01/28/2005 1:00AM

Federicos have line that keeps giving


When it comes to breeding horses, Dennis Federico and his father, A.J., follow a proven formula. Many of their horses are descendants of the first horse A.J. Federico bought, in 1963. Dennis Federico keeps a small band of broodmares at Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City, Md., a farm that his father began patronizing when it existed as Windfields Maryland in the 1970's.

The results were on display at Aqueduct on Jan. 17, when Maddy's Lion trounced his rivals in the Jimmy Winkfield Stakes. A 3-year-old trained in New York by John Pregman, Maddy's Lion has won 3 of his 5 starts. He had a rough trip when he finished third to Monster Chaser and Bank On the Champ in the Rollicking Stakes for Maryland-breds in October, but has won his last two starts, both at Aqueduct.

In the Winkfield, Maddy's Lion raced to the lead and held off all challengers before drawing off to score by 6 1/4 lengths. With the victory, he became the third stakes winner from the first crop of his sire, Lion Hearted. Standing at Northview Stallion Station, Lion Hearted easily ranked as Maryland's leading freshman sire of 2004, with first-season progeny earnings of $397,662.

Maddy's Lion is the second foal from his dam, Maddy's Terms (by Private Terms), who is a great-granddaughter of the Federicos' foundation mare Tune-Swept (Tudorka-Admirals Bride, by War Admiral). Purchased by A.J. Federico as a 3-year-old, Tune-Swept earned black type with a third-place finish in the Hannah Dustin Handicap at age 5, but gained more respect as a hard-trying runner who won or placed in 43 of 84 career starts.

A.J. Federico gave his horses to Dennis Federico in the 1970's, and the line continued. Many of the Federico horses are named after A.J. Federico's wife, Madeline. Tune-Swept's granddaughter Maddy's Tune (1978, Key to the Kingdom) carried Dennis Federico's colors to victory in the Doreen Handicap and placings in four other stakes, including a second in the Grade 2 Test Stakes.

Maddy's Tune produced two stakes performers: Maddy's Waquoit ($116,090) and Maddy's Our Tune ($130,582). Her daughter Maddy's Terms won or placed in 4 of 10 starts, earning $26,000, and is carrying on production as one of two active broodmares boarded by Dennis Federico at Northview. Maddy's Terms foaled a full sister to Maddy's Lion in 2004 and is due to foal again this spring to Lion Hearted. Federico's other mare at Northview is Waquoit's Tune (by Waquoit), a 15-year-old daughter of Maddy's Tune. Waquoit's Tune has a 2-year-old filly by Not for Love and a yearling colt by Diamond, but was not bred for 2005 due to a late foaling. Maddy's Tune is now a pensioner at Northview.

A.J. Federico, who started D.J. Construction company, now operated by his son in Massachusetts, has no doubt he has found a good thing in Maryland's breeding and racing program. "We've done very well with Maryland-breds over the years," he said. "We started going to Windfields, and they did a good job. So when Northview started [to fill the void created by Windfields's closing in 1988], we kept going there."

The Federicos have additional ties to Northview through a cousin, Joseph Federico, who campaigned $2.2 million earner Waquoit. Purchased by Joseph Federico for $15,000 at the 1984 Keeneland September yearling sale, Waquoit became the first New England-based millionaire and was the first horse retired to stud at Northview, where he has had a long and successful career as a sire.