01/27/2005 1:00AM

Florida's best by pedigree


The Sunshine Millions, matching Florida-breds and California-breds, is not the first time Florida-breds have competed with regional rivals. In the late 1940's, Florida-breds competed with Caribbean-breds in a series of races at Hialeah.

In the beginning, the Caribbean-breds won the older-division races, but Florida-breds showed what was to come when they swept the 2-year-old races several years running. By the time the 1950's came along, the Sunshine State team had overwhelmed its Caribbean competition and the contests were history.

Florida has won the first two rounds in the competition with the Californians, but may have a hard time retaining its dominance this year.

Here is a look at the breeding of some of Florida's top contenders.

Classic: The top money earners among the 14 entered in the field are Floridians Supah Blitz ($970,610) and Classic Endeavor ($715,153). The top Cal-bred earner is Cozy Guy ($352,224). Classic Endeavor, from the Buckpasser sire line, is a half-brother to B. B. Best, who competes in the Dash.

Distaff: There are five from each state in the field for this race. Redoubled Miss, the leading Florida-bred money-earner of this field ($629,839), also comes from the Buckpasser line. Redoubled Miss was bred and is raced by Centaur Farm.

Filly-Mare Sprint: There are only six in this field, three from each state. Bear Fan ($688,150), by Pine Bluff, and Cyber Slew ($327,215), by Siberian Summer, lead the California team. The much-traveled Mooji Moo, winner of this race last year, heads the Florida squad. Mooji Moo is a Farnsworth Farms-bred daughter of Jeblar, who traces to Raise a Native through Alydar.

Filly-Mare Turf: Florida-breds outnumber their Cal-bred rivals entered in this event, 8 to 5. What the Cal-breds lack in numbers they more than make up in class. Moscow Burning, a daughter of Moscow Ballet (by Nijinsky II), has been competing at the highest level. The Cal-bred Valentine Dancer is a granddaughter of Siberian Express, who stood in Florida in the 1990's at Art Appleton's Bridlewood Farm.

Oaks: Florida-breds outnumber Californians in this one, 7 to 5. Two of the Florida-breds, Running Bobcats (Running Stag) and Hello Lucky (Lucky Lionel), were bred and foaled at Frank Stronach's Adena Springs South. Running Stag (Cozzene) was presumed to be a middle-distance sort of a sire, but his get have shown considerable versatility. Lucky Lionel, from the Blushing Groom line, is another who carries the genes for stamina, yet has been a successful 2-year-old sire. Cal-breds Memorette (Memo) and Short Route (Mud Route) are by stallions who excelled as race horses.

Sprint: Nine of the 13 entered in this race are Cal-breds. The Ocala Stud-bred Shake You Down is the only millionaire among the Florida-breds. Shake You Down is a 7-year-old gelding by Florida's oft-leading sire Montbrook, who is another from the sire line of Buckpasser. California also has a millionaire in the Sprint, Full Moon Madness, who is a 10-year-old by the Riverman stallion Half a Year.

Turf: Seven from each state were entered in this race. The leading money-earner of the group is the 9-year-old Cal-bred Continental Red. Star Over the Bay, among the top Florida-breds in the field, was sired by Cozzene and foaled in Florida by Four Horsemen's Ranch. The Florida-bred Silver Tree is by the Kentucky-based stallion Hennessy and is out of the multiple graded stakes producer Blue Begum, by With Approval.

Dash: Florida has 8 of the 10 in this race. B. B. Best is by Yes It's True, Florida's leading freshman sire last year who was relocated to Kentucky. B. B. Best will have to run the best race of his career to beat his fellow Florida-bred and heavy favorite Lost in the Fog, who is by Lost Soldier.