01/27/2006 1:00AM

Chief Seattle now a Darley rep up north


Interest in the state's program brought Chief Seattle, a handsome son of the great Seattle Slew, to New York for the 2006 breeding season.

Owned by Darley, Chief Seattle stands at Empire Stud, in Hudson, N.Y., for a fee of $7,500 live foal. He formerly stood at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky.

Chief Seattle is managed by James LaMonica, who was taken by the appearance of the stallion's early foals, several of whom would bring more than $200,000 at juvenile sales in 2004.

A colt and filly from that crop were purchased for $450,000 and $400,000, respectively.

"There was a stallion dispersement of sorts going on, and Darley was searching for a new home," said LaMonica. "I've had a good relationship with them, and they wanted to continue to own him and wanted him in the New York program."

Chief Seattle will be represented by plenty of youngsters coming to the races during the next two years, with more than 100 juveniles of 2006 and 2007 ready to hit the tracks.

He was an excellent competitor himself, finishing second in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes and Breeders' Cup Juvenile in 1999, earning $327,000 in his only season of racing.

In those events, Chief Seattle finished ahead of talented runners such as High Yield, Dixie Union, Captain Steve, Traditionally, and More Than Ready, all Grade 1 winners during their careers.

Seattle Slew's son A. P. Indy, Horse of the Year in 1992, is annually a leading North American sire. Seattle Slew's other successful sons at stud include Capote, General Meeting and Slewpy.

Chief Seattle, out of the Icecapade mare Skatingonthinice, is a half-brother to stakes winner Showering.

His third dam, Right as Rain, produced Gala Lil, a multiple stakes winner and earner of $354,368, as well as stakes winners Gala Double, Seed the Cloud, and Gala Forecast.

"He is a really good-looking animal and he threw such good-looking horses," said LaMonica. "I think we're looking at a horse who has the potential to have a superstar in the next year or two."

Three Hook and Ladder yearlings sell

First-crop yearlings by New York stallion Hook and Ladder proved attractive at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company winter mixed auction Jan. 17-20.

Three yearlings by Hook and Ladder averaged $41,333, with his top youngster bringing $52,000.

They were consigned by Lakland North, the Hudson farm where Hook and Ladder stands for a fee of $5,000.

Purchased by Even Steven Stables, the $52,000 colt is out of the Cox's Ridge mare Devon Ridge, the mother of New York-bred stakes-placed runner Interpretation.

Interpretation is a New York-bred daughter of a state stallion, Freud, and she finished third in the Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont Park last fall.

The colt descends from the Nasrullah mare Zonah, whose family includes Hollywood Derby winner Victory Zone, champions Drumtop and Gamely, and former New York sire Zoning.

At $42,000 was a Hook and Ladder colt from Salt Lake's daughter Fire Breath, purchased by James Layden, agent. Fire Breath is a half-sister to stakes winner Swede, from a family that includes Voodoo, winner of the Grade 3 Sport Page Handicap at Belmont.

Purchased for $30,000 by Elysian Bloodstock was a filly out of the Fortunate Prospect mare Lucky Baroness, who is a full sister to stakes winner Baronage and half-sister to Trucking Baron, winner of the Winter Quarters Stakes and an earner of $458,272.

Hook and Ladder is a 9-year-old son of Dixieland Band who won the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Sprint Handicap, defeating Grade 1 winner Trippi, and who was third in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap in 2001. He won the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Handicap in 2002 and won 6 of 19 starts, earning $388,120 in a campaign of five seasons.

Dixieland Band, by Northern Dancer, is the sire of more than 100 stakes winners. His son Dixie Brass, winner of the 1992 Metropolitan Handicap, was a top New York sire until his death in 2002.

Other successful sires by Dixieland Band include Citidancer, Chimes Band, and Dixie Union.

Hook and Ladder belongs to a family of stars that includes major stakes winners Northern Fable, Muhthathir, Fairway Flyer, and former New York sire Abaginone.

He began his stud career at Lakland North, where he has remained since serving his first season in 2004.

In addition to Hook and Ladder, other state sires with first-crop yearlings of 2006 include Desert Warrior, Dream Run, Griffinite, Mayakovsky, Ommadon, Red Tail Hawk, and Say Florida Sandy.