03/21/2002 1:00AM

Broodmares Halory and Banker's Lady dead after foaling


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Two top broodmares from the Stonerside Stable operation, Halory and Banker's Lady, died this month after foaling, according to an announcement by the Paris, Ky., farm.

Halory, dam of four graded stakes winners and the $6.4 million yearling now named Van Nistelrooy, was 18 and died on March 14 after foaling an Unbridled colt. Banker's Lady, a Grade 1 winner and the dam of Grade 2 winner Banker's Gold, was 17 and produced a Coronado's Quest filly on March 4, shortly before her death.

Both mares' foals have been placed on nurse mares and are doing well.

Stonerside, owned by Robert and Janice McNair, purchased Halory from the late Jack Kent Cooke's Elmendorf Farm. Halory, a daughter of Halo and Cold Reply (Northern Dancer) was the most attractive element in a package of 35 mares and 26 foals that Stonerside bought from Elmendorf in 1997 for less than $4 million, Stonerside advisor John Adger said.

Already the dam of Grade 3 winner Prory at the time of her sale to Stonerside, Halory became even more valuable as subsequent runners hit the track. Three other foals ultimately bloomed into graded winners: Grade 2 winner Halory Hunter and Grade 3 winners Brushed Halory and Key Lory.

Last year, Halory became the dam of the season's most expensive yearling when Demi O'Byrne, agent, paid $6.4 million for Van Nistelrooy at the Keeneland September auction.

Stonerside acquired Banker's Lady from Edward A. Cox Jr.'s dispersal at the 1998 Keeneland November sale, paying $1,150,000 for the mare in foal to A.P. Indy. Banker's Lady, by Nijinsky II out of Impetuous Gal (Briartic), has produced one stakes-winner to date: Banker's Gold, winner of the Grade 2 Tom Fool Handicap and Peter Pan Stakes. Banker's Gold, a son of Forty Niner, also placed in a pair of Grade 1 races, the Metropolitan and the Carter handicaps.

Banker's Lady herself won five stakes, including three Grade 1 races: the 1988 Ladies Handicap and the 1989 Top Flight and Shuvee handicaps.

'Holiday' mixes memory with desire

Florida Derby winner Harlan's Holiday, who is pointing for the April 13 Blue Grass Stakes, stirs up pleasant memories for a lot of horsemen - from Arthur Hancock in Paris to a farm manager in Ohio to a group of pinhookers in Lexington.

Hancock, owner of Stone Farm near Paris, Ky., stood Harlan's Holiday's sire - the Storm Cat horse Harlan - until the stallion's death in 1999, at age 13, from a ruptured aorta.

"It's very gratifying to see this happen," Hancock said of Harlan's Holiday, "but it's tinged by sorrow. Losing Harlan, that was a hard blow. I'm still not really over it. But it was wonderful to watch Harlan's Holiday win, and I was grateful and happy for it.

"It stamps Harlan as a legitimate sire," added Hancock, who noted that he had considered buying up as many of Harlan's progeny as he could in the immediate aftermath of the stallion's death. He did keep a few of his own, including a promising 3-year-old named Crittenden, who won his maiden race earlier this year at Fair Grounds.

Hancock might have found Harlan's Holiday if he had followed through on his plan to buy up the population of Harlans. But he would have had to go to Ohio to do it.

Harlan's Holiday, who is out of the Affirmed mare Christmas in Aiken, was foaled at Double D Farm in Medina, Ohio. Not surprisingly, Double D general manager Carole Hassell also was indulging fond memories on Florida Derby Day.

"We bred the mare to Harlan because of the nick," Hassell said. "We definitely wanted a son of Storm Cat. We liked that Halo was on the bottom of Harlan's pedigree and Princessnesian was on the bottom of the mare's. It was a dynamic nick.

"He was full of get-go," Hassell said of the young Harlan's Holiday. "But he was smart. Within his first 24 hours, he was doing laps around his dam in the foaling unit."

Double D sold the colt as a weanling, but not through some glamorous auction ring. A visiting Lexington horseman, Billy Murphy, bought him out of the farm's field for a pinhooking partnership.

"I paid less for him than my car is worth, and right now my car has 200,000 miles on it," said Murphy, who would not disclose the price. Murphy and his sister Claire, who operate Rockwell Farm, sold Harlan's Holiday on behalf of the partnership for $97,000 at the Fasig-Tipton July yearling sale, where current owners Jack and Laurie Wolf bought him.

Murphy said a key factor in the decision to buy the weanling was Harlan. Murphy said he had worked for Hancock and seen Harlan's early foals. "Every one of them had great bone and great bodies, and they were all a little tough to deal with," he said. "And there weren't going to be a lot of them left."

For Hancock, that's the sorrow. But he notes with some pride that Menifee, the Blue Grass Stakes-winning Harlan horse who now occupies his sire's old stallion paddock, may yet carry on where Harlan left off.