10/12/2003 11:00PM

Answer Lively dead at 7

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Answer Lively, the Eclipse Award juvenile champion for 1998, has died at age 7.

Answer Lively died of heart failure at John Franks's Twin Oaks Farm in Texas on April 28, according to a spokesperson for Franks.

Answer Lively, Franks's homebred son of Lively One, was voted champion after winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Louisiana's Sport of Kings Futurity. He also was second in the Louisiana and Remington Park derbies, Lane's End Breeders' Futurity, and Risen Star Stakes in a two-year career.

Trained by Bobby Barnett, Answer Lively won four of his 14 lifetime starts and finished second four times. He ended his career in 1999 with total earnings of $938,296.

But Answer Lively led a troubled life at stud. Retired initially to stand at Hill 'n' Dale Farm in Lexington, Answer Lively turned out to have fertility problems. He returned to Franks Farms' Southland Division in Ocala, Fla., where his owner hoped he would regain fertility. But he did not. Franks eventually pensioned him from stud duty and later moved him to Twin Oaks.

Answer Lively was out of stakes winner Twosies Answer, by Two's a Plenty.

Strategic Mission goes to New York

Metropolitan Stud in Pine Plains, N.Y., has added Strategic Mission to its roster for 2004. An 8-year-old Mr. Prospector stallion, Strategic Mission stood his first season this year at Gainesway Farm in Lexington.

"It's a cooperative venture with Gainesway," Metropolitan's Michael Lischin said. "The current owners of the horse are still involved."

Strategic Mission will stand for $5,000, down from his $7,500 fee at Gainesway. Strategic Mission is out of graded stakes winner Sultry Sun, who also produced Grade 1 winners Sultry Song and Solar Splendor.

Inside the National Pride story

When National Pride won Keeneland's fifth race on Saturday, he rewarded backers handsomely, and not just because he won at odds of 5-1. National Pride is one of nine horses trained in Newmarket, England, by 32-year-old James Nicol, who took an unusual gamble by shipping two horses of his nine horses in the barn to run at Keeneland. National Pride was the first, and the other one, War Valor, is pointing for a maiden race at Keeneland on Sunday.

Nicol sent the pair to Keeneland mainly as a marketing plan, said his assistant Anita O'Farrell. Both colts are for sale, and Nicol thought they might make a splash in front of a bigger audience of buyers in the U.S., and they could run for more money there, too. National Pride earned $27,404 on Saturday. When he won a maiden race last month in England, he earned 2,000 pounds, or about $3,320.

"It costs about $5,000 per horse to bring them over, but if the horse wins, that's immaterial," O'Farrell said. "And if you win at Keeneland, you can do almost anything. It's bringing the product to the people."

National Pride's connections have plenty of American experience. Nicol was an assistant to WinStar Farm's trainer Elliott Walden for several years. O'Farrell and her sister Marette have long been familiar faces in the bloodstock and sales business, and National Pride's owners are bloodstock agent Mike Ryan and pinhooker Jerry Dilger of Dromoland Farm.

- Grade 1 winner Greenwood Lake, a 6-year-old Meadowlake horse, has relocated from Stoneriggs Farm in Ocala, Fla., to Margaux Farm near Lexington. He will stand for a $6,000 fee. Greenwood Lake is out of stakes winner Au Printemps

(Dancing Champ), who also produced 1987 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Success Express and Canadian champion Charlie Barley. Greenwood Lake's first foals are yearlings.

- The $105,000 broodmare Sabre Dance, in foal to Montbrook, was the highest price Monday at 4:30 p.m. at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's fall mixed sale in Ocala, Fla. Gainesway Farm purchased the mare, a stakes-winning daughter of Sword Dance. The Acorn, agent, sold the mare on behalf of Alan Drey.