09/02/2005 12:00AM

Best of Luck hangs his hat at Highcliff


Best of Luck, a multiple graded stakes winner on the New York Racing Association circuit during his racing days, will stand the 2006 breeding season at Highcliff Farm in Delanson.

A stud fee for the 9-year-old son of Broad Brush will be decided in the future.

Best of Luck, who stood previously at Dell Ridge Farm in Lexington, Ky., was acquired by Elisabeth Jerkens, who has boarded her mares at Highcliff Farm for many years.

Her husband, Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens, trained Best of Luck to victories in the Grade 2 Peter Pan and Grade 3 Stuyvesant Handicap as a 3-year-old.

He defeated future champion Lemon Drop Kid in the Peter Pan, and also placed in four additional graded stakes at New York Racing Association tracks.

Best of Luck raced in the colors of his breeder, the Bohemia Stable of Mrs. Richard C. DuPont.

"When he became available, there were some folks who said New York was a little light in distance sires, and I saw that as a possibility for him," said Elisabeth Jerkens. "And I think that maybe a stallion can do well in a state where he raced."

Best of Luck brings an outstanding pedigree to the Empire State.

Broad Brush has gotten Breeders' Cup Classic winner Concern, Alabama Stakes winner Farda Amiga, Pimlico Special winner Include, and Personal Ensign winner Pompeii among his more than 80 stakes winners.

Best of Luck's dam, Crowned, by Chief's Crown, won the Delaware Handicap and is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Betty Lobelia.

Betty Lobelia, an earner of $463,512, won the Miss Grillo and Nijana, both Grade 3 races in New York, and is the granddam of My Trusty Cat, winner of the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on Derby Day.

Third dam Thirty Years, by Bold Hour, won the Grade 3 Little Silver Handicap and is the granddam of Dixie Flag, winner of the Grade 2 Top Flight Handicap.

The family traces to the George D. Widener operation, which produced champion colt Jaipur and champion filly What a Treat, winners of the Belmont and Alabama, respectively.

Other major winners from this family include Personal Hope, winner of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, and English champion Golden Fleece.

Best of Luck's arrival at Highcliff Farm is a full circle of sorts.

Upon Best of Luck's retirement in 2000, Suzie O'Cain of Highcliff Farm made a pitch to Mrs. DuPont to get Best of Luck for New York.

"One of the reasons is because he is an outcross for Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer," she said. "We need more of that as conscientious breeders, to start paying attention to getting some durability in the breed. It costs way too much to have a horse make only a few starts in his career. So it's several years later, but I still feel the same way about Best of Luck."

Both O'Cain and her husband, Lynwood, said they are becoming increasingly concerned about the fragility of Thoroughbreds.

"This particular individual has so much to offer, maybe enough so that he is an example of a stallion for the future," Suzie said. "And Allen [Jerkens] is enough of a hay, oats, and water kind of guy that you know he was treated right."

Best of Luck is the sire of Belmont allowance winner Looking Best, stakes-placed Alphabest, and juvenile maiden winner My Juicy Couture.

Lycius enjoying lucrative summer

New York stallion Lycius, who stands at Mill Creek Farm in Stillwater, has enjoyed a fine summer as a broodmare sire.

His daughter Princess Olivia is the mother of Flower Alley, winner of the Grade 2 Jim Dandy and Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

Lycius is also the sire of Miss Universal, whose daughter Shining Energy won the Grade 2 San Clemente Stakes on the Del Mar turf course for 3-year-old fillies on July 30, the same day as the Jim Dandy.

* New York-bred West Virginia, a 4-year-old son of Questroyal stallion Tomorrows Cat, won the Grade 3 Iselin Handicap on Aug. 28 at Monmouth Park, defeating graded stakes winners Cherokee's Boy, Presidentialaffair, and Purge in the $250,000 race at 1 1/8 miles.