02/13/2004 1:00AM

Big Apple Triple gets boost from OTB


The Big Apple Triple, a series of races for New York-bred 3-year-olds, received a big boost last week when it was announced that New York City Off Track Betting Corporation and the majority of regional OTBs in New York State will sponsor the three-race series, which was renamed OTB's Big Apple Triple.

The $35,000 in OTB sponsorship money will cover the insurance costs of offering a $250,000 bonus for the owner of a horse who can sweep the series and promotional considerations at the three participating tracks.

Martin Kinsella, the executive director of the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, said obtaining the sponsorship of OTB is a feather in the cap of the breeding industry.

"It's great recognition from the OTB's and we hope it becomes an annual commitment," Kinsella said. "The breeding industry supplies the [wagering] product and the OTB's display the product. The sponsorship speaks of OTB's continued commitment to our industry."

Ray Casey, president of New York City OTB, said the series is good for New York racing.

"Our industry in this great state must act to promote our sport, and races like these do just that and help celebrate what is great about the Big Apple - our state, our tracks, and our horses," Casey said.

The first race in OTB's Big Apple Triple is the $100,000-added Mike Lee at Belmont Park on June 26. The middle leg is the $150,000-added New York Derby at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack on July 17. The series concludes at Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 25 with the $150,000 Albany.

Since the races were linked in 2000 as a summer series with a bonus, no horse has swept the three races.

Fasig-Tipton sale horses to watch

In the past, Fasig-Tipton's Calder sale of 2-year-olds in training has been a good place to purchase a New York-bred. Whitmore's Conn and Buy the Sport, graduates of Fasig-Tipton's Calder sale, were Grade 1 winners in New York last year.

From a pedigree perspective, a promising group of 15 New York-breds are in the catalog for this year's Fasig-Tipton sale on Feb. 24.

Here's a quick look at them:

Hip No. 16: A colt by Grade 1 winner Victory Speech out of a Pleasant Colony mare. The colt, a May foal, is a half to Silk Horn, a graded stakes-placed runner.

Hip No. 18: A son of grass champion Cozzene, this colt, another May foal, is out of the Seattle Slew mare Port St. Mary. The colt's half-brother, Super Cognac, is a stakes winner in Panama.

Hip No. 49: A colt by freshman sire Golden Missile and the second foal out of the Phone Trick mare Shannonaire. His second dam, Glenorthern, produced multiple stakes-winning sprinter Northern Wolf.

Hip No. 93: A daughter of New York sire Good and Tough, whose first crop debuted last year and included a stakes-placed runner. The filly's dam, Tuesday Edition, has produced three winners, including stakes winner Sea Span.

Hip No. 135: From the first crop of 2-year-olds sired by Lion Hearted, a son of Storm Cat. This colt is the first foal out of Avril a Portugal, a daughter of one-time New York stallion D'Accord.

Hip No. 139: This colt is a half-brother to graded winner Read the Footnotes, a New York-bred who won the Remsen and Nashua last year. The colt's sire, European champion Stravinsky, had six black-type winners from his first crop of runners in 2003.

Hip No. 151: A filly by Precise End, a graded stakes winner whose first crop are 2-year-olds this year. The filly's dam, Bye Bye, is a daughter of Cox's Ridge and has produced two winners from two foals of racing age.

Hip No. 165: A filly from the first crop of Grade 1 winner More Than Ready. Her dam, Cup of Cheers, produced stakes winner Rich Celebration.

Hip No. 177: A filly from the first crop of champion Anees. The early May foal is out Dither, a daughter of two-time champion sprinter Housebuster.

Hip No. 205: A Precise End filly out of the El Baba mare Foxy Grand. Foxy Grand has produced four winners from four foals to race, including stakes winner Grand End Sweep, whose sire, End Sweep, is Precise End's sire.

Hip No. 261: Another Precise End filly out of the unraced Dahar mare Lipsia. The filly's second dam, Caerleon's Success, produced Grade 1 winner Stuka.

Hip No. 262: A Golden Missile filly whose dam, Little Peak, produced Diablo's Peak, a stakes-placed runner. The filly's second dam, Peak, has produced several stakes winners.

Hip No. 263: A son of Out of Place, who is the sire of several graded winners, including Certain, Fonz's, and Meetyouathebrig. The colt's dam, Living Color, is an unraced daughter of Summer Squall.

Hip No. 264: A filly by champion Gilded Time who is named Lady Operator. This is the first foal out of the filly's dam, Long Distance, who was a New York-bred stakes winner.