11/22/2002 1:00AM

Crystal M.'s lone foal Castling making momma proud


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Ideally, the broodmare Crystal M. would have provided owner Bill Currin with several foals after she was acquired in the 1990's.

But fate did not work out that way. Crystal M. had one foal, Castling, and never got back into foal.

"I bred her back to Pirate's Bounty, but she did not get into foal," Currin said. "Then she was pensioned. She died a couple of years ago."

On the track, Castling has done well to emulate Crystal M., who was a stakes winner at Ellis Park. A 4-year-old California-bred, Castling has won 4 of 12 starts and $124,761. On Sunday, the Pirate's Bounty filly Castling starts in the $100,000 Cat's Cradle Handicap over 7 1/2 furlongs on the dirt at Hollywood Park.

Castling will be a broodmare someday, but Currin, who bred the filly and co-owns her with Al Eisman, said that is unlikely to happen this winter. "I'll probably run her next year," he said. "She's very sound."

Currin trains Castling. He watched her value increase substantially this summer when she won the Valkyr Handicap over a mile on turf at Hollywood Park in July.

Castling has lost three subsequent handicaps, finishing 10th in the Solana Beach, sixth in the CERF, and fourth in the California Cup Matron.

Although the Cat's Cradle is run on dirt, Currin feels Castling is best on turf.

On the main track, Castling has won three times, including an allowance race for California-breds.

Currin keeps approximately 12 broodmares in California and Kentucky. He once housed horses at his farm in Pleasanton, Calif., but is scaling back that operation. The land is currently being developed. "I'm farming houses, not horses," he said.

Cobra King to stand at Pegasus Farm

Cobra King, a winner of three stakes for juveniles in California in 1995, will stand the 2003 breeding season at Pegasus Farm in Petaluma.

Cobra King previously stood in Kentucky and at DunHill Stud near Ocala, Fla., last year.

Cobra King was moved to California after majority owner Gary Biszantz and Pegasus Farm owner Tom Bachman talked about the stallion's future at a recent sale.

"We got to discussing Cobra King and then he was on his way out here," Bachman said. "Gary thought that people out here knew him well."

The 9-year-old Cobra King has had three crops to reach the racetrack. On Thursday, he was represented by his 11th 2-year-old winner of the year when Cobra Lady won at Hoosier Park.

On the racetrack, Cobra King won 5 of 8 starts and $256,825. His stakes wins ranged in distances from the six-furlong Sunny Slope Stakes at Santa Anita to the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes over 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream Park. He won two other Grade 3 races - the Hollywood Prevue Breeders' Cup Stakes and the Balboa Stakes at Del Mar, both for 2-year-olds.

"I think he'll fit in quite well," Bachman said.

Cobra King will stand for $4,000. He is one of five stallions at Pegasus Farm this year, joined by Helmsman, Restless Con, Siyah Kalem, and Wild Gold.

Bachman said that Restless Con would be bred if he responds favorably to treatment on his spine, which has caused the 15-year-old stallion problems in the past.

* The California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Stallion Season auction will be held Dec. 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. Seasons to 29 stallions will be offered, including Avenue of Flags, Cee's Tizzy, Comic Strip, Free House, Helmsman, In Excess, Smokester, and Valid Wager. For information, call 626-445-7800.