01/09/2004 12:00AM

In Excess makes worldwide impact

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ARCADIA, Calif. - In 2003, In Excess defended his title as the leading stallion standing in California.

But unlike in 2002, his first year atop the standings, In Excess had a global presence last season, with the success of his daughter Musical Chimes, the winner of the Group 1 French 1000 Guineas in Paris in May.

The foreign success not only helped raise In Excess's worldwide profile, but his ranking on the national sire list, as well.

In Excess, 17, finished 2003 with progeny earnings of $4,552,160, an increase of more than $1.2 million from 2002. He finished the year 21st on the overall sire list, a considerable improvement from 66th in 2002.

"When you can impress people on both sides of the pond, that's a big deal," said Rich Decker of Vessels Stallion Farm in Bonsall, where In Excess has stood throughout his career.

Musical Chimes may have won the most prominent race in 2003 among In Excess's progeny, but she was not his top earner. Musical Chimes earned $413,103, while Excessivepleasure earned $821,782 during a campaign that included wins in the WinStar Derby, Iowa Derby, and Indiana Derby. His success helped In Excess put distance on his California rivals.

Chasing In Excess were Roar ($3,462,951), Lit de Justice ($3,213,780), Beau Genius ($2,631,101), and You and I ($2,579,819). Those stallions recently came to the state and made the list through progeny that were born, and largely campaigned, in other states. Beau Genius stood his first season in California in 2001, Lit de Justice and Roar started in California last year, and You and I will stand his first season in the state this year.

In Excess stands for $25,000, and there are few vacancies in his book for the upcoming breeding season, Decker said.

"For all practical purposes the horse's book is full," he said. "At some point, you've got to put a limit on it. He seems to handle 110 to 120 mares. It's not like we're starting a new young horse where numbers mean a lot."

Free House tops freshman list

Vessels, which is 10 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean in northern San Diego county, is also home to Free House, California's top freshman stallion of 2003.

Free House, 10, finished the year with earnings of $348,439. Perfect Mandate finished second among California's freshman stallions with $193,730.

Free House, who stands for $15,000, had one stakes winner in 2003, House of Fortune, who won the California Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Free House finished 20th on the national freshman stallion list. Last year, Swiss Yodeler won the California title with earnings of $748,718 and ranked seventh on the national list.

Decker said the best is yet to come from Free House's offspring.

"A lot of other sires are siring more precocious 2-year-olds," he said. "You won't see that from Free House, you'll see late-developing 2-year-olds and 3 and up."

Expect smaller catalog at Del Mar

The California Thoroughbred Breeders Association announced earlier this week that the annual Del Mar yearling sale Aug. 16 will be held at Del Mar racetrack and not at the nearby Del Mar HorsePark.

The sale will be held in the paddock following racing.

The sale was last held at the racetrack in 1995 and was subsequently conducted at the HorsePark. The move to the racetrack is seen as a cost-saving measure and a way to bring the sale directly to owners and trainers.

The move from a two-day sale to a one-day sale and the different venue will result in a smaller catalog, CTBA officials said. After record averages in 2001 and 2002, the 2003 sale saw average prices drop 21 percent, to $34,506.

Last year, the sale offered 140 yearlings, with 90 listed as sold. In past years, the size of the sale has ranged from 130 to 187 yearlings.