06/23/2005 11:00PM

Giant's Causeway gets summer off

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Coolmore's hot young sire Giant's Causeway won't be on the shuttle taking the operation's stallions from Kentucky to Australia for Southern Hemisphere duty this season. The global breeding operation has announced that it will give the 8-year-old Giant's Causeway the summer off before he takes up his Northern Hemisphere duty again in 2006.

Giant's Causeway initially was scheduled to stand at Coolmore's Australian division for a fee of approximately $60,000. But a Coolmore release said that Giant's Causeway, a son of Storm Cat, "is to be rested following unprecedented demand for his services in Kentucky."

Giant's Causeway's North American fee at Ashford Stud this year was $200,000. Last year, the last year for which figures are available from The Jockey Club, Giant's Causeway covered 130 mares.

Giant's Causeway, a son of multiple graded winner Mariah's Storm (by Rahy), has gotten off to a remarkable start at stud. He is the sire of Shamardal, last year's European champion juvenile and winner of this month's Group 1 St. James's Palace Stakes at the Royal Ascot meet. That was Shamardal's third Group 1 victory of the season. Also among Giant's Causeway's progeny are Maids Causeway, who captured the Group 1 Coronation Stakes this season; Noble Causeway, the Florida Derby runner-up; and Footstepsinthesand, the 2000 Guineas winner, who will substitute for his sire on the Coolmore Australia stallion roster for the Southern Hemisphere season.

Mare's sale to benefit abused women, children

The owner of an Australian mare is making an unusual pitch to American-based Thoroughbred breeders: Privately buy her fashionably bred mare, and she will use about half the sale proceeds to fund two charities that aid abused women and children.

Janet Chapman, 30, is offering the winning Thunder Gulch mare Raindrop, who is in foal to the popular young sire Fusaichi Pegasus, for a $700,000 price tag (which includes shipment from Australia to California). If she reaches a deal with a buyer, Chapman has said she will give about half that to two organizations, Southern Community Welfare and Manna. The rest will cover the stud fee and miscellaneous expenses like board. Chapman believes Raindrop's pedigree will have particular appeal for American-based breeders, which is why, she says, she decided to promote the mare so far beyond Australia's borders.

Raindrop, a winner twice in 22 starts, is a 6-year-old daughter of Lucky Lucaya, a daughter of Chief's Crown whose immediate family includes such stakes winners as English champion 3-year-old filly Lailani and Group 1-placed Faithful Son and Punctilio.

Chapman bought Raindrop, a $29,250 yearling at the 2001 Magic Millions auction on Australia's Gold Coast, with fund-raising in mind. Since the purchase, Lailani emerged as a top-class runner. She is familiar to American racing interests as winner of the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational in 2001. Chapman hopes her exploits will add luster to Raindrop's pedigree and thereby benefit her two chosen charities. One of those groups - Manna - Chapman founded herself to provide meals for struggling single, new, and abused mothers and their children.

Though she does not disclose identities of any interested parties, Chapman says that "a couple of major U.S. farms" currently are considering the mare.

Lightning seen likely in death

Preliminary test results have confirmed that Group 1 winner Seeking the Pearl, who died on June 10 at Lane's End in Versailles, Ky., was almost certainly struck by lightning. The mare's death leaves her owners, Richard Santulli and George Prussin's Jayeff B Stables, with a pair of her fillies, one by Storm Cat and one by Giant's Causeway, in training with Alan Goldberg.

Reynolds Bell, the racing manager of Jayeff B, expressed high hopes for both fillies, noting that Seeking the Pearl's first foal, the 4-year-old Storm Cat colt Seeking the Dia, has won three stakes and more than $2 million in Japan. The colt, bred by Jayeff B, ended up in Japan somewhat unexpectedly. Jayeff B breeds for the market as well as to race, but it might well have retained Seeking the Dia if it hadn't received a substantial private offer from Japan, where Seeking the Pearl was a national heroine before Santulli and Prussin bought her.

"Since Seeking the Pearl left Japan, I can't tell you how many people have called me wanting to know where she was, how she was, who she was in foal to," Bell said. "We had a private offer on Seeking the Dia, and it was an opportunity you couldn't really pass up.

"At this point, we're probably more inclined to keep both the two fillies. Hopefully, one of both will give us the opportunity to have a replacement for Seeking the Pearl, though that would be very hard to do."

* The Sales Integrity Program, established in the wake of an industry panel's development of a code of ethics for bloodstock transactions, has launched a website at www.salesintegrity.org. The ethics code and sample agreements are available there, along with other features.

* Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky., has opened a Tokyo office to aid in customer communications with the nursery's Japanese clients. "Japan is a major market for us, and we wanted to express our appreciation for, and commitment to, their business," said Dan Rosenberg, president of Three Chimneys.