09/07/2006 11:00PM

Filly wins one for old times


It's not every day that a horse wins for the first time in a stakes race. But Bertram Linder, now 91, has seen just about everything. So when the 2-year-old filly Naseem, whom Linder co-bred with Caesar Kimmel, Philip Solondz, and the Thoroughbred Corp., accomplished the feat at Calder on Sept. 2 in the Lindsay Frolic Stakes, it was not something new for the legendary breeder.

"This is the second time it has happened to me," recalled Linder. "I had a colt - can't remember his name right now - who won the San Felipe."

With all the horses and all the history packed into more than 50 very busy years in the Thoroughbred breeding business, it's no wonder Linder may not recall the first one. But there are volumes of information he can readily supply.

Naseem, a Maryland-bred filly by Point Given out of Student Wife, has a double connection to the breeder. Linder bred Naseem's dam and owns Turbo Launch, the granddam of Point Given. And he explains how he came to retain Student Wife, a daughter of Seattle Slew whom he bred in partnership with Wooden Horse Investments.

After bidding $250,000 for the filly at the Saratoga select yearling sale to buy out the partnership, Linder offered Student Wife - whom he named after his wife, Mary Ellen, who had returned to New York University to get a degree at the age of 50, and graduated with honors - at the Keeneland April 1994 sale of 2-year-olds in training. Student Wife, a half-sister to Horse of the Year Black Tie Affair, initially sold to Japanese buyers, but they turned her back after a chip was found in her ankle. Linder was glad to have her back.

Although unraced because of a training accident, Student Wife was an undeniable broodmare treasure with her pedigree. The gray mare was first sent to the court of Miswaki (the sire of Black Tie Affair), but the resulting colt failed to win.

After poring over pedigrees to find the best fit for his mare, Linder sent Student Wife to Maryland in 2001 to be bred to Polish Numbers at Northview Stallion Station. The resulting colt was sold privately after failing to reach his reserve. Sales agent Kirkwood Stables then sent the Polish Numbers colt to the Keeneland April 2-year-old sale, selling him for $500,000 - by far the highest price for any offspring of Student Wife.

Although Linder has bred his mares primarily to Kentucky sires, he once again shipped Student Wife to Maryland in 2004. After foaling her Point Given filly at Dr. Tom and Chris Bowman's Dance Forth Farm, Student Wife was bred back to Maryland's leading sire, Not for Love.

Becky Davis, who manages the Bowman family's Roland Farm in Chesapeake City, remembers Naseem as a foal.

"She was a knockout," said Davis. "A real standout. . . . She would run circles around the other foals in the field. We definitely had her picked out." Thus it was somewhat of a surprise when the filly only brought $10,000 at the Keeneland September sale.

Mojallali Stables made the purchase, and trainer Delmar Biazoli Martins sent out Naseem in the Lindsay Frolic after she put in several published workouts at Calder. Steadied early, Naseem was last of seven for the first half-mile in the one-mile stakes, which was contested over a sloppy track. But she got rolling, launching a rally that got her up to win by three-quarters of a length.

Student Wife, who has required special care that prompted Linder to contact Dr. Bowman, had a Not for Love filly last year. This past May, Student Wife produced her final foal, a filly by Chapel Royal born at Dance Forth, but the gray mare had been suffering from numerous melanomas and was euthanized. The filly was placed on a surrogate mother, a mare at Dance Forth who had lost her newborn foal the same day. The mare accepted the foal, and the filly will now be sold at the Keeneland November sale.

Because of his age and health, Linder is in the process of dispersing his horses, and will sell three yearlings, with Walnut Green as agent, at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall sale, to be held Oct. 2-4. Included will be Naseem's Not for Love half-sister.

"Although there is still a young fellow in me," said Linder, "it's time to get my affairs in order."