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$675,000 Malibu Moon colt leads strong trade at Del Mar breeze-ups

Sale-topper was a $135,000 pinhook

The sales ring at Barretts
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A Kentucky-bred son of Malibu Moon topped the Barretts March select two-year-olds in training sale at $675,000 on Wednesday at Del Mar.

Though the catalogue had to withstand a large number of withdrawals prior to the sale, those that remained accounted for a $150,600 average, an increase of 21 per cent compared to 2016.

The sale-topper also was an impressive pinhook. At last year's Keeneland September yearling sale, where he was consigned by Four Star Sales, he sold to WD North Thoroughbreds for $135,000. Bred by William Peeples, the colt is out of the stakes-winning Indian Charlie mare Indian Breeze.

Willy North of Ocala, Fla., consigned the colt to Barretts as Hip 109 for himself and his mother, Betty Ennis, in the name of his Starting Point Thoroughbreds.

"He grew up and did all the right things," North said. "He was a beautiful mover on the track."

North has sold at Barretts in the past, but this is the first time under the Starting Point name. Through Eddie Woods, North earlier sold Danon Legend and Best Macho, now stakes winners in Japan.

North said he felt that the 2017 edition of the Barretts sale was strong.

"The buyers were here to buy the horses," he said.

Terry Finley purchased the Malibu Moon colt for West Point Thoroughbreds and Spendthrift Farm.

"We tried on a couple at Ocala," Finley said. "We actually still came out of there with three or four horses, and we were very intent to come out here and try to buy some real good horses."

Rise in turnover

The sale grossed $6,777,000, up 26 per cent compared with 2016, when 43 sold for a gross of $5,356,000. The median was $100,000, the same as in 2016.

"We were thrilled with the sale," said Kim Lloyd, general manager of Barretts. "We thought we'd be up 20 per cent. The whole vibe of our preview this year was very positive. The horses went well, they looked well breezing on the track, and we had a big turnout. People liked what they saw."

In 2016 Barretts moved its two-year-old sales from Fairplex Park in Pomona to Del Mar after Fairplex closed its racetrack.

"Last year we were selling this as a must-attend, vacation-type of event," Lloyd said. "This year we had new owners that we'd never seen. People came out here because they wanted to be a part of this."

The sale had 67 withdrawals, which included the entire consignments of American Sales and Racing, Bar Diamond Ranch, Crupi's New Castle Farm, and NexStar, plus all but one of SGV Thoroughbreds. Of the 64 through the ring, 19 did not sell, for a buy-back rate of nearly 30 per cent.

Nine juveniles sold for $300,000 or more. Other big prices included a Kentucky-bred son of Candy Ride out of Gottahaveadream, by Indian Charlie, for $400,000; and the top-priced filly ($360,000), Californiabyanose, a California-bred daughter of Lucky Pulpit out of Nine to Five Lady, by Mr. Greeley.

Buyers came from a wide variety of locations. The $400,000 colt, consigned by Kings Equine, went to Susumu Hayashi of Japan, one of several headed to that country. Dennis O'Neill, the leading buyer at the sale, purchased Californiabyanose for Amr Zedan, who lives in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and London. Andy Havens' Havens Bloodstock Agency consigned the Lucky Pulpit filly, the fastest previewer in :09 4/5 for a furlong.

Barretts has traditionally conducted its select sale in March and another two-year-old sale in May. Lloyd said that it is almost certain that for 2018 the company will combine the two sales and schedule it in March.

"We have perfect stabling right across from the sales arena (at this time of year)," he said. "The Del Mar National Horse Show has a big event in May. They just allow us to be here then, and it's really not handy for anybody. With the horses from May coming into this sale, it will give us more horses, and believe me, you'll see a lot less scratches next year."

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He grew up and did all the right things. He was a beautiful mover on the track
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