01/14/2005 12:00AM

Fast Decision looks to follow successful line

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Being the student of pedigree that he is, Dr. Jonathan Davis was bound to take a close look at Fast Decision as a stallion prospect.

Davis and his wife, Deb, own and operate historic Milfer Farm in Unadilla, located in Otsego County.

Fast Decision, a son of Gulch, will begin his breeding career for the 2005 season at a fee of $3,500, live foal guaranteed, payable Sept. 1 of the year bred.

Winner of the Grade 3 Withers Stakes in 2002, Fast Decision is bred on a similar pattern as champion Thunder Gulch.

Thunder Gulch, winner of the Kentucky Derby, Belmont, and Travers as a 3-year-old of 1995, is out of the Storm Bird mare Line of Thunder.

Thunder Gulch is now a leading young sire, and from his first few crops he has gotten champions Point Given and Spain, as well as Grade 1 winners Tweedside and Sense of Style.

Fast Decision is out of the Storm Bird mare Demi Souer, a cross that has also produced Listen Here, winner of the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, and Lethal Instrument, winner of the Ack Ack Stakes at Churchill Downs.

"We really fell in love with his bloodlines when he was racing, and we considered his fitting into the New York program," Davis said. "And, irrespective of the New York program, would he be legitimate in terms of his sire career in the Northeast or in the country in general? Cure the Blues proved to me this can be done."

Davis acquired the late Cure the Blues from Kentucky for Milfer Farm in 1993.

Davis said relying only upon New York was a mistake, and that a good stallion would attract mares from many states while at the same time fitting the New York program.

A son of Stop the Music, Cure the Blues went on to become one of the greats of New York, siring graded-stakes-winning statebreds such as Incurable Optimist, Theresa the Teacha, and Dat You Miz Blue. Among his graded-stakes winners that were not bred in New York are Rock and Roll, Wake at Noon, and Saoirse.

"My mission statement is reflective of some of the stallions I have acquired," said Davis. "I liked Fast Decision, and I think he has enough commercial appeal that he will attract interest from out of state. There were other people shopping for him, and we were proactive. They were after him mainly because of his pedigree."

Fast Decision's pedigree has already produced the good stallion Dehere, the champion juvenile of 1993 who is the sire of Grade 1 winner Take Charge Lady and graded-stakes winners Finality and Soto.

Dehere is out of Sister Dot, the second dam of Fast Decision. Sister Dot is out of a full sister to Santa Anita Derby winner Diabolo, who was third to Foolish Pleasure in the 1975 Kentucky Derby.

Purchased for $210,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale from the Lane's End consignment, Fast Decision completed a three-race win streak in the Withers, in which he defeated graded-stakes winner Listen Here.

In his maiden at Gulfstream Park, Fast Decision defeated Aeneas, who later placed in the Iselin, Gulfstream Park, Hawthorne Gold Cup, and Clark handicaps.

In his first-level allowance score at Gulfstream, Fast Decision defeated Wiseman's Ferry, an earner of more than $800,000 who won the West Virginia Derby and Lone Star Derby, both Grade 3 events, and is now a New York stallion.

Winning a graded race at a mile is often a barometer of future success as a stallion. Gulch won the Metropolitan Mile, and Successful Appeal, North America's leading first-crop sire for 2004, won the Withers Stakes in 1999.

Limited shares are available for Fast Decision, who is the property of a syndicate.

Davis credited Kentucky bloodstock agent Brad Murray for the acquisition of Fast Decision.

"He's a phenomenal-looking horse," said Davis. "He just bowls you over. You can't fault him on conformation, and his test breeding has gone very well. He is great in the breeding shed, and he's the kind of horse you like to work with."

Murray also worked with Davis in the acquisition of Cure the Blues and current Milfer Farm stallions Phone Trick and Take Me Out.

Phone Trick is the sire of Horse of the Year Favorite Trick and champion juvenile filly Phone Chatter. Take Me Out is a son of Cure the Blues.

Phone Trick and Take Me Out were both top 10 New York sires for 2004.

Milfer Farm also stands Polish Pro, an unraced son of Mr. Prospector.

Clarification

An article on Jan. 2 about the performance of New York-breds on the racetrack and at auction in 2004 gave incomplete information about New York's foal crop. The foal crop for 2004 was 2,209, significantly higher than the expected figure given of "more than 2,000." In fact, the 2004 foal crop was 26 horses greater than the 2003 crop of 2,183.