05/28/2002 11:00PM

Danzig-Razyana colt comes up with dazzler


LAS VEGAS - If Razyana, a 21-year-old daughter of His Majesty, had produced only champion racehorse and world-class stallion Danehill, it would be enough to secure her place in history. But Razyana also produced four other stakes winners and two stakes-placed runners, including Shibboleth, a son of Danzig who was the jaw-dropping winner of the Jaipur Handicap on Memorial Day.

Shibboleth flew out of the gate, set blazing fractions - 22 seconds, 44.60, and 1:08 - and ran the seven furlongs on turf in 1:20.08, equaling the stakes record. Shibboleth, second choice at 7-5, turned back the challenge of 6-5 favorite Malabar Gold (Unbridled) and won by two lengths in an extremely impressive effort. He is now undefeated (5 for 5) on the turf at seven furlongs, and the Breeders' Cup Mile at Arlington Park beckons.

Shibboleth was making his third start in the United States after racing against only the highest quality competition in Europe, including Giant's Causeway and champion sprinter Mozart. Unraced at 2, Shibboleth won the listed King Charles II Stakes and finished fourth in the Group 1 St. James's Palace Stakes at 3, behind Giant's Causeway, beaten only 1 1/4 lengths. Last year, he won the Group 3 Criterion Stakes and finished fifth, beaten five lengths by Mozart in the Group 1 July Cup.

In his U.S. debut, Shibboleth was off slowly in a one-mile turf allowance at Santa Anita but still finished second in a good effort in his first race in eight months. His trainer, Bobby Frankel, experimented by trying him on the dirt for the first time in the Carter Handicap. Stumbling badly at the start, Shibboleth was never a factor. The Jaipur's distance and surface, however, was made to order for Shibboleth, but he raced beyond expectations, just missing the course record of 1:19.80.

Shibboleth is the ninth of 13 foals out of Razyana, a modest racehorse who finished second and third in only three lifetime starts in England. But like many other well-bred mares who did not race with distinction, Razyana became a highly prized broodmare.

Natalma connection

Of Razyana's 13 foals, nine are by Danzig, and this specific union was not orchestrated by chance. The mating of Razyana to any son of Northern Dancer creates inbreeding to Natalma. This inbreeding pattern (inbreeding to a superior female within five generations through different individuals) is called the Rasmussen Factor, and the duplication in a pedigree of a broodmare of such high class magnifies the probability of creating a horse of quality. It has certainly been the case with the cross of Danzig and Razyana.

Her first foal, Danehill (Danzig), was a champion sprinter at 3, and was the leading sire in Australia in 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, and 2001, and has also been a champion sire of European juveniles.

Her second foal, Emerald (El Gran Senor, by Northern Dancer), was unraced, but her third foal, Euphonic (The Minstrel, by Northern Dancer), won the listed Prix Amandine and finished third in the group 3 Prix d'Astarte.

Her fourth foal, Eagle Eyed (Danzig), began his career in France, where he placed in the Group 3 Prix d'Arenberg. Imported to the United States, he won the Arlington Classic as well as the Sausalito Handicap and Pirate Cove Stakes. In the Sausalito, he equaled the course record at Golden Gate Fields for 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.27. Eagle Eyed began his stud career in the U.S., but the wild success of Danehill made him a coveted commodity in Australia, and he was exported to that country in 1996.

Razyana's fifth foal, Anziyan (Danzig), did not have the brilliance of Danehill, but he was Group 3-placed at 2 and 3 in France. He stands at stud at Alex Trebek's Creston Farms in Paso Robles, Calif., and is an attractive proposition at only $5,000. Anziyan is a member of this year's freshman crop, and while his runners may not show much on the dirt, they should flourish on turf.

Harpia (Danzig) is Razyana's sixth foal, and she displayed her family's exceptional speed on dirt, winning the Shirley Jones Handicap and placing in multiple stakes. Based on pedigree and performance, Harpia automatically becomes a highly desirable broodmare.

Bred to Private Account, Razyana produced a seventh foal, Gombeen, who was winless in eight starts. Her eighth foal was Nuclear Freeze (Danzig), who won once and finished third in three starts in England. Like Anziyan, Nuclear Freeze stands in California.

After Shibboleth, Razyana produced her 10th foal, Quick to Please (Danzig), who was placed in listed stakes company in England and has had physical problems since coming to this country last year. She recently finished second at Hollywood Park, and, like Shibboleth, is under the care of Frankel.

Razyana has a 2-year-old filly named Family, an unnamed yearling filly by Distant View, and an unnamed weanling filly by Danzig.

Razyana's dam, Spring Adieu (Buckpasser), is a half-sister to champion Northern Dancer (Nearctic) as well as to the dams of champion La Prevoyante, Coup de Folie, and granddam of champions Machiavellian and Coup de Genie.

The mating of Razyana to Danzig was ingenious and its continued success proves you just cannot have too much of a good thing.