03/10/2006 1:00AM

Commentator vies for best-of-state honor


Topped by Grade 1 winners Commentator and Acey Deucey, 61 horses have been nominated for New York-bred titles in eight divisions for 2005.

Voting for the champions is being conducted by New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc., and the winners will be honored at the annual banquet on April 24 at the Desmond Hotel in Albany, N.Y.

Commentator, bred by Michael Martinez, stands atop the older male division by virtue of his win in the Whitney Handicap over the eventual Horse of the Year, Saint Liam.

Commentator earned $529,400 with 2 wins in 4 starts last year, tops among the nominees.

Graded stakes winners Dream Impact, Uncle Camie, and West Virginia are among the nine nominees in the older male category.

Acey Deucey, with her win in the Prioress Stakes, tops 10 nominees for champion 3-year-old female. She is also nominated in the sprint category. Bred by Glen Grey Farm, she also won the Grade 2 Comely and the Dearly Precious Stakes while earning $345,652 with a record of 4-1-0 in 8 starts.

The top money-earner among 3-year-old fillies is Seeking the Ante, who earned $362,280 for Chester and Mary Broman.

Seeking the Ante won the Grade 2 Nassau County and the restricted Iroquois, and ran second in the Grade 2 Comely and third in the Grade 2 Top Flight, compiling a record of 5-1-1 in 12 starts.

The leading earner among nine juvenile fillies was multiple open stakes winner J'ray, who won 3 of 4 starts, collecting $157,245.

Bred and owned by Lawrence Goichman, J'ray is also a nominee in the turf female category.

The New York Breeders' Futurity winner Classic Pack was the leading money winner over four others in the 2-year-old male category.

A son of state sire Regal Classic, bred and owned by John T. Becker, Classic Pack earned $260,050 with a record of 3-0-1 in 5 starts.

Seven of the eight nominees in the 3-year-old male category won or placed in open company, with the earnings leader being The Daddy.

Bred by Farish and Gallardia, The Daddy won the Grade 2 Super Derby en route to earnings of $517,700 with 3 wins in 4 starts.

Perhaps the most contentious division is that of older female, with three of the six nominees winning graded stakes in 2005.

The consistent Sensibly Chic was tops in earnings at $280,430, with a record of 2-4-1 in 9 starts and a victory in the Grade 2 Vagrancy and placings in four other graded events.

Sensibly Chic was bred by McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds and WinStar Farm.

There are 11 nominees for the turf divisions, with J'ray the earnings leader among females and Retribution leading the males at $183,485 with a record of 4-4-1 in 13 starts.

Among sprinters, Uncle Camie, captured the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap and owns the top Beyer Speed Figure in the division, a 109.

A son of former state sire Abaginone, Uncle Camie was bred and is owned by Carmine Telesca.

Breeder, stallion awards rise

The New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund reported major increases in the distribution of breeder and stallion awards for 2005.

Breeder awards were a record $7,766,065, up 8.6 percent over the 2004 total of $7,148,284, and nearly 19 percent more than the $6,532,919 paid in 2003.

Stallion awards for 2005 were $2,451,903, up 10.6 percent over the 2004 total of $2,217,056 and nearly 25 percent more than the $1,964,053 paid in 2003.

Third stakes in row for Sharp Humor

New York-bred 3-year-old Sharp Humor captured the Grade 2 Swale Stakes last weekend at Gulfstream Park for his third consecutive stakes victory.

Sharp Humor, a son of Distorted Humor, is out of Bellona, a daughter of former New York sire and classic winner Hansel.

Bellona is a half-sister to Melting Gold, who placed in the Group 3 Prix de Sandringham, and whose dam, Basoof, is a half-sister to English classic winner Shadeed.

Sharp Humor's fourth dam is Continuation, whose immediate family includes major winners Yamanin, Tuerta, Swale, and Forty Niner.