12/15/2006 1:00AM

Easy Red ends up a keeper


Which ones to sell, and which to keep and race? It's an age-old dilemma for many breeders.

The consequences are rarely as dramatic as Marylander Joseph Keelty and his adviser, Don Litz, have experienced with the offspring of Keelty's mare Dreams of Glory (by Seattle Slew).

A Silver Deputy colt out of Dreams of Glory set a record as the highest-priced horse ever to sell at auction at Timonium when Keelty's Dumbarton Farm sold him for $500,000 at the 2004 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale.

The record was surpassed at this year's May 2-year-olds in training sale by a $625,000 Johannesburg colt. But the Silver Deputy-Dreams of Glory colt, named Their He Goes, remains the all-time top-priced Timonium yearling.

In 2003, the year before the record sale, Litz held back on selling a yearling son of Charismatic out of Dreams of Glory, a gelding who came to be named Easy Red.

Easy Red, now 4, became a stakes winner on Dec. 9, with a tenacious victory against the 9-5 favorite, Tartlet, in the Jennings Handicap for Maryland-breds.

"He was backward as a yearling, and Charismatic wasn't as commercial a sire [as Silver Deputy]," Litz explained.

After joining the Dumbarton Farm racing contingent, with trainer Jimmy Murphy, Easy Red needed time to develop into his full potential.

He has been a solid allowance performer throughout his 3- and 4-year-old campaigns. And he gave a good account of himself in his only two other stakes tries, both on turf: a second-place finish (to Learning) in the 2005 Humphrey S. Finney, and a fourth, beaten only 1 1/2 lengths, in his start just prior to the Jennings, the Find Handicap on Nov. 4, which was won by by Private Scandal.

The stakes win boosts Easy Red's earnings to $160,582 from 19 starts.

Meanwhile, the record of Easy Red's famous half-brother Their He Goes so far consists of three seconds in maiden special weights.

Purchased at the sale by Mark Reid, and campaigned in the name of owner Edmund Gann, Their He Goes made his debut at Aqueduct on Jan. 7, 2006, and proved no match for the winner, Sweetnorthernsaint, who went on to become the 2006 Kentucky Derby favorite and Preakness runner-up.

Transferred to trainer Bobby Frankel in California, Their He Goes made his last two starts at Santa Anita. His most recent was on Oct. 21, when he went off as an odds-on favorite and earned a 91 Beyer Speed Figure while finishing second by 1o1/2 lengths.

Keelty, 84, a semi-retired real estate developer who still plays 18 holes of golf at least once a week during the warmer months, has owned and bred horses in Maryland since the mid-1980's. From the beginning, he has worked closely with Litz, the bloodstock agent best known in recent years as the founder and president of Maryland Stallion Station.

Keelty purchased Dreams of Glory for $275,000, in foal to Unbridled's Song, at the 1999 Keeneland November sale. The Unbridled's Song filly, Dreamy Song, sold for $120,000 at the 2001 Eastern fall yearling sale.

One of four broodmares owned by Keelty, all of them boarded at Shamrock Farms in Woodbine, Md., Dreams of Glory has a yearling Dixieland Band colt, yet unnamed, and a weanling colt by Silver Deputy. She is in foal for 2007 to Seeking the Gold.

The Dixieland Band yearling is receiving his early education with Barbara Graham at Middleburg Training Center and is expected to race for Keelty, according to Litz.

Maryland Million deadline nears

The Maryland Million deadline is fast approaching.

Dec. 31 is the last day for nominating Maryland-sired yearlings and weanlings.

A fee of $600 is due for yearlings who have not been previously nominated (or last option of $1,500 due by June 30, 2007).

A fee of $250 is due on that day to fully nominate weanlings.

Although foals can be nominated for life, stallions must be nominated before each breeding season in order for the foals conceived during that breeding season to be eligible for nomination.

Dec. 31 is also the deadline for stallion nominations. The stallion nomination fee is equal to the advertised stud fee, with a minimum of $500. For information contact the Maryland Million office at (410) 252-2100, fax (410) 560-0503, or visit MarylandMillion.com.