01/30/2007 12:00AM

Barbaro: A pedigree for all surfaces


LAS VEGAS - As I started to write the fifth installment of the 2007 freshman stallion report, I received the tragic news regarding Barbaro's death. Of course, it is sheer speculation whether Barbaro would have becomes racing's 12th Triple Crown winner, but talent-wise - and pedigree-wise - he had a better chance than any 3-year-old in recent history.

Barbaro was that rare racehorse whose brilliance was not limited to one racing surface. Barbaro was by Dynaformer, who was bred and raced by Darby Dan Farm. Dynaformer had a powerful turf pedigree (by Roberto out of a mare by His Majesty) but achieved success on dirt, winning the Grade 2 Jersey Derby and Grade 2 Discovery Handicap.

Dynaformer's offspring showed an immediate affinity for grass, but his runners were versatile, winning important races on dirt. His first crop included Blumin Affair, who finished second to Brocco in the 1993 Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Winner of the San Diego Handicap, Blumin Affair finished third in the 1994 Kentucky Derby behind Go for Gin and Strodes Creek. Dynaformer sired grass performers Film Maker, Riskaverse, Sand Springs, McDynamo, Blazing Fury and Purim, and the list of his major winners on dirt is just as impressive. In addition to Blumin Affair, they include Perfect Drift, Critical Eye, Starrer, Dynever, and Barbaro.

Like his sire, Barbaro was strongly bred for grass and showed great ability on that surface. He proved to be just as versatile as Dynaformer, winning the Holy Bull Stakes and Florida Derby to remain undefeated going into the Kentucky Derby. As good as his victories were leading up to the Derby, his Run for the Roses was a breakthrough performance, a tour-de-force that left no questions that this was a very special animal. There is always talk about a Triple Crown winner after the Derby, but unlike with many recent Derby winners, this time the talk had merit because Barbaro was actually bred to be at his best at the Belmont Stakes distance of 1 1/2 miles.

In the end, Barbaro's valiant fight for his life served to underscore his heart and spirit, and actually overshadowed his accomplishments on the track.

On March 15, 2006, two months before Barbaro's Kentucky Derby victory, his full brother was born, and his dam, La Ville Rouge, was bred back to Dynaformer last year. While it is rare for siblings to be equal in ability, hope springs eternal in horse racing.

Freshman sires part 5

The following is part 5 of an alphabetical preview of the 2007 freshman sires and how to bet their offspring with their pedigree, 2007 stud fee and state where they are based.

Parker's Storm Cat (Storm Cat-Macoumba, by Mr. Prospector); stands in Maryland for $3,000. Unplaced in France in his only start at 2, American-bred Parker's Storm Cat was imported back to the U.S. at age 3 and had 1 victory and 1 second in 3 starts. A half-brother to Malibu Moon, his dam was a Group 1 winner and is a half-sister to four major group winners, including Septieme Ciel. His runners should have good speed on dirt and turf.

Parting Guest (Peaks and Valleys-Guest, by Sham); stands in Louisiana for $1,000. He won 6 races from 16 starts, including the Borderland Derby. His third dam is multiple stakes winner Spicy Living, and the most notable aspect of his pedigree is that his fourth dam, Rivaz, was a full sister to one of racing's most influential stallions, Nasrullah. His runners should be best at 3 when they have a chance to stretch out in distance.

Paynes Bay (Mr. Prospector-Embellished, by Seattle Slew); stands in Ontario for $2,500 Canadian. A modest winner of 2 races from 18 starts, Paynes Bay never lived up to his illustrious pedigree. His dam, out of 1983 Broodmare of the Year Courtly Dee, is a half-sister to seven stakes winners, including the champion Althea, Native Courier, Aquilegia, Twining, Ali Oop, Ketoh, and Aishah. His sire and damsire suggest his offspring should have speed and perform well as juveniles.

Posse (Silver Deputy-Raska, by Rahy); stands in Kentucky for $12,500. Posse won the Kentucky Breeders' Cup Stakes and was stakes-placed in the Bashford Manor and Three Chimney Juvenile Stakes at 2. Posse's offspring should be just as brilliant as juveniles. A four-time stakes winner at 3, he also was second in the Swale and third in the Vosburgh Stakes.

Proud Citizen (Gone West-Drums of Freedom, by Green Forest); stands in Kentucky for a private fee. All attention is rightfully being focused on Empire Maker, Mineshaft, Vindication, Sky Mesa and Aldebaran, but the freshman stallion whom I'm most attracted to is Lexington Stakes winner Proud Citizen. He is an exceptionally well-bred horse who was bred for high speed but was good enough to stretch that speed to finish second in the 2002 Kentucky Derby and third in that year's Preakness. Proud Citizen showed brilliance at 2, winning his 5 1/2-furlong maiden debut at Belmont Park by 9 1/4 lengths. His third dam is a full sister to Northern Dancer, and his female family also produced champions, Danehill, Machiavellian and La Prevoyante. His 2-year-olds should have high speed on dirt, and he is a hidden turf sire whose runners should be brilliant on turf.