11/21/2008 12:00AM

Feisty Suances a bit of a mystery


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Feisty Suances is undefeated in two starts, and trainer Darrell Vienna is still unsure what to make of the colt.

"I don't know how good he is," Vienna said. "I don't think we've seen the top of him. We need a lot more information."

Vienna and owners Jed and Roberta Cohen may have a clearer indication of Feisty Suances's ability after Sunday's third race at Hollywood Park, a first-condition allowance race over 7 1/2 furlongs for California-breds. The race could serve as a prep to the $125,000 California Breeders' Champion Stakes over seven furlongs at Santa Anita in late December.

Feisty Suances's wins came during the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting this fall - a $40,000 claiming race for statebred maidens on Sept. 25 and a one-mile starter allowance on Oct. 23.

Vienna admits to being somewhat surprised by the success.

"The reason he may have fooled us is he's not an outstanding work horse," Vienna said. "He won his last race easily. The races seem to take nothing from him."

The Cohens bred Feisty Suances on their California farm and stand the colt's stallion, Suances. Vienna trained Suances for the Cohens.

"He was an extremely good horse," Vienna said "Of his first crop, this was the one that most closely resembled him."

Feisty Suances has drawn the outside post in a field of five and is the only entrant without stakes experience. Aquicksting and All Saint were second and fourth in the Gateway to Glory Stakes at Fairplex Park in September. Mensa Heat was well beaten in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity and California Cup Juvenile. Danny Q was third in the Barretts Juvenile in September, and later sixth in the California Cup Juvenile and fourth in the Real Quiet Stakes at Hollywood Park on Nov. 8.

Ted West, the father of trainer Ted H. West, was not discouraged by Danny Q's loss in the Real Quiet.

"It's better than it looked on paper," the elder West said. "From the five-sixteenths pole home, he didn't have much racing room. I thought it was his best race."

West said the California Breeders' Champion Stakes is a December option for Danny Q.

Unsold filly paying off

The filly counterpart of the California Breeders' Champion Stakes next month is likely to be the next start for Stretchinthelimits, who remained undefeated with a half-length victory in an optional claimer for statebred 2-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park on Thursday.

Owned by breeder Vessels Stallion Farm and trained by Mike Mitchell, Stretchinthelimits had won a maiden race for statebred fillies at Santa Anita in her debut on Oct. 12. In Thursday's race, she stalked the pace under jockey Garrett Gomez before taking the lead in the final furlong.

Scoop Vessels did not intend to race Stretchinthelimits. Vessels Stallion Farm offered Stretchinthelimits at the 2007 California yearling sale at Barretts, but she did not sell. Like a few other Vessels-bred horses that did not sell, Stretchinthelimits joined the racing stable.

"I'm liking the idea of them not bringing bids and me running them," he said. "There seems to be more money in racing them."

Vessels said the farm plans to have an active stable of 10 horses.

Stretchinthelimits is by In Excess, a former leading sire in California who remains among the top-ranked stallions in the state by progeny earnings.

Vessels said that In Excess will have some seasons available in 2009 for $16,000, one of the highest prices for a stallion season in the state. He said that even a prominent stallion such as In Excess is having difficulty attracting the best mares in a soft economic climate.

"It's tough in the breeding deal," Vessels said. "We've had to be aggressive."