01/26/2006 12:00AM

Florida-breds likely to continue domination


Round four of the annual Sunshine Millions races between Florida-breds and California-breds once again appears to be heavily slanted toward the Sunshine State.

The overall results from the first three years of competition show 18 wins for Florida-breds and only six for Cal-breds.

The Floridians have swept all three previous runnings of the Distaff, Filly and Mare Sprint, and the Dash. Florida-breds have taken two out of three in four other divisions. Cal-breds hold a 2-1 edge only in the Filly and Mare Turf.

The Sprint marks the return to racing of the Mac Fehsenfeld-owned, Casey Seaman-bred Valid Video. A 6-year-old graded stakes winner, Valid Video won the inaugural running of this event three years ago and finished third two years ago. Valid Video is from the Valid Appeal stallion line and his dam is by the fleet sprinter Star Gallant. There is no shortage of Florida-bred talent in this race and one of several could get the job done.

The Oaks for 3-year-olds fillies has a prime candidate in Knights Templar. Competing mostly in Canada, Knights Templar was only 8-1 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Belmont last October, finishing sixth. Her sire, Exploit, was supposed to relocate to Cloverleaf Farms II last year but was purchased by Korean breeders and now stands in South Korea. Bully Bones is by Hesabull-Anniversary Wish, by Beau's Eagle. Anniversary Wish, once the property of Live Oak Stud, was sold to Meadowbrook Farms carrying Bully Bones for $5,500 at the 2003 Ocala Breeders' Sales fall mixed sale. Bully Bones is a two-time stakes winner from just four starts.

There are seven Florida-breds and only two Cal-breds in the Distaff. But one of the Cal-breds, Dream of Summer, is a formidable threat, having won the Grade 1 Apple Blossom and more than $1 million. In last year's Distaff she lost to Florida-bred Sweet Lips, a daughter of Kris S. who is back to defend her title. Another Florida-bred to watch is American Miss, a three-time stakes winner in 2005.

In the Turf, Silver Tree will try to pass the $1 million mark in earnings. He just needs to hit the board to accomplish the feat. A 6-year-old son of Hennessy out of the multiple stakes producer Blue Begum, by With Approval, Silver Tree has been competing with the best of his division and won the Grade 3 Tropical Park Handicap in his last start. He faces the 4-year-old Florida-bred Willow O Wisp, who prior to traveling to Hong Kong had won three consecutive stakes on the West Coast.

The Dash for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita has five Florida-breds and three Cal-breds - two of which have recorded triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures. The only Florida-bred with a Beyer of at least 100 is In Summation, the best 2-year-old sprinter at Calder last summer. He was favored in the one-mile Aventura Stakes at Gulfstream three weeks ago but ran out of gas in the deep stretch. In Summation is from the first crop of the sprinter Put It Back and is out of a Dayjur mare, so sprinting should be his forte.

The Californians start with a 10-3 advantage in the Filly and Mare Sprint. Double D Appeal could be Florida's best hope for a win here. A 4-year-old filly bred by McKathan Farm, Double D Appeal is from the first crop of Successful Appeal and out of the Diablo mare Wicked Diablo. Purchased for $120,000 at the OBS February sale in 2003, Double D Appeal is 2-1-2 in 5 starts, including a victory in the 2004 Hollywood Nursery with an 86 Beyer. Abounding Truth has a 103 Beyer and is a stakes winner. Hot Storm is the remaining Florida-bred.

The Filly and Mare Turf has six Florida-breds and seven Cal-breds entered. The 1 1/8-mile race has five who competed in this race last year, including defending champion Valentine's Dancer, a Cal-bred. Back to face her are Florida-breds Vous and Formal Miss, who were sixth and seventh a year ago, although beaten less than three lengths.

The Classic has 14 entries and half of them are Florida-breds. Buzzards Bay, winner of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, is a prime candidate. He's by the Florida-bred stallion Marco Bay. Trickey Trevor is a 7-year-old gelding by the sprinter-miler Demaloot Demashoot who has won 17 of 32 lifetime starts, including three stakes. B. B. Best is fast. He is a multiple stakes winner from the first crop of the millionaire sprinter Yes It's True, but B. B. Best's ability to compete at 1 1/8 miles may be a stretch.