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CTBA Steps Up to Host January Mixed Sale Wednesday


Adrian Gonzalez | Barretts photo

By Jessica Martini

The California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, stepping up to fill a void left in the state’s winter sales calendar, will hold a one-session January Mixed Sale Wednesday at the Hinds Pavilion at Fairplex in Pomona. A total of 154 horses have been catalogued for the auction, which will begin at noon.

The CTBA sale is taking the place of the previous January auction held by Barretts and is designed to bridge the gap between that now-defunct sales company and Fasig-Tipton, which hosts its first sale at Santa Anita in June.

“We’re pretty resilient out here, we’ve seen some ups and downs,” said Adrian Gonzalez, whose Checkmate Thoroughbreds consigned the sale topper at last year’s final Barretts January sale. “You have to show up with the right horses and you’ll do okay. We’ve scaled back the size of our consignment to just a couple quality mares and a couple of quality babies and that’s about it.”

Gonzalez said he was appreciative of the CTBA’s efforts to hold a January sale this year.

“They really kind of filled a void because there is certainly a need to move some of these mares and some people want to replace their mares,” Gonzalez said. “If you don’t provide that service to these breeders here, a lot of stuff could come to a halt. So I am personally appreciative of them stepping up and doing this. I am sure that, from a small catalogue standpoint, there probably isn’t a big potential financial gain in this for them. It’s probably just a service provided and it’s amazing that they did this for us.”

While heavy rain in the area might keep foot traffic down at the sales barns, Gonzalez said he is still seeing plenty of interest in his January offerings.

“For the last couple of weeks, we’ve had quite a few people from out of state calling and asking about our mares and asking for photos and videos of our babies walking. So, I feel like we have quite a bit of interest on the horses that we have. It seems like some of the horses in our consignment stand out in the catalogue. I think we’re going to have plenty of action, although it might just be in people bidding over the phone, because I don’t know how many people will show up with the weather the way it is.”

In addition to short yearlings and broodmares, the catalogue features a large number of newly turned 2-year-olds. Selling an early 2-year-old worked for Gonzalez a year ago when he sold a sale-topping son of Quality Road for $120,000.

“We tried it last year because the [Barretts] 2-year-olds in training sale schedule was consolidated into one sale,” Gonzalez explained. “We felt like it would be a little tough pointing all our eggs to one date because sometimes they don’t all make it at the right time. So to cover ourselves, we put some in the January sale. And, it was funny, we sold our January horses for more than our 2-year-olds in training sale horses. I don’t know what the reason for that was, but I think you can kind of see from the entries at this sale this year that a lot more people are trying to pull off what we did last year.”

At its final January sale last year, Barretts sold 112 horses for a total of $1,226,400. The average was $10,950 and the median was $5,750.

Fasig-Tipton will host its first Santa Anita 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale June 5 and Gonzalez said he is optimistic about the transition.

“I’ve done a lot of business with Fasig-Tipton in the past, selling through them out in Kentucky and buying at their sales,” Gonzalez said. “I love working with them. Whatever it is they do, it has always been pretty smooth and seamless. I know there are going to be some growing pains, trying to pull off a new venue and new sales dates, but if anybody can do it, it’s Fasig.”

To view the complete CTBA January catalogue, visit

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