Strong Demand For Juveniles Continues at Barretts Sale

Strong demand for juveniles at public auction continued at the Barretts May Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training held May 17 at the Hinds Pavilion at Fairplex Park in Pomona, California. A total of 193 horses were reported sold for gross receipts of $7,663,700, an 8.6% jump over the same sale a year ago when 189 youngsters sold for a total of $7,053,000.

The average price of $39,708 was up 6.4% from 2004's figure of $37,317 but the median dropped by 7.4% to $25,000 from the figure of $27,000 last year. This year's figures overall represent the second year in a row of record numbers at the one-day sale, though the buy-back rate was up, checking in at 20.9% compared to the 2004 number of 15.6%. There were 112 horses withdrawn from the sale.

"There's some momentum building in this May market," Barretts president and general manager Jerry McMahon said. "We had a strong West Coast attendance; we had buyers from western Canada, Montana, and New Mexico and the California owners are always really strong.

"There seems to be less pressure on consignors in the May sale. (The horses) do the one breeze and the sellers and buyers seem to like it; it all seems to work well. (The outs) are just what happens in all 2-year-old markets. The bottom line is if a horse has a hiccup along the way, the consignors don't push them. They withdraw and then try again. Most of the outs we've known about for well over a month."

The top-priced horse of the sale was a bay son of grade I winner Siphon and the group III winner Imperfect Word (by Carson City). Emmanuel de Seroux's Narvick International signed the $350,000 sales slip for owner Sidney Port. Ciaran Dunne's Wavertree Stables, agent, consigned the colt, who worked an eighth of a mile in :10.10 during the preview.

"He's a good horse who trained well all winter," Dunne said. "He was perfect really early on. He's got a nice pedigree and all the attributes to get it done. I thought he was the perfect horse for this market."

Imperfect World won the Prix du Bois (Fr-III) in France as well as Belmont Park's Genuine Risk Handicap (gr. II). She is a half-sister to two other stakes winners, Monsieur Cat (by Tabasco Cat) and Awesome of Course (by Awesome Again ). Other notable names in the sale topper's female family include grade I winners Scorpion, Desiree and Adored.

Nine other 2-year-olds sold for $150,000 or more, including a bay son of grade I winner Dixie Union and the unraced Pleasant Colony mare Sparkle Colony. Also purchased by Narvick, as agent, for $220,000, the Kentucky-bred colt was consigned by Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds, agent, and breezed two furlongs in :21.20 during the preview.

Hartley/De Renzo bought the youngster as a yearling at Fasig-Tipton's New York preferred yearling sale last August and he failed to meet his reserve at the Fasig-Tipton February Sale of selected 2-year-olds in training earlier this year when he brought a final bid of $95,000.

Southern California-based conditioner Bob Hess Jr. went to $200,000 to secure a chestnut colt from the first crop of grade II winner Lexicon. Consigned by Murray Smith, agent, the Florida-bred youngster worked the fastest three furlongs during the preview, stopping the clock in :33.60.

Smith purchased the colt for $30,000 as a yearling at the Ocala Breeders' Sales January mixed sale in 2004 and he was a late withdrawal from the Barretts March 2-year-old sale.

"I think this is a pretty good sale to bring a nice horse like this to," Smith said. "All the sales people and staff are great. All they ask you to do is bring a nice horse and they provide the buyers. I actually brought him out here specifically for this sale because Lexicon ran here. When I bought him as a yearling I knew I'd sell him out here."

Dennis Yokum, acting as agent for Mercedes Stables LLC, signed the $200,000 sales slip for a chestnut California-bred son of Afternoon Deelites. The colt, consigned by Havens Bloodstock Agency, agent, worked one furlong in :10.20. Named Big Red Mountain, he is the third foul out of the producing Two Punch mare Lindsali.

"He had a really long stride and is a beautiful mover," Yokum said. "I watched him train before the preview and I saw he was really easy to train. He's the kind of colt we can go on with, so we'll take him back to the farm and see what happens.

"I thought he was the best Cal-bred in the sale. Mercedes Stables is looking to become more prominent with the Cal-breds. They live here and are committed to supporting California racing and breeding."

Briggs and Cromartie Bloodstock purchased the high-priced filly of the sale, going to $165,000 for a chestnut daughter of Two Punch consigned by Sequel Bloodstock (Becky Thomas), agent. Out of the Fast Hilarious mare Spinnaker Sal, she is a half-sister to graded winners Gala Spinaway ( by Star Choice) and Power Play (by Fast Play).

Narvick International was the leading buyer of the sale, picking up two juveniles for $570,000 and an average of $285,000. Jerry Bailey Sales Agency was the leading consignor and sales agent, selling eight horses for a gross of $561,500 and an average of $70,188.