08/13/2001 11:00PM

First crop of Louis Quatorze bears watching

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LAS VEGAS - Freshman sire Louis Quatorze will always be known for winning the 1996 Preakness Stakes over Skip Away and Editor's Note, but perhaps his finest effort was his second-place finish in the 1996 Breeders' Cup Classic to the older Alphabet Soup. Louis Quatorze finished ahead of Cigar, Mt. Sassafras, Formal Gold, Tamayaz, and Will's Way, among others, in that memorable race, and was robbed of further glory by a scant nose.

Louis Quatorze was a member of a very good crop that included Skip Away, Maria's Mon, Unbridled's Song, Grindstone, Editor's Note, Honour and Glory, Hennessy, Will's Way, Prince of Thieves, Storm Creek, Gold Fever, Victory Speech, Cavonnier, and Dr. Caton. In addition to his Preakness victory, Louis Quatorze also won the Jim Dandy Stakes at 3, and the Ben Ali Stakes and Creme Fraiche Handicap at 4. He finished second in the Futurity and Hopeful Stakes at 2, and was among the best of his generation at 3, finishing second in the Travers and Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, and third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Bred in the purple

Louis Quatorze has a royal pedigree to match his name. By the late Sovereign Dancer (a son of Northern Dancer out of Bold Princess, by Bold Ruler), he is out of the multiple stakes winner On to Royalty. On to Royalty captured the Bonnie Miss, Forward Gal, Beaumont, and Old Hat Stakes, and finished second in the Ashland and third in the Essex County Stakes. In addition to Louis Quatorze, she has also produced Gazelle Handicap winner Royal Indy (by A.P. Indy).

On to Royalty is by On to Glory, a half-brother to Ruffian, by Bold Lad, 1964 2-year-old champion and winner of the 1966 Metropolitan Handicap under 132 pounds. On to Royalty's dam is Royal Ties, who was something of a stakes-producing machine. Royal Ties produced On to Royalty's stakes-winning brother, Meritocrat, as well as stakes winner Silk Stocks (dam of stakes winner Silk Concorde), and stakes-placed Regal Ties (dam of stakes winner Kings Command). Royal Ties is also the dam of Thwack, the dam of multiple stakes winner, J J'sDream.

Louis Quatorze's third dam, New Love, was the dam of American Derby winner Determined King, but it's his fourth dam, Stavroula, that really raises eyebrows. Stavroula only placed in three starts, but was a full sister to Nashua, one of racing's immortal champions.

Most notably, Louis Quatorze is inbred to the legendary broodmare, Grey Flight, 3x5, through Bold Princess and Bold Lad. Grey Flight produced nine stakes winners, and this year's two leading sprinters, Kona Gold and Caller One, both trace directly in tail-female line to Grey Flight.

Unlike offspring of flashy first-crop sires such as Smoke Glacken, Open Forum, Matty G, and Valid Expectations, those of Louis Quatorze should be more effective as they mature, stretch out in distance, and try turf, even though their sire was a very good 2-year-old himself. His sire, Sovereign Dancer, was stakes-placed in France on the turf. Although he never raced on grass, Louis Quatorze should be an excellent sire of turf horses. In fact, the first winner from his first crop, the filly Seren Princess, out of the Conquistador Cielo mare, Sea of Serenity, won her only start on the turf at seven furlongs in Ireland on July 9. Four days later, Elway's Way, out of the Affirmed mare Dice Passer, won his five-furlong debut at Calder Race Course to become his first winner in this country.

As a dual-hemisphere stallion, Louis Quatorze was bred to a large book of mares in his initial year at stud and has 130 2-year-olds here and in Argentina. Some of the more noteworthy juveniles are listed below:

Blue Eyed Princess (filly out of Queen Alexandra, by Determined King): Inbred 4x3 to the influential producer New Love. Out of multiple stakes winning dam who earned over $1 million.

Canadian Peso (colt out of Lubianka, by Criminal Type): Dam is a half-sister to the dam of Catrail; tail-female family of Broodmare of the Year Cosmah and the family of Northern Dancer.

Cartier (filly out of Syncopize, by Baldski): Dam is a half-sister to stakes winner and sire, Fortunate Prospect.

Dance to Dawn (filly out of Expressive Dance, by Riva Ridge): Half-sister to Chief Honcho and American Dance, the dam of American Chance and Ophidian.

Global Power (colt out of Real Doll Dode, by In Reality): Female family of Striking and La Troienne.

Ship of the Line (colt out of Interclipse, by Interco): Inbred three times to influential producer, Bold Princess through her sons Sovereign Dancer and Intrepid Hero, and Madame Royale.

Sunday Swim (filly out of Swimming, by Nijinsky II): Third dam is 1965 Horse of the Year, Moccasin.

Trial Dancer (filly out of Trial Terms, by Private Terms): Inbred 4x4 to a superior broodmare Shenanigans, the dam of Ruffian, Icecapade, On to Glory, and Buckfinder.