07/19/2007 11:00PM

With each generation, family's success grows


DEL MAR, Calif. - Lewis Cenicola has found a way to keep a steady supply of top California-breds for his small stable.

Grow your own.

In Sunday's $100,000 Fleet Treat Stakes at Del Mar, Cenicola starts Cathrine's Hope, a 3-year-old filly who represents the fourth generation of his involvement in the family.

Cenicola trained Cathrine's Hope's third dam, Charmarita; her second dam, Dad's Penelope; and her dam, the graded stakes-placed Cookin Vickie. He even recalls riding Charmarita at the end of his jockey days in the late 1970s.

As the generations have passed, the results have gotten better for Cenicola and his wife, Donna.

Cookin Vickie, a winner of 4 of 28 starts and $232,627, was second in the Grade 2 Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting in 1999. Owned by Cenicola and his wife, Cookin Vickie has produced two foals to race - Dark Nose, a winner of $111,940, and Cathrine's Hope, who has earned $115,660.

Cathrine's Hope is by In Excess and is seeking her first stakes win in the seven-furlong Fleet Treat Stakes for statebred fillies. She won her last start, an allowance race for statebreds at Hollywood Park on June 15.

"The only two bad races she's run was when she ran around two turns," Cenicola said. "She looks like a come-from-behind sprinter."

Cookin Vickie, who is by Far Out East, has a yearling full brother to Cathrine's Hope that Cenicola will have in training next year, and a weanling filly by Bertrando who is a full brother to Dark Nose. "She's a fantastic filly," Cenicola said of the weanling.

Cookin Vickie has been bred to Benchmark.

With Cookin Vickie, Lewis and Donna Cenicola have a foal-sharing agreement with clients Larry and Ann Jett. Lewis Cenicola said that Larry Jett, a commercial real estate developer, pays for the stallion fees and that the Cenicolas and Jetts share the ensuing costs.

Because of Cookin Vickie's success with her first two foals, the partners are considering sending her to Kentucky to be bred next year.

"We're going to Kentucky in September and we'll look at some farms," Cenicola said.

Cookin Vickie is one of three foals out of Dad's Penelope who have earned more than $100,000, including Two Times Won ($174,352) and Ruthie Jane ($104,200).

Cenicola trained all of them. He said that Two Times Won, who finished second in the Pro or Con Handicap at Santa Anita earlier this year, may be retired and bred next year, adding yet another broodmare to his small band.

Dad's Penelope, 21, has a weanling filly by Jackpot and has been bred back to Quick Action. Cenicola was pleasantly surprised that she was pronounced in foal earlier this year despite her advanced age.

Dad's Penelope is the dam of Won More Penny, a 3-year-old filly who was second in the 2006 CTBA Stakes at Del Mar for the Cenicolas. Won More Penny has been sidelined since finishing fifth in the Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar last summer, but is nearing a return to training, Cenicola said.

Cenicola said he has been offered significant money for members of the family, but has not felt the urge to sell.

"I would sell if the price is right," Cenicola said. "You can't fall in love with a horse. I have nothing to lose. I own the family. People say you can go broke breeding horses, but I've been pretty lucky."

Cookin Vickie and her latest foals are continuing that trend.