11/13/2003 12:00AM

Chatter Chatter can make noise beyond border


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Florida Million, a series of stakes run at Calder Saturday restricted to horses bred in Florida, serves a function by returning investment to breeders and owners of statebred horses. But these events, although they are not open to all racers, frequently illuminate runners of uncommon ability. Horse of the Year Holy Bull and Grade 1 winner Three Ring are only two of the Florida-breds who have been successful in some of the state's top restricted events and excelled in open company as well.

Now, a juvenile filly named Chatter Chatter is bidding to add the Joe O'Farrell Juvenile Fillies - one the Florida Million races - to her list of accomplishments. Already a major Florida stakes winner, Chatter Chatter is making noise for owner-breeder John Franks and Franks' top Florida stallion, Lost Soldier.

Chatter Chatter ran second to French Village in the Susan's Girl division of the Florida Stallion Stakes series on Aug. 30 even before winning a maiden race. She came back in a maiden special and, not surprisingly for a stakes-placed runner, crushed her hapless opponents, winning by 23 1/4 lengths on Sept. 19.

The filly's next effort, in the $400,000 My Dear Girl division of the Florida Stallion Stakes on Oct. 11 at Calder, was a surprise, however. Chatter Chatter won the race by 19 1/2 lengths, and her principal rival, French Village, ran a dull seventh.

Chatter Chatter appears to be maturing and improving, and she is clearly a filly who will test open company in the coming months.

Franks bred Chatter Chatter from the Cure the Blues mare Bedroom Chatter, and the filly is by his home stallion Lost Soldier, whom Franks acquired in training and raced successfully before retiring him to stud.

Racing from 2 through 7, Lost Soldier initially campaigned in England, where the horse showed quite respectable form at 2, running third in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes at a mile. Traveling widely at 4, Lost Soldier won the Nad al Sheba Mile in Dubai and ran second in the Stuyvesant Handicap at Aqueduct, beaten a head by Wallenda.

The following year, Lost Soldier returned to Dubai and won the Keeneland Mile there. He finished third in the Damascus Handicap in the United States. Then at 6 and 7, Lost Soldier found himself, winning the Grade 3 Louisiana Downs Handicap and the Maxxam Gold Cup, as well as placing in two more stakes.

A good-sized horse, he showed soundness and adaptability as he changed climates and racing surfaces with the seasons. Even so, all Lost Soldier's best form came when racing at eight and nine furlongs.

A thoroughly useful animal, Lost Soldier was not, however, the best racer produced from his illustrious dam, the Secretariat mare Lady Winborne. A winning half-sister to the great racemare Allez France (both out the top-class racer and broodmare Priceless Gem), Lady Winborne was a cornerstone of the Winborne Farm breeding program, along with her sometime mate Lord at War.

Together, they produced Grade 1 winner La Gueriere, the dam of Lasting Approval, and their other offspring included Lord of Warriors (a major winner in Hong Kong) and Grade 3 stakes-placed Long War.

In all, Lady Winborne was dam of five stakes winners and three more stakes-placed racers. The best of these was the Believe It horse Al Mamoon, a handsome and courageous racer who was successful from 2 through 6. A winner at the Grade 1 level and earner of $1,233,950, Al Mamoon was not an outstanding stallion.

Showing much the same toughness and enthusiasm for the game as his older half-brother Al Mamoon, Lost Soldier never quite ascended to his elder sibling's range of success and dominion over his contemporaries on the racetrack.

Once Lost Soldier went to stud, however, he was a success from the first. Among the best of his crop of freshmen sires, Lost Soldier has marched on, and Chatter Chatter is a member of the stallion's third crop of racing age.

Lost Soldier is yet another in a growing body of very useful stallions by the great sire Danzig. The most internationally successful of these is Danehill, who died earlier this year. A stallion who was the single most dominant force in Australian breeding over the past decade, Danehill also was a good sire in the Northern Hemisphere.

Other sons of Danzig who have made names for themselves include Langfuhr, sire of the top Canadian colt Wando and Grade 1 winner Imperial Gesture; champion Chief's Crown, the sire of more than 50 stakes winners and an internationally significant sire of broodmares; Group 1 winner Anabaa, who was the leading freshman sire in France and had a French Derby winner in his first crop; the top-class racehorse Polish Navy, who sired Kentucky Derby winner Sea Hero; and Polish Numbers, a very talented and well-bred horse who has become one of the best sires in Maryland breeding.