Cautious Giant, a 6-year-old stakes-placed gelding, brought top price of $57,000 at the Barretts January mixed sale in Pomona, Calif., Jan. 17. Whether the gelding is actually the top selling horse is apparently up for debate.
Kristin Mulhall, who trains Cautious Giant, signed the ticket on the sale-topper, saying she was buying him back for owners Tachycardia Stables and Twilight Racing. Harris Farms consigned Cautious Giant to the sale as agent. Barretts officials noted the horse was owned by a partnership that was being at least in part dissolved by the sale.
A Kentucky-bred son of Giant's Causeway out of Dangerous Diva, by Deputy Minister, Cautious Giant has earned $285,590. He finished third in the 2016 Palos Verdes Stakes (G2) and Kona Gold Stakes (G2).
With a catalog consisting primarily of 2-year-olds, yearlings, and broodmares, 125 head were reported sold for gross receipts of $995,800 and an average price of $7,966. In 2016, 143 grossed $1,188,000 and averaged $8,308.
“The strength of the market was in the horses of racing age,” said Kim Lloyd, Barretts general manager. “The closer you are to the races, the easier it is to sell and the more they are going to bring.”
Fifteen horses of racing age averaged $12,020 on a gross of $180,300. The sale had a buy-back rate of 22.3%, with 36 of the 161 through the ring listed as not sold.
Andy Havens’ Havens Bloodstock Agency sold the leading 2-year-old, a California-bred daughter of Storm Wolf which brought $45,000, and the sale’s top-priced yearling, a Kentucky-bred son of Lucky Pulpit sold for $40,000.
Dr. Patrick Sheehy’s Super Horse purchased the Storm Wolf filly, who is a half sister to grade 2 stakes winner Dothraki Queen. The dam, the Saint Ballado mare Sharaiji Blossom, is a half sister to Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Blushing K. D., Canadian champion Ambitious Cat, Hong Kong Horse of the Year Electronic Unicorn, and stakes winner February Storm.
Havens consigned the Storm Wolf filly for Liberty Road Stables. Trainer Peter Eurton accompanied Sheehy to the sale. Eurton has just begun training for Sheehy, whose stable includes the unraced 3-year-old filly Flower Heart Deer, a name given to her by the owner’s granddaughter.
“The filly is nicely conformed, and I think her sire is underused,” said Sheehy of the filly he bought and her sire Storm Wolf.
David Meah, assistant trainer to Richard Baltas, signed for the Lucky Pulpit colt on behalf of Mick Ruis. Meah has helped the Ruis family select horses in the past, including Union Strike, who won the 2016 Del Mar Debutante (G1).
Meah said that the Lucky Pulpit colt “was the prettiest horse in the sale. He’s a lovely athlete with great length to him—an exciting prospect.”
The colt is out of the Unbridled's Song mare Seoul Unbridled, a half sister to stakes winner Rush Bay.