Updated on 09/15/2011 12:54PM

All speed, right? Not these two newly relocated sires


DEL MAR, Calif. - Two stallions recently acquired to stand stud in the state do not fit the stereotype of a sprint-oriented California stallion.

Comic Strip will move from Lane's End Farm in Kentucky to Special T Thoroughbreds in Temecula, Calif., and Madraar will enter stud at Hideaway Farms in San Jacinto, Calif.

Comic Strip excelled in longer races on dirt and turf, while Madraar, who still is in training, has run best at 1 1/4 miles or longer.

Whether they can join Cee's Tizzy (the sire of 2000 Horse of the Year Tiznow and the Grade 1 winner Gourmet Girl) and Bertrando (the sire of multiple stakes winners Smooth Player and Cliquot) as leading stallions in the state depends on the level of support from broodmare owners.

Comic Strip was retired last year following a career that included 10 wins and earnings of $965,474. Now 6, Comic Strip won the 1998 Louisiana Derby and four other stakes, including the River City Handicap on turf at Churchill Downs.

Madraar is in training with Tim Pinfield at Del Mar, preparing for a possible autumn start at Oak Tree. A 7-year-old, Madraar was acquired privately from Sheikh Mohammed, for whom he raced in Dubai last year.

A half-brother to the multiple Group 1 winner Fantastic Light, Madraar is scheduled to enter stud next year, unless his race results in coming months justify a continued campaign, according to Gary Howard, who operates Hideaway Farms.

"We'll see how he goes," Howard said. "If he runs really well, we probably won't go to stud [next year]."

Howard was tipped to Madraar by a bloodstock agent, and after discussions with a few intermediaries, arranged to get the horse.

Said Pinfield: "I heard good things about him from Dubai. His best trip was between 1 1/4 and 1 1/2 miles."

Last spring, Madraar won 2 of 3 starts in Dubai while racing in handicaps, which are just below stakes level.

By Mr. Prospector, Madraar is the first foal out of Jood. While one of Madraar's attractions is his sire, the circuit at which he has raced may make him a tough sell, Howard admits.

"You can make a case for his race record," Howard said. "Obviously, we'd be a lot better off if he runs well [in the United States]."

Comic Strip is leased by Del Chance and remains the property of Lane's End Farm, according to Rick Taylor, who owns Special T Thoroughbreds. The 6-year-old stallion is scheduled to ship to California in October after a minor paddock accident postponed his transfer, Taylor said.

By Red Ransom, Comic Strip entered stud late last year but was bred to a larger book of mares this year, Taylor said. Lane's End was interested in becoming involved in California racing because of the incentive program for state-breds.

"If we perform, we've got him," Taylor said in reference to long-term plans. "We've already booked 20 mares [to him]."

Taylor watched Comic Strip win the 1998 Louisiana Derby when he worked as the racing manager of Golden Eagle Farm.

"He broke his maiden at Saratoga as a 2-year-old and he won the Louisiana Derby," Taylor said. "I think the nice thing is he was a top-notch 3-year-old on dirt and a top horse on turf.

"I don't think we'll have any problem with him. I think people are getting out of that five-furlong speed mentality."

Wine Country sale

The American Equine Sales Company is hosting its annual Wine Country yearling sale at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

The one-day sale includes 139 yearlings and 30 horses from the dispersal of Grey Willows Ranch. The disperal includes 20 broodmares, four 2-year-olds, three 4-year-olds, two stallions, and a 6-year-old. Those horses sell without reserve, according to sale manager Jimmie Fostinis.

Horses sold at the sale include Irguns Angel and The Dr. is a Lady, both of whom won allowance races at Del Mar this summer.

The sale format has changed over the last year. In 2000, yearlings and 2-year-olds were offered at the same sale. "I don't think you can put the two together," Fostinis said. "We did okay, but not as good as expected."

Fostinis said the consignment deadline for the Wine Country yearling sale came after consignors to the Del Mar Yearling sale were notified whether their prospects had been accepted. Consequently, the Wine Country sale does not offer the depth of the CTBA sale, which was held last week, but it does include yearlings by such major stallions as Bertrando, Falstaff, and Smokester.