10/28/2004 11:00PM

Fortune follows Move to Strike


Some horses bring a glow of success to everyone who owns them. Move to Strike, the Maryland-bred who ran the race of his life to capture the open Sonny Hine Stakes Oct. 16 at Pimlico, is just such a horse.

His breeder, Frankie L. Trull, considered Move to Strike (by Two Punch) well-sold when he brought $50,000 at the 2002 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale.

The next February, while still two months shy of his second birthday, Move to Strike brought $165,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company 2-year-olds in training sale, where he had the co-fastest furlong work, in 10 seconds.

Owned by Mike Gill, his purchaser at the Florida auction, Move to Strike has won 4 of his 10 career starts, including two stakes victories. Although his $114,380 in earnings falls short of the price Gill paid for him, Move to Strike appears to have some good races ahead. He gave a gutsy performance in the Sonny Hine, a six-furlong race. After charging off to an early lead and widening his advantage to six lengths just a furlong from the wire, Move to Strike fended off an unexpected late challenge from runner-up Wimplestiltskin, who blazed up on the outside and came within a nose at the wire.

The Sonny Hine was Move to Strike's first start for trainer Kenny Cox. He won the Star de Naskra Stakes against Maryland-breds at Pimlico last April while trained by Jerry Robb.

Trull said he is delighted with the way Move to Strike's career has unfolded. "We knew early that he would be a talented one," she said.

Move to Strike's dam, She's Catty (by Storm Cat), was purchased by Trull for $32,000, in foal to Citidancer, at the 1998 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic February mixed sale. She's Catty is one of two broodmares Trull keeps at her 20-acre Back Bay Farm in Middleburg, Va.

Move to Strike was foaled at Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City, Md., so he would be a Maryland-bred. "Obviously, that has paid off," said Trull.

Maryland-breds earn a breeder bonus each time they win a race in the state, and fortunately for Trull, all four of Move to Strike's wins have come in Maryland.

Trull bred two earlier foals from She's Catty, both modest winners. Move to Strike's 2-year-old half-sister, Satan's Cet (by Devil His Due), is still owned by Trull and recently joined the stable of trainer Graham Motion.

"The plan all along has been to keep the fillies and sell the colts," said Trull. "So far Move to Strike is the only colt I've had."

She's Catty lost her foals for 2003 and 2004 and recently aborted to the cover of Include. "I hope she didn't think Move to Strike was her crowning achievement and decide to quit," said Trull. She's Catty is booked back to Devil His Due.

Trull, who operates her own government relations firm, Policy Directions Inc., has been an avid foxhunter for many years. She showed hunters before deciding to "try her hand" in Thoroughbred racing, and she continues to show American Saddlebreds.

With such an excellent strike rate at the racetrack, is Trull now poised to expand her operation?

"My attitude toward the business has always been good," she said. "The bad part is that you can only have so many horses on a 20-acre farm."