Barretts' October preferred yearling sale last year produced its highest-priced horse ever, a $170,000 General Meeting – Fiscal Year filly. In all, 242 yearlings were sold for a gross of $3,233,750, an average of $13,363, and a median of $8,500. Compared to results of the 2003 sale, the number sold was up 2.5%, but the gross increased by less than 1%, the average and median were down 1.9% and 10.5%, respectively.
Barretts and the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association (CTBA), competitors for years in the commercial marketplace, are uniting for the first time to put on a sale. Calfornia's October yearling auction will be held on Tuesday at Barretts' Hinds Pavilion at Fairplex Park in Pomona beginning at 11 a.m. (PDT). Barretts' staff will conduct the auction, which replaces the Barretts October preferred yearling sale and the CTBA's Del Mar yearling auction in August.The catalogue has more than 320 horses, which were selected from more than 800 yearlings nominated. According to Jerry McMahon, Barretts' president and general manager, there was an emphasis on conformation during the selection process. He said Barretts and CTBA officials are hoping that the auction will generate an average price in the $18,000 to $20,000 range. Another goal, he added, is a "reasonable" buy-back rate, somewhere below 30%."The fair meet (at Fairplex) was strong, and Del Mar was great, so we have some momentum going (in the racing industry)," McMahon said. "We also have the California-bred program, which helps."The concept (of a Barretts/CTBA joint venture) has been well-received, and it seems like there are plenty of interested buyers."Last year, the Del Mar yearling auction had mixed results. The 57 horses that sold brought a sale record average of $48,228 and the median rose 21.6% from the previous year to $31,000. However, the auction's gross revenue declined 11.5% to $3,105,500 while the buy-back rate soared to 48.2%. The number sold was down 36.7% from the comparable figure of 90 in 2003.