10/20/2005 11:00PM

Buying Adieu's dam turns out a smart move

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Adieu, following her Frizette win, is the fourth foal out of Irene's Talkin.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Surely the quality of this year's running of the Spinaway, Saratoga's most important stakes for juvenile fillies, will cause the personnel on the Graded Stakes Committee to rethink their planning just a bit. The winner and runner-up in the race were Adieu and Folklore, who figure to be the favorite and second-favorite for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Rather shockingly, this year's Spinaway was downgraded from its position as a Grade 1 to a Grade 2. Recent winners such as Ashado, Awesome Humor, and Sense of Style, as well as this year's winner and runner-up, do not indicate a diminishment of quality.

In their starts following the Spinaway, Folklore scored a 14-length win in the Matron and Adieu scored a two-length victory in the Frizette on a sloppy track.

Having defeated Folklore twice and losing to her only once (in the Adirondack at Saratoga), Adieu appears to have an edge over her rival in the Breeders' Cup. The challenge for both fillies will be the added distance. Neither has raced 1 1/16 miles, but their pedigrees offer hints that an extended mile should offer no difficulties.

Adieu is by the freshman sire El Corredor, who showed his best form at a mile when he won the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct in 2000. Adieu is out of Irene's Talkin, by At the Threshold, who also sired Kentucky Derby winner Lil E. Tee.

Bred and raced by Cal Partee, Irene's Talkin sold privately to Glencrest Farm. David Greathouse, one of the owners of Glencrest, said: "We bought the mare off the racetrack. Lynn Whiting had her for Mr. Partee, and she won her first race at Churchill, then ran second to a good filly" - graded stakes winner Witchful Thinking - "in her second start. In that race she bowed. Since Mr. Partee was getting older and wasn't keeping anything more for breeding stock, we were able to buy her. We didn't pay a lot of money for her, but knew she could run."

The Greathouse brothers could see that Irene's Talkin was a useful prospect, and she combined good looks with ability. "Irene's Talkin is a good-sized, strong mare - a plain bay, not anything flashy, except that she has a huge quarter," Greathouse said.

Irene's Talkin had shown good speed and precocity in her short racing career, and "after breeding her to our own stallions," Greathouse said, "we knew her offspring could run."

Glencrest kept Irene's Talkin's first foal, by Flying Chevron, and, Greathouse said, he earned more than $100,000. Her second foal sold to Bob Baffert for $75,000, Greathouse said, but got hurt in a training accident after posting a couple of bullet works.

Irene's Talkin's offspring were showing some ability, and Greathouse and his brothers decided to move Irene's Talkin up a notch in commercial appeal.

"We had bought a share in El Corredor and decided to send her to him," said Greathouse. "We thought she was a good pedigree and physical match for El Corredor, and we were right for once."

Adieu is the fourth foal of Irene's Talkin. The previous foals were all very good yearlings, and Adieu, by a more commercial sire in El Corredor, sold for $140,000 at the Saratoga select yearling sale in 2004. "Adieu was a nice yearling. We were really happy with her," Greathouse said.

Juvenile buyers and their agents agreed with the opinions of Greathouse and Mike Mulligan, who had purchased Adieu as a yearling at Saratoga in the name of his pinhooking operation, Leprechaun Racing. Earlier this year, Adieu brought $300,000 at the Fasig-Tipton February sale of select juveniles in training at Calder.

The buyer was the omnipresent Demi O'Byrne, who purchased Adieu for Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, and Derrick Smith. Adieu has won 4 of her 5 starts, with earnings of $554,470.

After Adieu became a stakes winner, her yearling half-sister by Smart Strike sold for $275,000 at Saratoga in August.

The breeders of Adieu had liked her so much that they sent Irene's Talkin back to El Corredor in 2004, and Irene's Talkin produced a full sister to Adieu on May 13, 2005. Irene's Talkin is in foal to Tiznow, the sire of Folklore, on a June 7 cover.

Adieu's granddam is the El Baba mare Classy Irene, who was an uncommonly talented stakes winner for Partee. Five of Classy Irene's first seven foals are by Lil E. Tee, and she has produced stakes winner Tee to Green (by Lil E. Tee), stakes-placed Fast Busy (by Phone Trick), and two other winners of more than $100,000.