09/21/2006 11:00PM

Dynasty started by an unlikely candidate


"From every generation there seems to emerge a powerful sprinter," said Robert Goldsmith when discussing the family of the illustrious Maryland producer Turn Capp. Representing the next generation on Sept. 16 at Laurel Park was Your Flame in Me, a 2-year-old filly making her stakes debut in the Gin Talking Stakes for Maryland-breds.

The result was a powerful win. Your Flame in Me sped away from six rivals to win the Gin Talking by 4 1/2 lengths, finishing five furlongs in 57.92 seconds. She led at every call, setting fractions of 22.09 and 45.73, and her final time was less than a second off the track record and more than a second faster than juvenile colts ran two races earlier in the Oliver's Twist Stakes.

A great-granddaughter of Turn Capp, Your Flame in Me is by Boundary out of Icy Demeanor.

Her trainer, Mike Trombetta, noted that she lacks experience, but said, "She has run incredibly fast, and we haven't asked her yet, which is what I like."

In her only other start, a maiden special weight at Delaware Park, Your Flame in Me rolled to a 6 1/4-length victory on Aug. 6, getting five furlongs in 57.54.

Goldsmith said he is thrilled with the job Trombetta has done with Your Flame in Me, who is the only horse Goldsmith has at the track. Goldsmith said he expects her to be kept at sprint distances for now. It's a strategy that has worked very well in the past. Turn Capp, bred by the late C. Oliver Goldsmith, Robert's father, is the ancestress of numerous top-class runners, including classy sprinters Smoke Glacken, Smokey Glacken, and Disco Rico.

Turn Capp is the matriarch of a dynasty, which would have come as a surprise to those who knew her as a yearling.

Oliver Goldsmith, proprietor of Longwood Farm in Glenwood, Md., had purchased a broodmare, Capped, at Keeneland in January 1971. The following year, to the cover of his home stallion Turn to Reason, Capped produced Turn Capp. In an interview in The Maryland Horse magazine 30 years ago, Oliver Goldsmith revealed that never in his first two decades of breeding horses did he have a yearling "more scatty than Turn Capp."

Goldsmith unloaded Capped at a mixed sale in 1974 and turned the then-2-year-old Turn Capp over to Charles Town trainer Bobby Hilton. But Hilton found the key with Turn Capp, sending her out to win 20 of 44 races, with 16 additional on-the-board finishes. She captured three stakes and finished second in the Grade 3 Whitemarsh Handicap.

Turn Capp was much more valuable as a broodmare for Longwood Farm, producing 16 foals to race, 14 of them winners. She was the dam of stakes winners Say Capp, Capp It Off, and Capp the Power, as well as stakes-placed Capp Ice and Twilight Prince. Turn Capp's first foal, a winning daughter of Longwood's stallion King Emperor named Queen's Crown, is the granddam of Eclipse Award-winning sprinter and sire Smoke Glacken and his half-sisters Smokey Glacken and Capote's Crown.

Turn Capp's daughter Capp It Off, by Double Zeus, was her most brilliant offspring, winning or placing in eight stakes in 18 starts, and counting the inaugural running of the Maryland Million Distaff among her scores. Though Capp It Off only produced three foals, they included Miss Slewpy, who earned $535,863 and won three graded stakes. Miss Slewpy died just as she was about to be retired for breeding.

Another of Capp It Off's offspring, stakes-placed Round It Off, is the dam of seven-time stakes-winning sprinter Disco Rico, who now stands at stud at Murmur Farm in Darlington, Md.

Turn Capp was named Maryland's broodmare of the year in 1996. Less than a month after accepting the award for Turn Capp in the spring of 1997, Oliver Goldsmith died of cancer. One week later, on May 19, Icy Demeanor, a filly by Allen's Prospect out of Capp Ice, was born.

Robert Goldsmith, now an equine veterinarian practicing in the Charlottesville, Va., area, made a few choice selections from his father's estate, including Icy Demeanor, one of only two mares he owns.

Goldsmith described Icy Demeanor as "a front-runner who could go a distance." She won 3 of her 13 starts before becoming a broodmare. Her first foal is Your Flame in Me.

Goldsmith said he gained extensive knowledge about the business from his father, "a hands-on horseman," and his mother, Jean Edgar Goldsmith, "a real pedigree student," and selects the matings for his mares. The second foal out of Icy Demeanor is by Disco Rico, a yearling filly who has two ties to Turn Capp. Goldsmith said he is pleased with the result.

"It is a rare opportunity," he said. "From an academic standpoint I was intrigued by the cross."