06/09/2005 11:00PM

Crafty C. T. proving to be just the ticket

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While looking for a stallion during the last couple of years, Gus Schoenborn Jr. had in mind the characteristics of two outstanding former Empire State stallions, Talc and Cormorant.

They were known for getting hard-hitting and sound runners who could sustain their form for a long period of time.

When he came across Crafty C. T., Schoenborn found one that filled the order for his Contemporary Stallions stud farm in Coxsackie, N.Y.

Crafty C. T. stands for $5,000 live foal, and his first crop this spring is pleasing his owners.

He is owned by Schoenborn, plus the New York trio of Roddy Valente, an owner, and trainers Bruce Levine and Todd Pletcher.

Schoenborn had been interested in Harlan's Holiday, winner of the Florida Derby and Blue Grass, and visited Pletcher's barn on occasion to try and work out a deal.

Pletcher, through bloodstock agent Joe Brocklebank, suggested Crafty C. T.

"Stallion valuations today are getting tougher and tougher for the small guy, especially if you want an impact stallion," said Schoenborn. "And the stallion market in New York is very competitive. With Crafty C. T., I have three partners who are very talented at what they do and a horse who just went out there and ran hard every time."

Through three seasons of racing, Crafty C. T. banged heads with the best, placing in six Grade 1 events, including the Breeders' Cup Sprint in 2002.

Winner of the Grade 2 San Rafael Stakes as a 3-year-old, Crafty C. T. earned $832,652 during his career.

He finished ahead of top-class runners such as Left Bank, Red Bullet, Harlan's Holiday and Affirmed Success in the Metropolitan and Cigar Mile handicaps in New York, catching the eye of Levine.

Crafty C. T. is a son of Crafty Prospector, who has twice been the leading North American sire of stakes winners. His best runners from nearly 90 stakes winners include Devious Course, Prospect Bay, Crafty Shaw, and Miss Golden Circle.

Crafty C. T., a grandson of Mr. Prospector, is a half-brother to stakes winner Carmen's Baby. His dam, the Far North mare Andriana B., is out of a half-sister to Screen King, winner of the Grade 2 Omaha Gold Cup and third in the Preakness Stakes.

Crafty C. T.'s family also includes Hollywood Oaks winner Prize Spot and multiple Grade 1 winner Palace Music, the sire of a two-time Horse of the Year, Cigar.

Those elements of his pedigree, plus the presence of Hernando in the family, make Schoenborn excited about the potential of his foals. Hernando, a champion and classic winner in France, is the sire of international champion Sulamani, winner of French Jockey Club, Canadian International, and Turf Classic.

According to Schoenborn, Crafty C. T.'s first two crops will have 40 foals each.

Travelator the latest open stakes winner

Travelator became the 10th New York-bred open stakes winner of 2005 with her victory in the Candy Eclair Stakes at Monmouth Park on June 4.

Travelator, bred by Michael and Raylene Anchel, sent her career earnings to $499,442. She is the leading money winner for New York sire A. P Jet.

She also placed in the Grade 3 Distaff Breeders' Cup at Aqueduct this year.

In addition to Travelator, the other open stakes winners are Acey Deucey, Seeking the Ante, Uncle Camie, Sensibly Chic, Sort It Out, Megascape, Distinctive Trick, Grab Bag, and Twice Infallible.

Sustained success for Catienus

New York stallion Catienus, who was the leader among North American first-crop sires in 2004 with 19 winners, has continued that rate of success in recent weeks.

His daughter Kathern's Cat won the Lilac Handicap at Stampede Park, and he had winners at Churchill Downs, Louisiana Downs, and Belmont Park on the Memorial Day weekend. They pushed his total for two crops to 28 winners and sent his progeny earnings to almost $1 million.

Catienus, an 11-year-old son of Storm Cat, stood this year at Highcliff Farm in Delanson for a fee of $6,500 live foal.