05/14/2003 11:00PM

Breeder of Peace Rules misses the jackpot


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Now that all the furor over Funny Cide has subsided, let's concentrate on his main rival in the Preakness, Peace Rules. A winner of four straight races and more than $1.1 million coming into the Kentucky Derby, Peace Rules raced up with a strong pace and stayed on through the stretch to finish a very solid third.

A slightly shorter race and a potentially less-demanding pace cannot harm the chestnut colt's chances of success in the second classic. Although Peace Rules has been sharing the limelight, the same cannot be said for his breeder, Dr. Ron Chak.

A Florida-based breeder who operates on a modest scale, Chak bred Peace Rules in the name of his Newchance Farm, a 55-acre property in Pedro, Fla.

Chak, who is a veterinarian and is semi-retired, first noticed the dam of Peace Rules when she was a yearling. He said, "I saw Hold to Fashion at the sales here as a yearling. She was by Hold Your Peace, and I thought she'd make a great broodmare. You don't really need yearling broodmares, but I followed her racing career after she went to the track, and she ended up racing in New Jersey at The Meadowlands with Debra Bodner."

Racing at 3 and 4, Hold to Fashion ran almost exclusively in dirt sprints, winning two of 26 starts and earning $28,260. A half-sister to one stakes-placed horse and out of stakes winner Toga Toga, by Greek Answer, Hold to Fashion was an acceptable broodmare prospect, and Chak "worked out a deal where the Bodners gave her to me. I got the first foal, and they got the second."

Even bearing all the expenses, including stud fees, it seemed like a pretty good deal for Chak.

But as time showed, it was a hit-and-miss deal. The first foal Chak bred from Hold to Fashion was the stakes winner Wild Fashion (by Once Wild), who won 17 races and earned $365,605. Chak didn't race her, however. Entered in the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's April sale, Chak said, "She didn't bring reserve, but [trainer] Reed Combest came to me after the sale looking for another horse, and he took Wild Fashion for $7,500. He trained her for two races, and she ran a close second first out, then won for $25,000 maiden claiming and was claimed. She won a bunch of races, and I ended up getting more in breeders' awards than the sale price."

The second foal was the unraced Fire Dancer mare Fashionably. That was the foal given to the Bodners in exchange for Hold to Fashion, and "after that the mare was mine," Chak said. "They said she was training brilliantly but died in a racetrack accident before she started."

He next sent the mare to Bridlewood Farm stallion Katowice, and Hold to Fashion's third foal was the useful St. Remy, who earned $148,160. He, too, did his earning for other people, however, as Chak sold the colt for $12,000 as a yearling.

After getting two foals by Silver Charm's sire, Silver Buck, Chak sent Hold to Fashion to another Bridlewood stallion, the Forty Niner horse Jules, and the result was Peace Rules. Illustrative of the nature of Chak's relationship with this mare and her produce, he sold Hold to Fashion when Peace Rules was a yearling.

Sold at the OBS winter mixed sale in 2001, Hold to Fashion went through the ring for $18,000 in foal to Kipper Kelly. Bruce L. Seidel signed the ticket for the mare, who now belongs to Blair Minnich.

Chak had tried to sell Peace Rules as a weanling but bid him in for $11,500 at the OBS October mixed sale, and he had entered the colt to sell as a yearling, "but he came up with a summer sore on an ankle. So we scratched and sold him as a 2-year-old."

An attractive colt who went through his pre-sale trial well, Peace Rules may have been affected by the cool reception for the juveniles by Jules last year, and he brought only $35,000. The buyer was Gary Contessa, who was acting for Maggi Moss and Cohen-Dickinson Stables, and they resold the colt to Edmund Gann after Peace Rules impressively won a maiden special at Belmont Park.

Following the roller-coaster ride with Hold to Fashion, Chak has retained only one horse in the family, the 4-year-old Silver Buck half-sister to Peace Rules. He actually sold her, but the winning bidder didn't like the X-rays, and Chak took her back. He said, "At the time, it didn't seem like good luck, but it's turned out okay." The half-sister's name is Silverous, and Chak said, "She had her first foal on Derby morning at 10:30 in the morning. She had kept me up for two nights, then waited till she went outside and decided to have it. I saw her lay down and thought, 'Here it comes.' "

The foal is a chestnut colt by the stallion Kuetch, a son of Graustark, that Chak stands.