10/10/2002 11:00PM

Cal. breeding: No Cal Cup for Slew City Lily


ARCADIA, Calif. - The California Cup program at Santa Anita on Nov. 3 will arrive too quickly for Slew City Lily, who won her second race from three starts on Friday.

Slew City Lily ran six furlongs in 1:09.47, scoring her first victory against winners in an allowance race for statebred fillies and mares.

"It's too close and they don't have a race that fits her," trainer Paul Aguirre said of the California Cup. "Maybe next year."

Aguirre and the filly's owner, JPF Investments, have been forced to show patience since Slew City Lily was acquired privately from breeder, Robert Padilla, in May 2001. Slew City Lily did not race at 2 because of a shin fracture. She debuted at Del Mar on Aug. 8 of this year, winning a maiden race for California-breds by 4 1/2 lengths.

Aguirre dismissed a loss in an optional claimer at Fairplex Park on Sept. 22 because of the tight turns.

"Horses like her that are so quick, they don't handle the turns at Pomona," he said. "They have to slow down twice."

Aguirre said that Slew City Lily, who is by Slew City Slew, will be pointed for another allowance race with California-bred stakes as a long-term goal.

Smokester's offspring on a roll

Smokester has been one of the hottest California-bred sires at the current Bay Meadows meeting. In the last six weeks, Smokester has sired three stakes winners - Only the Best (Malcolm Anderson), Nine Banks (California Turf Championship Handicap), and Channing Way (Mae de Vol Sprint Handicap).

All three are candidates for the California Cup.

Channing Way has developed into a top sprinter for owner-breeder Lawrence Becker. She won the six-furlong Mae de Vol Sprint on Aug. 31 by a neck over Onslaught while facing open company.

Ninebanks could start in the California Cup Mile on turf. He won the Turf Championship by a half-length for owner Peter Abruzzo.

Only the Best races for Alvin Toffel. He won the six-furlong Malcolm Anderson by four lengths on Sept. 29, and is a candidate for the California Cup Juvenile.

Smokester is best known as the sire of two-time California horse of the year Free House, who also placed in all three legs of the 1997 Triple Crown.

Smokester stands at Cardiff Stud Farm in Atascadero, Calif., for a private fee.

Barretts numbers take big jump

A Smokester colt was among the top yearlings at Tuesday's October preferred yearling sale at Barretts, which showed considerable gains over the corresponding sale in 2001.

The average price jumped 26 percent to $12,660, while the gross rose 22 percent to $2,721,900 for 215 yearlings.

While those figures are considerably lower than major yearling sales in other parts of the country, they reflect a continuing trend of growth in California. The yearling sale conducted at Del Mar in August by the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association was up slightly, setting a record for average price in 2001.

"We're trying to create a market in a place where, prior to this sale getting established, breeders didn't have a place to sell a $20,000 horse if they didn't make the Del Mar sale," said Barretts general manager Gerald McMahon.

"Now we're in a position where we're giving a middle market to the state."

Three yearlings sold for $100,000 or more on Tuesday, a colt and a filly by General Meeting and a colt by In Excess.

A Smokester colt sold for $72,000 to Riley James. Consigned by Berkey Bloodstock from the dispersal of Georgia Ridder Thoroughbreds, the colt is out of Catrina, an unraced Storm Cat mare.

Golden Eagle Farm led all consignors with 14 head that sold for $509,000. Golden Eagle consigned the General Meeting filly that topped the sale at $165,000. The filly was purchased by Wally Dollase, agent.