02/02/2007 12:00AM

Catienus racking up all types of winners



Catienus was not one of Storm Cat's flashy sons, but he has proved himself to be a solid sire of runners who win on all surfaces, especially turf. The sire of stakes winners Dawn of War, Kathern's Cat, Warrior Within, and a handful of others, his best runner is Precious Kitten, a stakes-winning half-sister to turf champion Kitten's Joy. Catienus is now at stud in New York, and immediately jumped to the head of all stallions in New York based on his offspring's earnings.

On Jan. 15, Flightofthepelican, a 3-year-old filly by Catienus, won a one-mile maiden race by 4 3/4 lengths. Flightofthepelican is out of the Storm Bird mare Stormy Flyer, giving her close inbreeding to Storm Bird. Catienus's sire, Storm Cat, is also by Storm Bird. While inbreeding to a female is a good thing, close inbreeding to a stallion has generally been regarded as a negative.

Catienus had another winner on Jan. 19 when his 4-year-old filly Grand Idea romped to a 6 1/4-length victory in a $25,000 claiming race at one mile and 70 yards.

* Helios won a mile and 70-yard maiden race, drawing off to an easy six-length victory on Jan. 20, and the 3-year-old filly has a future based on her performance and on her pedigree. By Stormin Fever, yet another son of Storm Cat, Helios is out of the Silver Ghost mare Ghost Colony, who traces to the stakes winner and marvelous producer Patelin. While Helios's sire and damsire offer speed, she has abundant stamina in her pedigree from such notable names as Pleasant Colony, One for All, and Sea Bird.

* Royal Academy won the Breeders' Cup Mile, and as a son of Nijinsky II (Northern Dancer) was expected to be a good grass sire. While his runners are better on turf, he does get many winners on dirt. While champion Nijinsky II was strictly a turf horse whose success came over the European turf, he had many top-class runners who won on dirt, such as Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand and Breeders' Cup Sprint and Suburban Handicap winner Dancing Spree. On Jan. 21, Olivine, a 3-year-old filly by Royal Academy out of the unraced Forty Niner mare Miner's Blessing, won a maiden race at one mile and 70 yards. Olivine should have success on all surfaces as the year progresses.

Fair Grounds

Touch Gold keeps adding to his reputation as a solid turf sire. In addition to imparting speed to his runners (Medallist, Midas Eyes, Mass Media, Seek Gold, Freeroll), he keeps getting winners on turf - usually at a price, since his own success was achieved on dirt. Touch Gold is by the versatile Deputy Minister, a grandson of Northern Dancer, one of racing's great grass influences.

On Jan. 15, Corvinus, a 3-year-old colt making his career debut, rallied to win a maiden race at about one mile on the turf, paying $38.80. Corvinus has an HT2 pedigree, as he gets grass breeding from his sire, Touch Gold, and damsire, Gone West.


St. Hildegard, a 4-year-old filly by Arch, won a maiden race at 1 1/16 miles and became the latest runner by Arch to show talent on grass. Like Pine Island, another filly by Arch who won her maiden debut at 29-1 last year over the Gulfstream turf, she is a homebred owned by the Phipps Stable and trained by Shug McGaughey. Out of the unraced Mr. Prospector mare Rhineland, St. Hildegard is a half-sister to Cologne (by Horse Chestnut), who also has a decided preference for turf. Rhineland is out of Versailles Treaty, a multiple stakes winner and two-time Breeders' Cup Distaff runner-up.

Santa Anita

Jump On In won the Santa Ynez Stakes on Jan. 15, and the 3-year-old filly by the very promising young A.P. Indy sire Jump Start showed immense talent from her very first race. She is out of the Fire Maker mare Lucky'n Loved, a half-sister to stakes winner Cassidy. She traces in direct tail-female family (dam, dam's dam, dam's granddam, etc.) to the incomparable blue hen Grey Flight, and she is one of the big guns in her division this year. She has already displayed high speed, and should be able to stretch to middle distances.

* Over and over again, Lemon Drop Kid, who won Gradeo1 races on dirt at 2, 3, and 4, has proven to be a superior sire of turf runners. Before his first crop raced, I labeled him a strong HT (hidden turf) sire because of his pedigree. Because his success came on dirt, his offspring, more often than not, were live overlays. And despite his proven ability to sire grass winners, they still are.

On Jan. 18, Lemon Chiffon, a 4-year-old filly making her belated career debut, won a maiden race at about 6 1/2 furlongs on the downhill turf course, paying $24.60. Lemon Chiffon also has an HT2 pedigree, as her damsire is Tabasco Cat (Storm Cat). Lemon Chiffon's second damsire is Nijinsky II and third damsire is Herbager, two outstanding sources of turf breeding.