Barretts Adds Bella Thoroughbreds Horses to January Sale

A court-approved consignment of 52 horses from Bella Thoroughbreds will be sold preceding the second session of the 2002 Barretts January Mixed Sale on Jan. 23.

The Miners Trail Receivership will act as agent for the Bella Thoroughbreds horses. The Miners Trail Receivership consignment will handled by Madera Thoroughbreds and will consist of 30 broodmares, 14 yearlings, three 2-year-olds, three 3-year-olds and two stallions. The consignment is led by the stallion Comet Shine, a son of Fappiano who was a 2-year-old champion in Canada.

The Barretts sale will be held Jan. 22-23 in the Hinds Pavilion located on the grounds of Fairplex Park in Pomona, California. The catalog includes 250 broodmare/broodmare prospects, 13 stallion/stallion prospects, 115 yearlings, 78 two-year-olds and 85 horses of racing age.

Bella Thoroughbreds is the name of a Vallejo, California ranch and racing stable operated by owners Michele Serrao and Bryan Rosenquist. Serraro, 41, and Rosenquist, 39, face charges that they embezzled $12.7 million from Bank of America. A March 4 trial date in U.S. District Court in Oakland has been set for the pair.

A receiver, Steve Anderson, has been appointed to take over the racing operation of about 60 horses, as well as the business of the 60-acre ranch, where another 50 horses, mostly broodmares and lay-ups, were being kept at the time of the arrest. Anderson's application for a racing license has been approved by the California Horse Racing Board, according to a spokesman.

Serrao and Rosenquist are accused of fraud and conspiracy in one of the largest vault thefts in California history, according to the FBI. If convicted, they face prison sentences of up to 30 years.

Authorities allege that they used their positions with cash transport specialist Loomis, Fargo & Co., to siphon off Bank of America automated teller funds. Rosenquist, who was in charge of security at Loomis' Bay Area vault facility, and Serrao, who assisted him in counting cash and signing off account books, allegedly took $635,000 in $20 bills, starting in January 2000. When they were arrested, they had at least $3.4 million in personal bank accounts, say authorities.

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