09/23/2004 11:00PM

Clark roster expands by two


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Rancho San Miguel in Paso Robles, Calif., has added a pair of young stallions to its roster for the 2005 season. The farm, owned by Tom Clark, will stand Grade 1-placed stakes winner Marino Marini and also has relocated former Gainesway stallion Formal Gold from Kentucky.

Marino Marini, a 4-year-old Storm Cat colt, will stand for $10,000. Formal Gold, an 11-year-old stallion by Black Tie Affair, will carry a $7,500 fee.

Marino Marini was retired because of an ankle injury, said Clark. Clark bought Marino Marini privately from Michael Tabor and Sue Magnier in 2003. Racing for Tabor and Magnier, Marino Marini won the Marble Hill Stakes at The Curragh at 2, finished second in the Irish Group 1 Phoenix Stakes, and came in third in a trio of Group 3 stakes in England and Ireland. Trained by Doug O'Neill for Rancho San Miguel, Marino Marini won his first start in California, then finished second by a head to Southern Image in the 2003 Malibu. He was also runner-up in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes and the Grade 3 Los Angeles Times Handicap this season.

A son of Grade 1 winner and $1.4 million earner Halo America, Marino Marini retires with a lifetime race record of 16-3-4-4 and $294,384 in earnings.

Formal Gold, a dual Grade 1 winner and millionaire, has sired five crops so far, three of which are of racing age. His top runners to date are stakes winners Spectacular Lisa, Casual Attitude, Becky in Pink, Caballero Negro, and Formal Escape. He has progeny earnings of $4,499,074.

Formal Gold is out of Ingoldsby, by Screen King. Ingoldsby also is the dam of the stakes-winning Varick filly Maple Lake. Clark said Formal Gold will stand as the property of John D. Murphy and Rancho San Miguel.

Colt named after Joe Hirsch

Fans of Daily Racing Form's longtime executive columnist Joe Hirsch, who retired earlier this year, had reason to smile when Hip No. 160 walked into the auction ring at Keeneland's September yearling sale Monday.

That's because breeder Peter Blum named the Giant's Causeway colt Joe Hirsch. The name attracted a lot of positive attention at the auction, where the colt was part of the Dromoland agency's consignment. He brought a final bid of $1.15 million from agent Demi O'Byrne.

The colt is out of Statuette, a Grade 3 winner with $308,400 in earnings, making him a half-brother to Group 1-placed Tomahawk.

"The reason I selected this colt to name after Joe is that the breeding itself suited Joe," said Blum. "Joe really is a giant, and he's had, in effect, many statuettes. By that I mean he's won all the great awards, and I thought this colt was worthy of the name."

Hirsch followed the colt's sale and spoke to Blum after the hammer fell.

"He was just delighted," Blum said. "This was a way of honoring him and letting everyone continue to see his great name."

Smarty Jones still gets a crowd

Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones, who retired to Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky., on Aug. 16, is drawing so many visitors that the farm has hired a full-time employee, Molly Rosen, to handle tour requests. There have been an estimated 2,000 visitors in his first month at the nursery.

"He's obviously taken to that very well," said stallion manager Sandy Hatfield.

When he is not being shown to his fans, Smarty Jones is on a regular turn-out schedule with the farm's other stallions. He is in his paddock from 2 p.m. until 7 a.m.

"He's eating lots of bluegrass," Hatfield said. "He's just settling in now. We'll probably start introducing him to mares next month."

A 3-year-old Elusive Quality colt, Smarty Jones will stand in 2005 for a $100,000 fee.

Two champions headed home

It took a team effort to bring 1990 Horse of the Year Criminal Type and 1988 champion turf horse Sunshine Forever home from Japan. Old Friends, the breeding-stock retirement organization in Midway, got some help from bloodstock agent Emmanuel de Seroux, who brokered the deal for free, and from Old Friends donors, who put up $10,000 to buy Sunshine Forever. The Japanese Thoroughbred Club and Shintaro Otuka donated Criminal Type.

Michael Blowen of Old Friends said Sallee shipping will transport the horses free of charge to the Old Friends stallion facility, donated by Alfred Nuckols and renovated by the True Value hardware business.

* Speightstown, by Gone West, will stand at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky., in 2005. WinStar and Taylor Made bought into the Grade 2 winner earlier this year. His fee will be announced at a later date.

* The Fasig-Tipton October yearling sale will catalog 830 yearlings for its Oct. 25-26 fall sale in Lexington, a record for the auction. The auction will take place at the company's Newtown Paddocks facility.