Exploit Colt Brings $1.2 Million at Barretts

A striking, nearly black Exploit colt sold for $1.2 million Tuesday to Egyptian brewing mogul Ahmed Zayat early during the Barretts March select juvenile auction in Southern California. Sobhy Sonbol, who described himself as an associate of Zayat, signed the sale ticket.

"He was the most beautiful colt in the sale," Sonbol said.

Consigned by Florida pinhooker Murray Smith, agent, the colt is the first foal out of the 10-year-old stakes-placed Carson City mare Carson Jen, who also was a winner. Murray purchased him for $100,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s August yearling auction and said she "did a double take" when she spotted the colt right before he was scheduled to be sold because he was so handsome. He worked quarter mile in :21 1/5 prior to the Barretts auction.

Trainer Bob Baffert sat behind Sonbol during the bidding, and Sonbol said Baffert "might train the colt; I have to ask the boss (Zayat)." Sonbol had said that Baffert would train a $700,000 Distorted Humor -- Bridge to Cross filly named Undercover Angel that Zayat had purchased earlier in the auction. Zayat was not at the sale, but Sonbol talked to him via cell phone during the bidding for the Exploit colt.