09/18/2003 11:00PM

First-crop stallions ready to make mark


The success of Florida's yearling auction last month is attributed to the demand for the get of Florida's new stallions, who ultimately generated yearling averages many times their respective stud fees. The Ocala Breeders Sales Co.'s fall mixed sale, which starts Oct. 13, has another group of Florida stallions ready to make their mark. These are the graded stakes winning stallions whose first foals are weanlings.

Weanlings, 461 of them, make up 37 percent of the 1,235 horses cataloged for the OBS October auction. Sixty-five of these weanlings are the get of first-crop stallions, nine of whom were graded stakes-winning racehorses.

Padua Stables stands two of these stallions: Delaware Township (Montbrook) and Exchange Rate (Danzig). "We are very pleased with the foals of both," said Padua's farm manager, Bruce Hill. "Exchange Rate is throwing clean, scopey-type horses with a lot of substance. Delaware Township, as one might expect, is throwing somewhat more blocky-type individuals than Exchange Rate."

Exchange Rate was bred to 64 mares in 2002, and while it's too early to tally any 2003 stallion's foal crop, there should be about 50 get of Exchange Rate. Eleven of these are cataloged for the coming sale.

Delaware Township covered 73 mares, and 12 foals of his get are cataloged.

Ocala Stud's syndicated Trippi (End Sweep) is a sprinter-miler who won the Grade 1 Vosburgh Stakes and the Grade 2 Tom Fool Handicap. His win in the Tom Fool came a year before Exchange Rate's victory in the same race, and his victory in the Vosburgh was over a field that included Delaware Township. Trippi covered 102 mares in 2002, and four of these foals have been cataloged for October.

Flame Thrower (Saint Ballado) won three graded races as a 2-year-old: the Grade 2 Del Mar Futurity, the Grade 2 Norfolk Stakes, and the Grade 3 Best Pal Stakes. The next year, his two-race campaign included a second to the Bridlewood Farm 3-year-old Put it Back (Honour and Glory) in the Grade 2 Riva Ridge Stakes at Belmont. Flame Thrower, who stands at Cloverleaf Farms II, was bred to 74 mares last year, and seven of his progeny are cataloged. Put it Back has two weanling colts cataloged from his first crop.

Lexicon (Conquistador Cielo), who stands at Meadowbrook Farm, was an accomplished graded-stakes-winning sprinter on the West Coast and earned more than $800,000. He survived the tragic barn fire that killed a number of stallions at Meadowbrook this past year. Lexicon was bred to 51 mares in 2002, and four colts are being offered at the coming sale.

Snuck In (Montbrook), unlike many from the Montbrook line, preferred distances of a mile or more. Snuck In won two legs of the Florida Stallion Stakes series and finished second in the third leg. As a 3-year-old, Snuck In won the Grade 3 Rebel Stakes at 1 1/16 miles and finished second to Graeme Hall in the Grade 2 Arkansas Derby at 1 1/8 miles. Snuck In stands at Cloverleaf Farm II, where he was bred to 93 mares last year. He has five weanlings cataloged.

Songandaprayer (Unbridled's Song) has much in common with his sire. Both were precocious, stakes-winning 2-year-olds, and both were Grade 1 stakes winners at 3.

Songandaprayer, syndicated and standing at Marablue Farm, covered 79 mares his first season, and seven of the resulting foals have been cataloged for OBS October.

Two additional first-crop stallions with get in the sale are Cloud Hopping (Mr. Prospector) and Middlesex Drive (Pine Bluff).

Middlesex Drive was versatile. Early on, he won on the dirt and finished second in the Tampa Bay Derby. Switched to the turf, Middlesex Drive developed into a top-tier middle-distance grass specialist, winning the Grade 2 Kelso at Belmont, the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch at Saratoga, and the Grade 2 Dixie at Pimlico. He has a filly cataloged for the auction.

Cloud Hopping did all of his racing in England but was injured after his maiden win. He is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Skimming. Cloud Hopping's 13 weanlings, cataloged from a book of 58,S is the largest total from among the new stallions.