11/01/2004 12:00AM

Awesome Again's fee hits $125K off Cup


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Frank Stronach's Adena Springs operation was a big winner at Saturday's Breeders' Cup in Grand Prairie, Texas.

When Ghostzapper won the Classic, he was following in the footsteps of his sire, Awesome Again, who won the Classic at Churchill Downs in 1998. Both Awesome Again and son Ghostzapper are products of Stronach's homebreeding program, and Awesome Again stands at Stronach's Adena Springs Kentucky division near Versailles, Ky.

Better yet, Ghostzapper was one of two Breeders' Cup winners for Awesome Again on Saturday. The other was Juvenile winner Wilko, an English import who will now stay Stateside to point for the Kentucky Derby.

Not surprisingly, those two results on racing's richest day prompted Adena Springs to rethink its original plan to stand Awesome Again in 2005 for $75,000, the same fee he had this year. A young sire with just three crops to race, Awesome Again already has fielded six graded stakes winners, including his pair of Breeders' Cup winners. On Monday, the farm announced its rising star will stand for $125,000 in 2005.

Ghostzapper's Classic win also gave a boost to his dam, Baby Zip. A Relaunch mare, once a stakes winner at Laurel, she slipped to claiming ranks by the end of her three-season racing career in 1995. That is where Lexington horseman David Mullins found her at Laurel and arranged for trainer John Lenzini Sr. to claim her on his behalf.

This is a business method that Mullins, owner of Doninga Farm, has used profitably, often by selling the young mares at auction. Doninga has sold 51 mares who have gone on to be stakes producers, Mullins said. The plan worked out exceptionally well with Baby Zip. Mullins claimed her on Jan. 12, 1995, and sold her privately to Stronach that spring as a broodmare prospect. For Stronach, Baby Zip has produced a pair of Grade 1 winners, Ghostzapper and City Zip.

"I'm tickled pink when a mare goes on to do well for a buyer," Mullins said. "If they didn't, I wouldn't have any repeat business. You hope they'll all go on and do well for their new owners."

Joneses keeping up quite nicely

Aaron and Marie Jones also scored a notable double at the Breeders' Cup, as breeders of the Sprint winner, Speightstown, and the Distaff winner, Ashado.

Speightstown, by Gone West, is out of the Joneses' Canadian champion juvenile filly Silken Cat. A Storm Cat mare, Silken Cat has been a home-run producer for the Oregon-based couple in the sale ring. They sold Speightstown to Eugene Melnyk for $2 million at Keeneland's 1999 July yearling sale, and, last year, they sold Tigerline, an Unbridled's Song colt out of Silken Cat, to John Oxley for $1.4 million at Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga auction. Now, in Speightstown, they have a Breeders' Cup winner to their credit as breeders. All of which is especially good when you consider the Joneses paid just $95,000 to acquire Silken Cat as a yearling at Saratoga back in 1994.

The Joneses bred Ashado from Goulash, a stakes-winning Mari's Book mare. They sold Ashado as a yearling at the 2002 Keeneland September sale, where Jack and Laurie Wolf's Starlight Stables bought her for a relatively inexpensive $170,000. Ashado is by Saint Ballado.

A winner out of the past

Disler Farms, breeder of longshot Mile winner Singletary, left the business in 2002 after about 30 years in racing and breeding.

"There's days I miss it and days I don't think about it at all," said Douglas Disler, whose family operated Disler Farms and who now owns B and B Farm in Hulbert, Okla. Disler said he wasn't especially thinking about it on Breeders' Cup day, until his mother, Joy, called to tell him Singletary had just won the Mile.

Loyd and Joy Disler founded the Disler breeding operation. In the early 1970's, they had visions of creating a homebred racing stable with strong bloodlines based on their first homebred broodmare, Joi'ski. They raced horses primarily in Kentucky and California. In the early 1990's, Loyd Disler thought prospects for racing and breeding looked good in Oklahoma and moved the operation's base to the Tulsa area. Loyd Disler died in 1996, then a change in the state's breed-back policy started allowing mare owners to breed to out-of-state stallions every year, hurting business for the Dislers' two stallions.

Singletary's dam, the Star de Naskra mare Joiski's Star, is a daughter of Joi'ski. She sold for $2,000 at the 2002 Keeneland January sale, months after Singletary brought $3,200 at the Keeneland October yearling auction.

The fact that Joiski's Star has now produced a Breeders' Cup winner pleases Douglas Disler, even though he doesn't own her.

"It gives some credibility to the line," he said, "and I like to see that. It's a legacy my father left behind."

Northern Afleet headed to Kentucky

Taylor Made and WinStar have teamed up to relocate Northern Afleet, sire of Juvenile runner-up Afleet Alex, to Kentucky. Northern Afleet, an 11-year-old Afleet horse, has been standing at Double Diamond Farm near Ocala, Fla., for $5,000.

In 2005, Northern Afleet will stand at Taylor Made, but his fee has yet to be announced.

A dual Grade 2 winner, Northern Afleet is out of the Nureyev mare Nuryette and is a half-brother to stakes winner Tap to Music.