The training preview for the Barretts Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training was held beneath overcast skies and temperatures in the low 60s at Del Mar Monday and a trio of juveniles shared the bullet furlong time of :10 flat. The preview was held in four sets and the Del Mar oval remained fairly consistent throughout the day.
“They are training here now, so they have the track just a little bit slow,” said Barretts General Manager Kim Lloyd. “It is very, very safe. The horses are getting a hold of it well and they are showing themselves off well. Which is very important. People can see their action well over this track. And the main thing is that they come back good. So far, so good. Horses that prepped last week for the preview today came back good and we didn’t hear any talk of any problems. That’s the main thing. We need to get through these previews with horses that are usable and sound.”
The Del Mar grandstand was packed with prospective buyers Monday.
“We are very pleased with the turnout today,” Lloyd said. “A lot of people showed up. There will be plenty of people to buy the ones they want.”
Among the trainers in the stands Monday were Phil D’Amato, Paddy Gallagher, Nick Hines, Bob Hess, Art Sherman, Brian Koriner, Ron Ellis, Dan Hendricks and Simon Callaghan. The bloodstock contingent included Dennis O’Neill, Ben McElroy, David Ingordo, Alex Solis, Jason Litt and Shawn Dugan. West Point’s Terry Finley was on hand, as were Aron Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Billy Koch of Little Red Feather Racing, and Stonestreet’s John Moynihan.
The first bullet furlong work was recorded during the day’s third session, when hip 167 covered the distance in :10 flat for Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree Stables. Out of Cape Discovery (Cape Town), the bay colt was purchased by Ronald Fein’s Superfine Farms for $110,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale and was supplemented to the Spring sale.
“He was supposed to go to OBS [March], but he had a little bit of a setback,” said Dunne. “We took the high road and gave him the time and we came here. It looks like he rewarded us for it. We always thought he was a nice horse from day one.”
Bruno DeBerdt’s Excel Bloodstock sent out hip 58 to work the co-bullet during Wednesday’s fourth set. By Mineshaft, the filly is out of Noble Grey (Forestry) and was purchased by DeBerdt for $85,000 at last year’s September sale.
“She had the athleticism that we look for in a horse,” DeBerdt said of the filly’s appeal as a yearling. “When we broke her, she was a really nice filly all the way through. When we started working her a little bit at the farm, she didn’t show a lot of talent, but she was always right in with the pack. It’s just been recently that she has really separated herself. She acclimated to this track really well. We knew she had a lot of ability and I thought if I had any horse that would go in :10 flat, it would be her.”
DeBerdt agreed the Del Mar surface played fair throughout the day.
“I think it’s a good track,” he said. “If you have a good horse, they are going to work in :10 1/5, or :10 flat and :10 2/5 is a very good move on this track. I’d much rather see a track like this than a bunch of :9 3/5s and :9 4/5s. I’m really happy with it. And it was consistent all day long.”
Rounding out the trio of :10 flat workers was hip 63, a colt by Smiling Tiger. He is consigned by Havens Bloodstock Agency on behalf of breeder Phil Lebherz’s Premier Thoroughbreds. Out of Perfect Feat (Pleasantly Perfect), he is a full-brother to stakes winner Spiced Perfection.
Of the handful of juveniles to work a quarter-mile, hip 121, a colt by Graydar, turned in the fastest time of :21 flat. The gray colt is out of Witch Princess (Exchange Rate) and is consigned by Top Line Sales.
In the lone hiccup of the under-tack show, hip 7, a son of Champ Pegasus, lost the rider and galloped down the stretch before being corralled by the outrider on the backstretch. The incident caused some confusion for the next horse to work, hip 40, a son of He’s Had Enough out of graded stakes winner Le Me Geaux (First Samurai). The youngster, consigned by Wavertree Stables, eventually worked in :10 2/5.
“He got halfway around the turn and the horse got loose,” Dunne explained. “He had to come back and he was back and forth in the chute because they couldn’t figure out whether they were going to stop or go. By the time he actually got around to breezing, he didn’t know whether he was coming or going. Coming out here, we thought he was every bit as fast as the Into Mischief. So he was our big disappointment for the day. We know he is a really good horse from everything he has done at home, so it is a little disappointing when one of yours works and it comes down to a moment that wish you could have back.”
The Barretts Spring Sale will be held Wednesday with bidding scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.