07/05/2001 11:00PM

Above Perfection a shrewd buy

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - It did not take long for television producer David Milch to realize a return on his acquisition of Above Perfection and four other California-breds from Old English Rancho.

A little more than a month after the deal was finished, Above Perfection made her stakes debut in Wednesday's Grade 1 Prioress Stakes at Belmont Park, finishing second to Xtra Heat, who set a six-furlong stakes record of 1:08.26.

Even though it ended her unbeaten streak at 3, the 3-year-old Above Perfection proved to Milch and trainer Darrell Vienna that she is a top-class filly with her loss, which came by a neck.

"I thought she ran very well," Vienna said. "The winner is a great filly. They broke the stakes record, and the others were six lengths back."

Vienna said Above Perfection was the clincher in the five-horse sale, which includes the 3-year-old filly Covincing, the 3-year-old colt Disturbing the Peace, and a pair of 2-year-old colts: Hideaway Cafe and Outofthisworld. All five were bred by Old English Rancho.

"Without her, we don't buy anything," he said.

While Above Perfection, previously trained by Don Warren, is the most accomplished member of the group, the others have promise as well.

Covincing, who worked a half-mile in 50.80 seconds on Friday at Santa Anita, was fourth in her only start of 2001 in an allowance race at Hollywood Park on June 23. By Avenue of Flags, she won a maiden race at Fairplex Park last September by 10 1/2 lengths.

Disturbing the Peace, a colt by Bold Badgett, is bound for another maiden race, having finished third on June 8 at Hollywood Park in his first start for Milch and Vienna.

The 2-year-olds are a promising pair. Hideaway Cafe, who is by High Brite, finished second by a nose in his career debut at Bay Meadows on June 7.

Outofthisworld has yet to start. A Flying Continental colt, he is a half-brother to Flying Sensation, who won the 1993 California Cup Juvenile and won $369,298.

All five Milch horses are likely to start at Del Mar.

Selling with the best

There are 10 California-breds selling at the major Kentucky yearling sales next week, but they do not have the bloodlines of a typical statebred.

Led by a consignment from John and Betty Mabee's Golden Eagle Farm, there are seven yearlings offered at Keeneland on July 16-17 and three at the Fasig-Tipton sale on July 18-19.

The Mabees have six yearlings foaled in California on offer at Keeneland - three colts and three fillies. Two of the colts are by Unbridled, and one is by Danzig. The fillies are by Nureyev, Storm Cat, and Unbridled.

All six of the Mabees' mares represented in the sale delivered their foals in California and were bred back to General Meeting or Event of the Year, who stand at Golden Eagle Farm in Ramona, Calif.

The most familiar family among the Mabee consignment is represented by a Storm Cat filly who is a half-sister to Excellent Meeting, a seven-time stakes winner and millionaire who was campaigned by the Mabees. Bred in Kentucky, Excellent Meeting, who is by General Meeting, won the Santa Anita Oaks and Del Mar Debutante and finished fifth in the 1999 Kentucky Derby.

The yearling filly, who is Hip No. 58, is out of Fitted Crown, who was bred back to General Meeting in 2000. The other Cal-bred offered at Keeneland is a Rahy filly.

At Fasig-Tipton, the Cal-breds include a Cape Town colt, a Clever Trick colt, and a Glitterman filly.