05/30/2002 11:00PM

Fourth straight Floridian Met Miler


For the fourth consecutive year, a Sunshine State-bred has won the prestigious Metropolitan Handicap. The streak began with Sir Bear (by Sir Leon) in 1999. Then followed Yankee Victor (by Saint Ballado) in 2000, Exciting Story (by Diablo) last year, and Swept Overboard (by End Sweep) this year.

Exciting Story and Swept Overboard were bred by Harry T. Mangurian Jr.'s Mockingbird Farm.

Like parents, like son is a case that can be made for Swept Overboard. End Sweep was a graded stakes winning sprinter who by and large gets sprinter-milers. Swept Overboard's dam, Sheer Ice, is a gray daughter of the late Cutlass, also known as a sire of sprinter-milers. Sheer Ice did most of her campaigning in Florida in the mid-1980's and retired as a multiple sprint stakes winner of close to a half-million dollars.

Saint Ballado, the sire of Yankee Victor, has relocated to Kentucky, while End Sweep and Diablo are now in the Far East. Only Sir Leon still stands in Florida, and he was bred sparingly this year, according to Bill Allen, manager of Farnsworth Farms.

"He's 20 years old," said Allen, "but he sure does not look it. He gets his mares in foal, and usually with one cover.

"If this were the old days when more breeders raced their horses, I am sure Sir Leon would have had far more opportunities. But, let's face it, his get do not come around early, and this hurts him with breeders who go to the sales."

Ladies Din nearing $2 million

Barbara LaCroix's Meadowbrook Farm homebreds usually race on the West Coast. On Memorial Day, a Meadowbrook Farm homebred, Ladies Din, elevated his lifetime earnings to $1.9 million when he won Hollywood Park's Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile. Ladies Din is a 7-year-old gelded son of Din's Dancer, who stood at Meadowbrook Farm before his death some years ago. Ladies Din's dam, the Kris S. matron Ladies Double, is still a Meladowbrook Farm producer. She has a yearling by the Meadowbrook Farm stallion Star of Valor and was shipped to Kentucky this season to be bred to Five Star Day.

Fonz's places in Barrera

The partnership of Anderson and Meadowbrook Farm races Fonz's, a 3-year-old son of the former Meadowbrook Farm stallion Out of Place.

Fonz's, bred by Karen Ward in Florida, was a juvenile stakes winner with classic hopes. He is a better sprinter-miler, however, and he showed this when finishing second by a neck in the seven-furlong Laz Barrera Memorial Stakes, a Grade 2 also run at Hollywood Park this past weekend.

Emergency Status wires at 55-1

The Jersey Derby, run on Memorial Day elevated another Floridian to graded stakes-winning status.

The Ivory & Senkovich-bred Emergency Status, a son of Academy Award, was sold 11 months earlier at the Ocala Breeders Sale June auction of 2 year-olds in training for $30,000.

Emergency Status wired the field in the Jersey Derby, scoring a three-length victory and returning $112.20 to win.

o Meanwhile, at Lone Star Park, Outflanker, the young stallion by Danzig standing at Cloverleaf Farm II, got his fourth stakes winner from his first crop, making him Florida's leader in this category. Regiment, bred by Betty King and raced by The Thoroughbred Corp, won the $200,000 Diamond A USA Stakes.