07/18/2002 11:00PM

First crops off to solid 2002 starts

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Florida's freshman stallions are off to a promising start. Midway through July, Concerto, by Chief's Crown, standing at Ocala Stud, leads the division with three winners from eight starters, including the stakes-placed Collymore Hall. His get have earned $88,887.

Lucky Lionel, who stands at Adena Springs, South, has three winners from seven starters including the stakes-placed Lucky Magnus. Progeny earnings for Lucky Lionel, a son of Mt. Livermore, are currently at $84,871.

Rounding out the top three is Double Honor. A son of Gone West standing at Farnsworth Farms, he has three winners from four starters in the United States and another, Jasimine, who won her debut in Italy last month. Fly Honor Fly, second in the Prairie Gold Stakes at Prairie Meadows, is his black-type earner.

Four other stallions are among those who have sired winners. Diligence, a gray son of Miswaki standing at Hartley-De Renzo Thoroughbreds, has two winners from four starters, including the stakes-placed Worker Man. Northern Afleet, by Afleet, and Semoran, by Phone Trick, stand at Double Diamond Farm. Northern Afleet has three winners from seven starters, while Semoran has two winners from four to race. Traitor, by Cryptoclearance, who stands at Meadowbrook Farm, has a winner from two starters.

Mecke's offspring heating up

Mecke, at Ocala Stud, was somewhat slow off the mark as a juvenile sire. He had only one restricted stakes winner in his first two crops, and his average earnings per runner was roughly $20,000. This year, however, is another ball game. A 10-year-old son of Maudlin, Mecke has nine runners to date, seven of them have won, and two are stakes-placed.

Mecke's 2-year-old progeny earnings of near $250,000 rank him first in Florida and among the top 10 nationally.

Tactical Advantage, by Forty Niner, is usually well up there in both state and national rankings. A resident of Marablue Farm, he has six juvenile winners from 16 starters. including the stakes winner Crowned Dancer. His near-$200,000 in earnings rank him second in Florida and among the top 20 nationally. Rounding out the current top three juvenile sires is Eltish, by Cox's Ridge. This 10-year-old stallion, standing at Live Oak Stud, is the sire of El Ruler, a stakes winner of $114,465 from three runners to date.

Halo's Image, whose get have been knocking at the stakes door, broke the ice with Libby's Halo, who won a $59,700 overnight black-type stakes at Delaware Park last week. Libby's Halo was bred and is owned by Art Appleton of Bridlewood Farm, the residence of Halo's Image.

Zamindar, a son of Gone West who stands at Marablue Farm, is a year away from his first North American crop being at the races. Meanwhile, his European-bred runners are excelling. From his first crop came Zenda, winner of the French 1000 Guineas, and when Reed Minder, like Zenda owned and raced by Juddmonte Farm, won a rich maiden race at Maisons-Laffitte, it was winner number 13 from the first crop of the stallion. Reed Minder has been to the races sic times with a record of 1-4-1.