05/12/2005 11:00PM

Chalk up another for Bromans' ace mare


There could be more state awards in the offing for Chester and Mary Broman.

When their 3-year-old filly Seeking the Ante won the Grade 2 Nassau County Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park last Saturday, it marked the second straight year a New York-bred offspring of their mare Antespend won a graded stakes.

Seeking the Ante's older half-brother Friends Lake won the Grade 1 Florida Derby in 2004, earning him co-championship honors as top New York-bred3-year-old, along with Commentator, at the recent awards dinner of New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc.

The Bromans were also honored as champion breeders for the year.

Seeking the Ante, coming off a fine second in the Grade 2 Comely Stakes at Aqueduct on April 16, was a smart winner of the $200,000 Nassau County. With Mike Luzzi aboard, she moved into contention on the stretch turn and rallied in deep stretch to overtake Slew Motion in 1:22.86 for seven furlongs.

Seeking the Ante sent her career earnings to $233,430 with a record of 3-3-1 from 9 starts.

The daughter of Seeking the Gold has trainer John Kimmel thinking about the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes at a mile on June 4 at Belmont Park.

"She has taken her game up another notch, and sometimes when that happens horses are capable of even better," said Kimmel. "We were worried for a time that she might not stand training, because she was so crooked from her ankles down and she toed in severely. We gave her the winter of her 2-year-old year off and, knock on wood, she is a sound filly."

New York-breds to win the Acorn include Cupecoy's Joy in 1982 and Grecian Flight in 1987.

The Bromans own Chestertown Farm near Friends Lake in upstate New York. They purchased Antespend, a multiple Grade 1 winner by Spend a Buck, for $900,000 at the 1997 Keeneland April sale from the dispersal of Elmendorf Farm. She produced Friends Lake, by A.P. Indy, in 2001, and died while foaling Seeking the Ante in 2002.

A statebred stakes double

New York-breds won both graded stakes at Belmont Park on May 7, as Uncle Camie upset favored Don Six in the Bold Ruler Handicap at six furlongs in the race prior to the Nassau County.

After tracking Don Six through a blazing half-mile in 43.92, Uncle Camie pulled away in the stretch to cover the distance in 1:08.67.

A 5-year-old son of Abaginone, Uncle Camie sent his earnings to $317,530, with a record of 8-3-2 from 19 starts.

Uncle Camie races for John and Marilyn Guerrara and his breeder, Carmine Telesca. He is trained by Mike Hushion.

With Uncle Camie taking down first money in the Bold Ruler, and Seeking the Ante, Slew Motion, and Acey Deucey finishing first, second, and fourth in the Nassau County, New York-breds earned $231,460 of the $296,600 in available purses for both races.

Additionally, the New York-breds qualified for another $54,794 in state incentive awards for their performances in open company.

Seeking the Ante and Uncle Camie called to mind similar big days for New York-breds in recent years.

On April 13, 2002, Roman Dancer won the Grade 3 Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct and Private Emblem won the Grade 2 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park.

Roman Dancer is now a New York stallion at Pucker Ridge Farm in Warrensburg.

When Funny Cide won the Kentucky Derby on May 3, 2003, fellow statebred Spite the Devil won the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct the same afternoon.

Last year, the aforementioned Friends Lake won the Grade 1 Florida Derby on March 13, the same day that Well Fancied captured the Grade 3 Toboggan Handicap at Aqueduct.

Through last weekend, a total of 23 New York-breds have won or placed in 37 open stakes races in 2005.

At New York Racing Association tracks for the same period, New York-breds have won the Ruthless, Whirlaway, Fred "Cappy" Capossela, and Dearly Precious, all of which are open non-graded events, plus the Grade 2 Comely, Grade 3 Bold Ruler, and Grade 2 Nassau County.

They have also placed in the Count Fleet, Busanda, and Rare Treat, as well as the Grade 3 Cicada, Grade 3 Gotham, Grade 2 Distaff, and Grade 3 Excelsior.