09/19/2002 11:00PM

Can little sister do what big sister did?


While it looks like Carson Hollow, who won last Saturday's Floral Park Handicap at Belmont Park, is headed to the Breeders' Cup Sprint next month at Arlington Park, her younger half-sister is at Belmont Park preparing for her career debut.

Sovereignoftheseas, a 2-year-old Boston Harbor filly, arrived in trainer Steve Young's barn during the summer. She is owned by her breeders, husband and wife Chris and Patricia Purdy, the breeders of Carson Hollow.

The Purdys privately sold Carson Hollow as a 2-year-old last year to Hemlock Hills Farm and Gabrielle Farm. Frank Stronach later bought controlling interest in Carson Hollow, a daughter of Carson City, after she won the Grade 1 Prioress Stakes in July. Carson Hollow has earnings of $335,370 from a record of 6-5-1-0.

The Purdys, who keep about 20 broodmares at their Ivy League Farm, located in Ithaca, N.Y., primarily breed to sell. They made an exception with Sovereignoftheseas because her dam, Lizeality, died from colic in 2000, and the Purdys wanted to hold onto the mare's last foal.

Patricia Purdy says Sovereignoftheseas could make her first start before the end of the year.

"[Sovereignoftheseas] has a hard act to follow," Purdy said. "We are taking it slow with her. This filly is pretty big and tall. Hopefully, that won't work to her disadvantage. She's similar in a way to Carson Hollow, maybe taller."

While the Purdys await Sovereignoftheseas's debut, a trip to Chicago is on the calendar if Carson Hollow, who is trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., runs in the Breeders' Cup Sprint on Oct. 26.

Purdy said being represented by a Breeders' Cup starter would be "an opportunity of a lifetime for a small breeder - for anyone really."

Foot waylays Scottish Halo

Scottish Halo may not get the opportunity to defend his title in the $250,000 Empire Classic Handicap for New York-breds when the race is run at Belmont Park on Oct. 19.

Scottish Halo's trainer, John Ward, said the horse's status for the 1 1/8-mile Empire Classic "is still up in the air."

Unraced since winning last year's Empire Classic by 1 3/4 lengths over Duplicitous, Scottish Halo is recovering from a foot bruise.

After Scottish Halo's previous trainer, Paul Rizzo, died in the spring, owner John Oxley moved the horse to Ward's barn. Ward is the principal trainer for Oxley and his wife, Debby, who campaigned, among others, last year's Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos and Sky Mesa, the early favorite for this year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

With an eye on the Empire Classic, Ward was preparing Scottish Halo for a return to the races and had worked the 5-year-old twice at Saratoga late last month, before the horse bruised his foot.

"That backed us up a little bit," Ward said. "He's a great big horse. He needed a [layoff] for a foot abscess that took a long time to grow out and once he got over that he bruised a foot."

Ward said if Scottish Halo misses the Empire Classic, he hopes to have him ready for a return later in the year.

Scottish Halo, a son of Jolie's Halo out of Scottische, has career earnings $406,600 from a record of 6-1-0 in 14 starts. He was recognized as the champion 2-year-old New York-bred on the strength of his win in the Grade 3 Laurel Futurity in 1999.

* According to statistics released on Thursday, the number of live foals in New York reported to The Jockey Club this year increased by 4.2 percent over 2001.

* The New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell will host a one-day conference to discuss topics relating to the New York breeding industry on Wednesday. The conference, scheduled for 11 a.m. at the offices of NYS Agriculture and Markets in Albany, will be attended by members of the New York State Equine Industry Leaders.