06/07/2007 11:00PM

Friedmans get another golden moment

Email

The Pearl Necklace Stakes at Pimlico on June 2 shined a spotlight on one of Maryland's most remarkable horse-owning couples.

John and Virginia Friedman captured the attention of the racing world early in their career as owners, when a filly they bought at a Timonium yearling auction for $1,800 - Our Cheri Amour - won the 1971 Coaching Club American Oaks.

Since then, the Friedmans (John is 74, Virginia 73) have developed a steady succession of hard-hitting runners, including four stakes winners, in their modest mom-and-pop operation based at Bowie Training Center.

They won the Pearl Necklace this month, a race restricted to Maryland-bred 3-year-old fillies, with the only horse in their stable - Marias Golden Rose - whose victory earned her the distinction of a second-generation homebred stakes winner.

John Friedman worked as a firefighter in Washington, D.C., until his health was compromised by smoke inhalation during the citywide riots in 1968. Retired from duty, he ventured full time into breeding, owning and training horses with his wife.

Friedman recalls buying Marias Golden Rose's granddam, High Born Miss (1979, Stoic Spy), after spotting her in a field of fillies owned by his friend the late Charles Iler. High Born Miss was an unbroken 4-year-old at the time, but Friedman soon got her to the races, training her to win or place in 17 of 34 starts and earn $47,495.

The Friedmans live in Stevensville, Md., and board their broodmares at Shamrock Farms in Woodbine, Md. It was there that High Born Miss established herself as the Friedmans' foundation producer, delivering stakes winners Maria's Tiara (1995, Magic Prospect) and Domus Pacis (1990, Feel the Power).

Maria's Tiara won or placed in nine stakes during a career that spanned five years, and she earned $343,368.

Marias Golden Rose (by the late Maryland stallion Eastern Echo) is the second foal from Maria's Tiara.

The Pearl Necklace, her third win from 11 starts, boosted Marias Golden Rose's earnings to $92,860.

The Friedmans sold Maria's Tiara in foal to Polish Miner at the 2005 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December mixed sale, for the surprisingly low price of $4,300.

The market for broodmares was poor at the time, John Friedman said. Still, they were pressed to sell the mare because he had undergone seven knee surgeries and the medical bills were high.

The couple's current broodmare band consists of Marias Golden Rose's 4-year-old full sister, Easter Echo, who never raced but was bred this season to Fantasticat.

Soon to join them at Bowie is Maria's Tiara's 2-year-old son, Dancing Dove (by Outflanker).

Kline gets lucky with $200,000 filly

Luck was with Maryland breeder Alan Kline when a filly out of his mare Peace Tech attracted little interest among buyers at last year's Keeneland September yearling sale.

The filly, bred by Kline in a foaling-sharing arrangement with Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum's Kentucky operation Darley, is from the second crop of the Darley stallion Street Cry.

Street Cry's first crop, which includes Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, had yet to begin making his mark when Kline's Maryland-bred daughter went through the sales ring in September.

Kline brought the filly back home to his Honey Acres Farm in Boyds, Md., after buying her on his own account for $17,000.

"Darley wasn't interested in keeping any part of her," he said.

It was a different story at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May 2-year-olds in training sale, where Kline consigned the Street Cry filly with Randy Miles as agent.

She brought $200,000 - the most expensive Maryland-bred in the sale. Her buyer was Lawley-Wakelin Bloodstock.

The filly comes from a family that has had many earlier successes for Kline, a semi-retired accountant who maintains about a dozen broodmares at his farm.

Kline purchased the filly's granddam, Argentine racing star Yanina II, for $21,000, in foal to Stop the Music, at the 1978 Keeneland November sale. Yanina II's 1985 Icecapade filly Ice Tech became a graded winner for Kline, earning $270,921.

Peace Tech, born in 1987, is Yanina II's final foal. She was sired by Kline's home stallion Peace for Peace, a son of Hold Your Peace who won multiple stakes before retiring to stud at Honey Acres. Kline had high hopes for Peace for Peace, and was saddened when he died of a heart attack after covering his first mare of the season in 1989.

A dam of 14 foals, including stakes-placed Darnestown ($94,280) and allowance winners Ultra Tech ($102,400) and Senorita Rose ($90,398), Peace Tech is still in production at Honey Acres. She has a yearling colt by Deputy Commander, and this spring foaled a filly by Aptitude. She was bred to Not for Love for 2008.