08/22/2001 11:00PM

Candy Stripe colt: From donuts to very big dollars

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company pavilion was the scene of a dramatic pinhooking triumph Wednesday when a $1,500 Candy Stripes weanling who is a half-brother to You graduated into a $170,000 session-topping yearling for his sellers.

Florida veterinarians Rik and Cindy Daniels came to the 2000 November sale looking for bargains for a new partnership they had set up with some of their friends and clients. Bidding as Pasco Bloodstock, they spent $1,500 for an undersized, overlooked son of Candy Stripes. The dark bay colt, a May foal, was small, but the Danielses believed he would grow.

"We had a little money left, so we thought, 'What the heck?' " Cindy Daniels recalled recently. "He was built well."

A few months after they purchased the colt, when the Danielses sought to trim their number of horses, the partners offered him for $5,000 in a classified ad in the Ocala Star-Banner. There were no takers.

The colt is out of a seemingly nondescript mare named Our Dani. By Homebuilder, she was a winner who had earned $11,998 and had produced only one other foal. In November 2000, that foal - a filly - was a yearling.

But it turned out that Our Dani's first foal could run a little. Named You, the filly won her maiden at Churchill Downs, then was second to the highly regarded Cashier's Dream.

The Danielses and their partners took notice. When You met up with Cashier's Dream again in Saratoga's Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes, the Danielses watched the simulcast at Tampa Bay Downs, with another Pasco Bloodstock partner, Mary Harrison, listening via cell phone as she groomed You's half-brother at the Danielses' stable in Zephyr Hills, Fla.

"We were hoping You would place, so we would have a nice update for our OBS catalog page," Cindy Daniels said.

What happened next was the kind of thing every Thoroughbred reseller prays for. You not only won the Adirondack, beating previously undefeated Cashier's Dream by a neck, but she also put up a 107 Beyer Speed Figure for the performance, a nearly miraculous feat for a juvenile filly.

Suddenly, that $1,500 Candy Stripes colt was worth a lot more by virtue of his half-sister's performance. The Pasco Bloodstock partners, and their selling agents at Summerfield Sales in Ocala, could hardly believe their luck.

"Prior to You's race, we would have been thrilled to get $10,000 for him," Cindy Daniels said. "When we walked into the sale ring Wednesday, we figured the top end was about $60,000 or $70,000. In our wildest dreams, we thought we might get $100,000."

When the bidding finally stopped at $170,000 and Brent Fernung of Journeyman Bloodstock signed the ticket, the Pasco Bloodstock partners - Cindy and Rik Daniels, first-time Thoroughbred investors John and Cindy Ingram, Harrison, and Don, Pam, and Casey Mattox--had realized more than 113 times their initial investment in the Candy Stripes colt.

The hard part now is convincing the Ingrams that the payoff they got from their first Thoroughbred venture is not the usual ROI.

"Everyone is telling them that," Cindy Daniels said, laughing. "This was just dumb luck. But it's like the old saying: Luck beats skill any day."

Songandaprayer to retire at end of season

Grade 1 winner Songandaprayer will retire at the end of the racing season to take up stud duties in 2002 at Doug Henderson's Marablue Farm in Reddick, Fla. His fee has not been determined.

Marablue has purchased privately an interest in the 3-year-old Unbridled's Song colt, who currently has earnings of $380,480.

Songandaprayer will stand as the property of a partnership involving Bobby and Leslie Hurley's Devil Eleven Stables, D J Stable, and Marablue. The Hurleys purchased the colt for $1 million at the 2000 Fasig-Tipton juvenile sale at Calder Race Course and have campaigned him in partnership with Leonard and Robert Green's D J Stable.

To date, Songandaprayer has a career record of 8-3-1-1 that is highlighted by his win in the Grade 1 Fountain of Youth, a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes, and a third in the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup Stakes this year. He also won the 2000 Huntington Stakes at Aqueduct.

Songandaprayer is out of Alizea (Premiership). He is a half-brother to stakes-winners Island Emperor and Lifeisawhirl.