10/24/2002 11:00PM

Bold Ruler line still thriving

Email

Bold Ruler is the only stallion in the last 150 years to top the leading sire roster for seven consecutive years, 1963-1969. Standing at Claiborne Farm, he also led the roster when his son Secretariat was 3, in 1973.

What a Pleasure, who stood at Waldemar Farm, Ocala, was Bold Ruler's first son atop the leading sire list, in 1975 and 1976. Two additional scions of Bold Ruler to head the leading sire lists were Raja Baba in 1980 and Seattle Slew in 1984.

Raja Baba's son Well Decorated is the sire of two of Florida's current leading stallions: Notebook, who stands at Ocala Stud, and Formal Dinner, a Hidden Point Farm stallion. Notebook is nose and nose with his Ocala Stud rival Montbrook for Florida's overall 2002 leading sire. Formal Dinner, with 20 2-year-old winners, seems assured of being this year's Florida leading juvenile sire and possibly the nation's as well.

Hidden Point Farm is a 142-acre nursery north of Ocala. It is owned by Peter Rosbeck of Boston and managed by Barry Long. Hidden Point is home to four stallions: Conveyor (by Sharpen Up), Family Calling (Mr. Prospector), Formal Dinner (Well Decorated), and Mister Jolie (Valid Appeal).

Formal Dinner is a dark bay who in many ways resembles Bold Ruler. A look at his pedigree suggests why. Bold Ruler is twice represented among the stallion's four great-grandsires. Other well-known stallions in the pedigree include doubles of Mahmoud and Tourbillon.

As a 2-year-old, Formal Dinner won the Sanford, a Grade 2, at Saratoga, was second in the Grade 2 Cowdin, and third in the Norfolk, a Grade 1. He was a stakes winner at 3, Grade 3-placed. He capped his 4-year-old campaign with a win in the Aqueduct Handicap, a Grade 3. Before this year, Formal Dinner sired 158 starters, and 77 percent of them are winners, 10 percent of those stakes winners.

"Formal Dinner did not get much attention when he first went into stud," said Long. "His first crop raced in '96, and of his 15 foals, 11 got to the races and nine won, including two stakes winners. His second crop had 24 foals, and 21 of them raced, and they all won. The next year, 38 out of 51 in that crop raced and 36 won, including four stakes winners. He's had a full book for the past four years."

Family Calling, according to Long, "was syndicated at $15,000 per share when he was retired and stands for a $5,000 fee. . . . Mr. Rosbeck wanted Family Calling to have every chance, so he spent a million dollars buying him suitable mates."

Mister Jolie is a 12 year-old son of Valid Appeal out of Jolie Jolie, by Sir Ivor. His half-brothers include Jolie's Halo, a Grade 1 stakes winner, and Cougarized, a Grade 2 winner. Jolie's Halo developed into a leading Florida stallion and was subsequently exported to Japan. The stakes-winning Pleasant Jolie is their half-sister.

OBS catalogs looking steady

Tom Ventura, director of sales at Ocala Breeders Sales, along with Lauren Marks, the assistant sales director, have begun whittling down the more than 1,500 applications for the 2003 OBS February and March selected sales of 2 year-olds in training.

"The numbers cataloged will most likely be about the same as last year," said Ventura. He said the totals would be "around 225-250 for February at Calder Race Course and another 400 or so for our March sale in Ocala."

*****

CALBREED

Competitive Classic

By STEVE ANDERSEN

A 3-year-old stakes winner, a gray who has been successful around the world, and an ex-turf star are three of the leading candidates for the $250,000 California Cup Classic on Saturday at Santa Anita.

The $250,000 Classic is the major race on the 10-race California Cup program, the highlight of the year for California-breds.

Run at 1 1/8 miles, the Classic doesn't feature a nationally prominent horse, but does have a well-matched field that should prove attractive to bettors.

The top contenders are the 3-year-old Calkins Road, who won the Snow Chief Stakes on Hollywood Park's Gold Rush program for statebreds last April; Grey Memo, a two-time stakes winner this year; and Continental Red, who won the San Luis Rey Handicap on turf at Santa Anita last March.

Grey Memo is the best known member of a field expected to include Eric da Bomb, Hot Market, Long Gone Con, and Slippery When Bet.

Earlier this year, Grey Memo won the $1 million Godolphin Mile at Nad Al Sheba in Dubai and the $250,000 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar.

In the $175,000 Cal Cup Sprint over six furlongs, four stakes winners head the field - Men's Exclusive, Rio Oro, Stoney, and Stormy Jack.

In the $175,000 Mile on turf, the leading candidates are Joey Franco and Spinelessjellyfish. Joey Franco was well beaten in the Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park earlier this month, but won the El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar in September. Spinelessjellyfish finished second in the 2001 Cal Cup Mile to Native Desert, who will pass the race because of injury.

The juvenile races at 1 1/16 miles feature the winners of early October prep races. Summer Wind Dancer, winner of the Cover Gal Stakes over seven furlongs, heads the Juvenile Fillies field. In the Juvenile, Excessive Barb, the winner of the Cavonnier Stakes, will face Crackup and Oberwald. The Juvenile could produce a few starters for the Santa Anita Derby preps in the winter.

For bettors, a guaranteed pick six pool of $1 million highlights the program.

Barretts Mixed Sale on tap

There are 630 horses catalogued for the two-day Barretts October Mixed Sale that will be held on Monday and Tuesday at the Hinds Pavilion in Pomona, Calif. The sale format features horses of racing age, yearlings, broodmares, stallions, and weanlings in Monday's 315-horse sessions that starts at 11 a.m. On Tuesday, the 315-horse session will sell broodmares, stallions, and weanlings.

The Barretts company is coming off a successful yearling sale earlier this month that set a record average price of $12,660, a gain of 26.1 percent over last year.

The offerings at this week's sale include a dispersal of Tricar Stables, consigned by Blue Sky Training Center, agent. The consignment features 32 broodmares, five horses of racing age, and 11 yearlings. Emerald Tower, an unraced half-sister to California 2-year-old champion Proud Tower, is among the horses of racing age.

Creston Ridge Farm is conducting a dispersal of 19 horses through Sam Hendricks.

Golden Eagle Farm has a consigment of 59 horses - six broodmares, 39 horses of racing age, one stallion (Hit a Jackpot), eight weanlings, and five yearlings. Horses sired by the young stallion Event of the Year and General Meeting are prominent among the Golden Eagle consignment.

The Golden Eagle broodmares include Beautiful Melody, the winner of the Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park who also placed in the Wilshire and Gamely handicaps. A 16-year-old by Alydar, Beautiful Melody has yet to produce a stakes winner and sells in foal to Event of the Year.

Event of the Year is also the covering stallion of Champagne Dance, the dam of Champagne Year and Champagne Day, who sells as hip No. 508.