06/24/2004 11:00PM

Brandala finally adds stakes to her resume


Brandala has been a wonderfully consistent runner for her owner and breeder, Dr. Jim Kirvin, but until last Sunday she had not won a stakes in 12 tries.

A 6-year-old New York-bred, Brandala got her first stakes win in the restricted Mount Vernon Handicap at Belmont Park. Brandala, who races for Kirvin's Sorin Stables, won the second division of the 1 1/8-mile turf race by three-quarters of a length. The win boosted Brandala's earnings to $360,686 from a record of 7-5-6 in 38 starts.

Tommy Walsh, who trains Brandala, said he was surprised the odds were so generous, considering the company Brandala had been keeping.

"I couldn't believe she was 4-1," he said. "None of those horses had been running against the horses she had."

Earlier this year, Brandala ran in three open stakes. In the Grade 3 Beaugay Handicap at Aqueduct on May 1, she was beaten less than three lengths by the winner, Dedication.

On a couple of occasions, Brandala came close to winning restricted stakes, including the Ticonderoga Handicap on New York Showcase Day at Belmont last October, when she was beaten a half-length. She also was third in a division of the Yaddo Handicap at Saratoga last year.

Walsh said Brandala's closing style often works against her, but she never fails to try her hardest.

"She doesn't leave anything for herself; she lets it all hang out," Walsh said.

Brandala, a daughter of New York sire Compliance, is the second foal out of Sr. Ferra, a daughter of Jeblar. Kirvin, an orthopedic surgeon in Palm Beach, Fla., sold Sr. Ferra after Brandala was foaled.

Walsh also trained Sr. Ferra's first foal, Mae I., a winner of six races.

Walsh said it's probable that Brandala will be retired at the end of the year and will join Kirvin's broodmare band. Walsh said a possible sire for Brandala's first cover is Ommadon, a Kentucky-bred son of Grindstone owned and bred by Kirvin and standing at Metropolitan Stud in Pine Plains, N.Y.

Ommadon, who entered stud this year, won the Grade 3 Nashua for Kirvin as a 2-year-old in 2000. Ommadon is out of Missymooiloveyou, a New York-bred stakes winner. Walsh currently has a 2-year-old full brother to Ommadon in his barn, Gorbash.

N.Y.-breds top $600K at Ocala sale

A total of 31 New York-bred 2-year-olds sold for a gross of $619,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's two-day sale, June 15 and 16.

This year's gross receipts nearly doubled the total from last year, when four fewer New York-breds were sold.

Through the seven major sales of 2-year-olds held during the first six months of 2004 - OBS February at Calder and in Ocala in March, April, and June; Fasig-Tipton Florida at Calder in February; Keeneland in April; and Fasig-Tipton Midlantic in May - 234 New York-breds grossed $11,487,200. Through those same seven sales in 2003, 186 New York-bred juveniles grossed $7,440,300.

* For the second consecutive year, Jeffrey T. Minton of J.T. Minton Auctions LLC, will conduct a mixed sale at Saratoga Race Course on Sept. 28.

Nomination forms for weanlings, yearlings, mares, and horses of racing age can be obtained by calling Minton at (518) 587-3169 or the New York Thoroughbred Breeders at (518) 587-0777.

* The NYTB is offering a cruise and dinner in Lake George, N.Y., on July 27 for its members and non-members. Space is limited. Reservations can be made by calling the NYTB offices.