Updated on 09/15/2011 1:39PM

Freshmen sires: E - I


LAS VEGAS - This is the third article in a series on the freshman stallions of 2002 (sires whose first crop will be 2-year-olds next year), with particular emphasis on how to bet their offspring.

Elusive Quality (Gone West). There are many stallions in the $10,000 stud fee range, but one of the most attractive freshman sires at this fee is Elusive Quality. Although he didn't win a stakes until age 5, he always showed ability, finishing second to Honour and Glory in the King's Bishop Stakes at 3 and finishing third in the Tom Fool Handicap at 4.

As a 4-year-old, he set a seven-furlong track record at Gulfstream Park, winning an allowance in 1:20 flat. In his only two stakes victories (on turf) at 5, he dazzled, winning the Jaipur Handicap in 1:20.99 and then setting a world record for one mile on the turf, 1:31.63, winning the Poker Handicap at Belmont Park.

Elusive Quality inherited his speed from Gone West, and his female family produced a 2-year-old champion, Anees. Elusive Quality's yearlings sold well and are expected to be good at 2, from five furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. Given the opportunity, they will be even better on turf.

Favorite Trick (Phone Trick). Undefeated in eight starts at 2, Favorite Trick was not only champion 2-year-old, he was also Horse of the Year. Unrealistic expectations to negotiate classic distances at 3 diminished his reputation, but make no mistake about it: Favorite Trick has the tools to sire quality sprinter/milers.

While Favorite Trick stretched out to win at 1 1/8 miles, that was his absolute limit, and his runners will be much more effective up to one mile. His 2-year-olds should have speed and be win-early types.

Formal Gold (Black Tie Affair). Unraced at 2, Formal Gold wowed the racing world in his 3-year-old debut, winning by 18 3/4 lengths at Monmouth Park. Stakes-placed at 3 in the Buick Meadowlands Cup Handicap and Pennsylvania Derby, he developed into a formidable handicap star at 4. In 1997, he defeated the next year's Horse of the Year, Skip Away, in the Woodward Stakes, Donn Handicap, and Philip H. Iselin Handicap. In winning the Iselin by 5 1/4 lengths, Formal Gold set a Monmouth Park track record, running the 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.20.

He also captured the Brooklyn Handicap, finished second in the Whitney and Massachusetts Handicap and third in the Suburban Handicap. Expect his runners to have speed, be especially effective on off tracks, and be able to carry their speed to middle distances.

Gentlemen (Robin des Bois). A stunning physical specimen, Gentlemen was a champion at 3 in Argentina and imported to the United States at 4, when he won the Citation and Bay Meadows Handicap on the turf as well as the Native Diver Handicap on dirt. His best season came at 5, when he won the Pacific Classic, Hollywood Gold Cup, Pimlico Special, and San Antonio Stakes.

Gentlemen had high speed on dirt and turf, and his runners should be effective on dirt, but may be especially gifted on turf. Both his sire line (Robin des Bois) and damsire line (Loose Cannon) trace to Northern Dancer, which is usually a strong recipe for grass.

Grand Slam (Gone West). While Grand Slam was able to win the Peter Pan Stakes at 1 1/8 miles, he was essentially a miler with blazing speed. He won the Champagne Stakes and Futurity Stakes at 2, and finished second to Reraise in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at 3. Like Elusive Quality, he is by speed influence Gone West, and his female family produced Alydar.

Grand Slam yearlings were well received and commanded high prices at auction this year. Expect his juveniles to win early and often on all surfaces, and be very effective if they show up on turf. Grand Slam is one of this year's "hidden turf" freshman sires; a stallion whose success was achieved on dirt but was also bred to be good on turf. Strong turf influences Gone West, El Gran Senor (Northern Dancer), and Key to the Mint (Graustark) are found up close in his pedigree.

Indian Charlie (In Excess). Indian Charlie is a great example of what happens when a stallion is finally mated to a mare of quality. His sire, In Excess, was a serious racehorse, and his many stakes victories included the Woodward Stakes, Metropolitan Handicap, Suburban Handicap, and Whitney Handicap. In Excess was predominantly bred to a book of modest California-bred mares and was known for siring brilliant (speed) statebred runners. When bred to stakes winner Soviet Sojourn, a mare of quality, however, In Excess sired Indian Charlie and proved he could produce a stakes horse worthy of competing on the national stage.

Indian Charlie won the Santa Anita Derby and finished third in the Kentucky Derby, his final race. His runners should be excellent juveniles, possessing good speed. Unless out of mares by stamina influences, they will be most effective from five to seven furlongs.