02/20/2004 12:00AM

Graded wins for statebreds rose in 2003

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The recently published Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association's annual statistical review for 2003 shows it was a reasonably good year for the state. Florida-breds won 314 stakes races, 62 of them graded. The previous year, the homebreds won 312 stakes with 51 of them graded. Overall earnings for Florida-breds, however, declined more than 3 percent, from $187 million to $180 million.

Florida's leading breeders were Harry T. Mangurian Jr. and his Mockingbird Farm, followed by the late John Franks and Farnsworth Farms. The Mangurian-Mockingbird Farm combination's $9.8 million in Florida-bred earnings is a remarkable feat, as the Mockingbird dispersals of 1999 and 2000 for all intents and purposes ended the Mangurian-Mockingbird era. Franks Farms bested Mike Sherman's Farnsworth Farms for the second spot, $8.2 million to $7.8 million.

The breeders and owners association's stallion awards amounted to $784,241, down from $988,225 in 2002. Halo's Image, standing at Bridlewood Farm, led the list of award-earners with $75,000, much of it generated by Sir Oscar, who was undefeated in six starts as a 2-year-old last year. The veteran Skip Trial, also standing at Bridlewood, was the runner-up with $70,000 in awards and Mecke at Ocala Stud came in third with $61,700.

Breeders awards for 2003 came in at $6,006,581, down slightly from $6,079,826 in 2002. Farnsworth Farms led this list with $376,732 in premiums, followed by Mockingbird Farm with $162,911. John Franks's homebreds came in third with $158,205.

Montbrook (Ocala Stud) was the state's leading sire. His get, headed by the crack graded-stakes-winning sprinter Shake You Down ($829,160), earned $3.9 million. At auction during the year, 17 yearlings by Montbrook averaged $63,117 and 24 2-year-olds in training averaged $133,750. Second to Montbrook was the late Notebook. His progeny earned $3.5 million, headed by Grade 1 winner Spoken Fur ($670,630). Ten yearlings went through the sales for an average of $56,200 and 11 2-year-olds in training averaged $69,590. Tour d'Or, at Irish Acres Farm, was third in progeny earnings with just under $3 million. The graded stakes winning Tour of the Cat was his best earner ($351,070), and he had five yearlings average $45,200 and one 2-year-old in training sell for $30,000.

Halo's Image (by Halo) was the leading juvenile sire in terms of earnings. His chief earner was Sir Oscar, whose sweep of the Florida Stallion Stakes series helped to add $528,800 to his sire's overall progeny earnings of $892,481. Double Honor, at Farnsworth Farms, led in the most winners category with 43 starters and 26 winners amassing earnings of $608,360. Double Honor is the sire of the 2-year-old stakes winner Usual Manner, who earned $86,123.

Hidden Point Farm is the home of Family Calling (Mr. Prospector), Florida's leading freshman sire. Family Calling had 42 starters, 19 winners, and earnings of $597,346. Precocity, standing at Franks Farms, came in second with 10 winners from 18 runners and eranings of $327,103.

* The second of two Fasig-Tipton under-tack shows for Tuesday's sale of 2-year-olds in training at Calder Race Course will be held Sunday. "We have a new wrinkle for the Sunday under tack show," said Terence Collier, Fasig Tipton's director of marketing. "For the first time at one of these Florida sales of 2 year-olds in training, consignors may choose to work their horses on the Calder turf course. This gives them an added dimension to show to the buyers."

* Don Dizney of Double Diamond Farm was elected president of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners' Association this past Tuesday, succeeding Harold J. Plumley who stepped down citing health reasons. It will be the third term Dizney has served as president of the group.

Plumley will remain on the associaton's board but is resigning his board membership with the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company.