited at the end of its term and could be tweaked to expand the catalogue if the market shows it could handle a two-day sale.

"Based on one-year, the trend of this sale has been very well received. We will sit down and look at the agreement closer to the end of the four years," said Doug Burge, CTBA executive vice-president and general manager.

The 2005 sale has already produced two dozen winners, said Burge. "We had two winners and graduates from last year's sale, Ces't Mark and Tonja's World, run in the Oak Leaf Stakes over the weekend. The graduates are running everywhere," he said.

The 2006 sale features yearlings by nine of the 10 stallions in the state ranked by progeny earnings. They are top-ranked Bertrando, as well as Swiss Yodeler, Benchmark, In Excess, Lord Carson, Formal Gold, Cee's Tizzy, Roar, and Storm Creek. Salt Lake is ranked sixth on that list and stood his first season in the state this year.