06/04/2009 11:00PM

Fantastic Look a quality mare to the end


The final foal produced by Grade 1 winner and producer Fantastic Look is a California-bred colt by Salt Lake who is considered something of a bonus at Golden Eagle Farm in Ramona, Calif.

The colt was born May 29. Sadly, a few hours later Fantastic Look died of injuries suffered while foaling, according to Golden Eagle Farm general manager Janine McCullough. The mare was 23 and had been bred and raced by the Mabee family, which owns Golden Eagle Farm.

The Salt Lake colt has been transferred to a nurse mare and is responding well, McCullough said.

"He's got four white socks and he's full of beans," McCullough said.

Fantastic Look produced a California-bred filly by Salt Lake in 2007 and that foal was expected to be her final one. The Mabee family had wanted a filly, and Fantastic Look was then retired from breeding.

The mare was a product of the Mabees's nationwide racing and breeding program. They campaigned Fantastic Look, who earned $681,247 in a career highlighted by a victory in the Grade 1 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park in 1989. The family owned the mare until her death, basing her in Kentucky until a few years ago when she was moved to California.

Retirement from breeding did not suit Fantastic Look a few years ago, McCullough said.

"She was coming off her feed," McCullough said. "She wasn't social anymore. I talked with the vets, and we decided to breed her because she was happier when she was pregnant. She looked awesome until the day she left us."

The colt's foaling on May 29 had a surprise element. The mare had been transferred to a different paddock than her normal one and delivered the foal when the farm's veterinarians were on the opposite side of the property, attending to horses.

"She foaled all by herself," McCullough said.

It was later that night that she took a turn for the worse, McCullough said.

Toward the end of her life, Fantastic Look was bred every other year.

"I usually stop breeding them when they get to 19 or 20 years old, but she seemed to fall apart when we left her open," McCullough said.

Fantastic Look's 2-year-old filly is named Saltendepity and worked three furlongs in 35.80 seconds at the San Luis Rey Downs training center in San Diego County on Wednesday. Saltendepity is one off 14 2-year-olds that Golden Eagle Farm hopes to have on the track this year.

Saltendepity is based with Paul Schiewe at San Luis Rey and will be transferred to Ben Cecil during the summer.

McCullough said Golden Eagle is excited about the prospects for the Kentucky-bred Betty's Baroness, a half-sister to the California-bred millionaire General Challenge by Smarty Jones.

While the 2-year-olds are preparing to race, the farm's emphasis is changing. In 2007, Larry Mabee, who operates Golden Eagle with his mother, Betty, said the farm planned to downsize, leaving its Ramona base for a smaller farm in Rancho Santa Fe, near Del Mar.

The Mabees had hoped to have completed the move by this summer, but McCullough said the earliest Golden Eagle can start operating at the new property is in the second half of 2010. There have been delays dealing with county and Rancho Santa Fe officials, McCullough said.

McCullough said Golden Eagle has sold a 220-acre parcel of its property, which was known as the yearling division, to a family that intends to start a Thoroughbred retirement farm.

The sale, completed last month, has led to the consolidation of operations onto a 550-acre main property.