02/02/2007 12:00AM

Four N.Y.-breds earn Experimental ranking

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Four New York-breds were weighted on the Experimental Free Handicap for 2006, topped by the filly Chestoria and the colt Admiral Bird.

Both youngsters were bred and foaled at Dr. Doug Koch's Berkshire Stud in Pine Plains, N.Y.

In order to be considered for ranking, a

2-year-old must finish fourth or better in a graded or unrestricted event with an added value of at least $75,000. The handicap assigns weights for a hypothetical

2-year-old race at 1 1/16 miles on dirt.

Champions Street Sense and Dreaming of Anna topped their respective classes at 127 pounds and 123 pounds.

Chestoria, rated at 111 pounds among fillies, is owned by E El R Stable of Richard Balfour of Springfield, N.J., who bought her for $40,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training from Fair Hill Bloodstock.

Chestoria won the Miss Grillo Stakes on the Belmont Park turf.

By Chester House, she is out of R D Fille, a daughter of Dixieland Band who is a half-sister to international campaigner Talloires, winner of the Grade 2 Caesars Palace Turf Championship.

Admiral Bird, purchased by Dogwood Stable for $250,000 at the Keeneland April 2-year-olds in training sale, was a turf winner at Saratoga and Keeneland last year for that outfit.

Rated at 105 pounds, he placed in the With Anticipation Stakes at the Spa, and the Woodford Reserve Bourbon Stakes on the Keeneland Polytrack surface after it was rained off the grass.

Admiral Bird, by Royal Academy, is out of the Mt. Livermore mare Sea Puffin, who is a half-sister to the dam of top New York-bred runners Private Emblem and Rhum.

Chief Officer, purchased by Zayat Stable for $230,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March 2-year-olds in training sale, was rated at 102 pounds.

Bred by Becky Thomas's Sequel 2003 and Lynda Richter of Florida and foaled at Lakland North LLC (now Sequel Stallions New York) in Hudson, she is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Ready to Please.

Her dam is the Pine Bluff mare Guilty Pleasure, a daughter of Beaumont Stakes winner Exquisite Mistress.

Chief Officer won the New York Breeders Futurity and placed in the Grade 2 Schuylerville Stakes, earning $262,076 to top New York-bred juveniles in that category.

What a Tale, purchased by Thomas Van Meter II for $750,000 at the Keeneland April 2-year-old sale, was rated at 102 pounds among the males.

Owned in partnership by Van Meter and Maurice Miller, he placed in the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs.

What a Tale was bred and foaled at Howard Kaskel's Sugar Maple Farm in Poughquag, N.Y., and is a half-brother to New York-breds Quatre Dix Neuf and Mischievously, both six-figure earners.

By Tale of the Cat, he is out of Mrs. Filio, by Eastern Echo, whose dam is stakes winner and graded-stakes-placed Mrs. Flagler.

Mrs. Flagler is out of multiple Grade 1 winner Mrs. Warren.

Artax to stand at Keane for $6,500

Artax, winner of the Breeders' Cup Sprint and sire of Grade 1 winner Friendly Michelle, will stand the 2007 breeding season at Keane Stud in Amenia, N.Y.

The son of Hollywood Gold Cup winner Marquetry will stand for a fee of $6,500.

In addition to the Sprint, Artax also

posted Grade 1 victories in the Vosburgh Stakes and Carter Handicap as a 4-year-old.

He was successful at two turns, winning the Grade 2 San Felipe and Grade 3 Santa Catalina stakes as a 3-year-old, defeating eventual Kentucky Derby winner Real Quiet in the former.

On the board in 19 of 25 starts, Artax earned $1,685,840.

Artax is out of Raging Apalachee, a daughter of Apalachee who is a half-sister to the stakes winner and good producer Fagers Charm. This family includes Tout Charmant, winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks and placed in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

In addition to Friendly Michelle, winner of the Prioress Stakes, Artax is also the sire of stakes winners Diabolical, Gimme Credit, and R Fast Lady.

The third-leading New York sire of 2006 with progeny earnings of $2,612,657, his career total through 2006 for four crops is $6.7 million.

Keane Stud is also home to sires Smokin Mel and True Direction.

Winner of the Grade 2 Gotham Stakes, Smokin Mel stands for a fee of $2,500.

Fall Highweight Handicap winner True Direction, by French Deputy, stands for $3,000, and his first foals arrive this year.