04/10/2008 11:00PM

Breeder revels in Recapturetheglory's success


LEXINGTON, Ky. - With front-running success in the Illinois Derby, Recapturetheglory comes to the Kentucky Derby with credentials and potential similar to War Emblem, who won the 2002 Derby and Preakness. Both showed good form going two turns and seem to prefer racing on or near the lead.

Recapturetheglory's four-length victory in the Illinois Derby has breeder Charles Jacobi "jumping out of my tree."

"It's tremendous," he said, "like a dream that comes true and still seems like a dream."

Bred in Kentucky, Recapturethe-glory is owned and raced by Louie Roussel and Ronnie Lamarque, the pair who also owned and raced Risen Star. Twenty years ago, Risen Star won a prep for the Kentucky Derby, then ran a good third in the classic after a troubled trip. The son of Secretariat rebounded to win both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes so convincingly that he was named champion 3-year-old male.

Now Roussel and Lamarque are back with a talented colt that they hope will have the speed and stamina to capture the missing jewel from their Triple Crown.

Certainly, even a brief examination of pedigree shows that Recapturetheglory has plenty of speed in his immediate ancestors. Both the colt's sire and broodmare sire were very fast and talented racehorses.

Recapturetheglory's sire is Cherokee Run. In addition to winning the Breeders' Cup Sprint and the Eclipse Award as the leading sprinter of 1994, Cherokee Run won the 1993 Dwyer Stakes and was second in the Preakness to champion 3-year-old Prairie Bayou.

Cherokee Run sired Chilukki, a champion 2-year-old filly, from his first crop of foals, and the stallion followed with Grade 1 winner Yonaguska, as well as major stakes winners During, Kafwain, and Sir Cherokee.

Cherokee Run's appeal to breeders hit perhaps its highest point last fall after his son War Pass won the Champagne and Breeders' Cup Juvenile to close an unbeaten season and become the year's champion

2-year-old colt.

War Pass and Recapturetheglory were bred after Cherokee Run had gained commercial acceptance, and the stallion's fee had risen to $40,000 live foal. As a result, he was also breeding books of mares with more consistent excellence in pedigree and performance.

One example is the Dehere mare Cold Awakening, the dam of Recapturetheglory.

She is the star of Jacobi's two-mare broodmare operation that he keeps at Viking Stud with Pam and Joe Littrell.

"We've had some very good mares in the past, including Titled, the dam of Fit for a Queen," Jacobi said. "But I've never been at this level before, with something that everybody dreams about" in the dam of a Kentucky Derby starter.

Cold Awakening's sire, Dehere, was the champion 2-year-old colt of 1993, when he won the Champagne and Hopeful. The following season, Dehere won the Fountain of Youth before injury ended his career.

From his American-bred stock, Dehere is best known as the sire of Arkansas Derby winner Graeme Hall and Take Charge Lady, winner of the Ashland, Spinster, and Alcibiades. A son of champion racer and sire Deputy Minister and out of a mare by Secretariat, Dehere did not stand training long enough to show his form at classic distances.

The performances of his offspring, however, show a considerable amount of speed, and the best of them can carry it around two turns.

The dam of Recapturetheglory, Cold Awakening, was one of those who had speed, winning twice at sprints. She showed enough improvement going a mile at 2 to take second in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies. That was the highlight of her career because Cold Awakening never added to her stakes accomplishment. But racing for trainer Wayne Lukas and Padua Stable, she was competitive, finishing in the money 12 times from

17 starts and earning $128,430. She was a truly useful racehorse, and Cold Awakening was second or third in 7 of her last 9 starts.

Padua had purchased Cold Awakening for $200,000 from the Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in training and sold her at the Keeneland January sale of 2001 for $150,000.

Gus Bell, as agent for Jacobi, purchased Cold Awakening.

"I do a lot of work with Gus Bell at the sales," Jacobi said.

Jacobi said their practice is to make a "lengthy list, then have Gus work through the horses at the sale to make a short list. Then we try to buy a couple, and most of the time the ones we really like are too hard to buy.

"Once we buy a young mare, we see if something good happens. If not, we buy another and go on. But this is a nice mare."

Cold Awakening is a mare on the way up, but Jacobi had to wait to see how his investment would turn out because the mare did not carry her pregnancy the first two years.

Cold Awakening was a young mare in foal on an early cover in 2001, and she was one of the many victims of the foal-loss syndrome that caused thousands of foal deaths and pregnancy losses throughout Kentucky in 2001 and 2002.

In fact, Cold Awakening did not get back on track reproductively until 2003 and she produced her first foal in 2004, the Street Cry filly Sweet Awakening.

Recapturetheglory is his dam's second foal.

The mare has a 2-year-old colt by Yonaguska, a yearling filly by The Cliff's Edge, and a filly of 2008 by Purge. Cold Awakening has been booked to Yes It's True for this year.

Jacobi noted that his breeding program is exclusively for the sales.

"We sell everything," he said. "I like to watch them run and am really proud to see them do well, but I like to have somebody else own them."