09/06/2007 11:00PM

Grand Slam filly first Maryland-bred in Keeneland sale

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Eager anticipation. Heart-pounding tension. Jaw-dropping results. It's not only the races that can stir the senses. Watching elite yearlings go through the auction ring also creates excitement, and the first days of Keeneland's 15-day September yearling sale offer the biggest fireworks of year.

Three Maryland-bred yearlings - a colt and two fillies - can be seen on the first day of the sale Monday, the first of two days that HRTV will telecast live, beginning at 10 a.m.

The first Maryland-bred in the ring will be Hip No. 150, a dark bay Grand Slam filly who is the first foal of stakes winner Perilous Night (by Coronado's Quest). The Grand Slam filly, from a family developed by longtime leading Maryland breeder Robert Meyerhoff, is out of a half-sister to world-record-setting sprinter Procreate. The yearling's granddam is graded stakes winner Broad Smile (by Broad Brush); Grade 1 winner Wings of Jove is her third dam. Meyerhoff's Fitzhugh LLC is the Grand Slam filly's breeder.

Fitzhugh LLC is also the breeder of Hip No. 172, a gray/roan filly by Unbridled's Song out of the Storm Cat mare Rose Queen, a half-sister to four stakes horses, including Meyerhoff's homebred stakes winners Clash by Night ($624,194) and Brushing Gloom ($476,600). Also in the family is Grade 1 winner Tactile. Both fillies are consigned with Taylor Made Sales Agency.

Richard Golden's Sycamore Hall Farm LLC bred a Smart Strike colt out of Grade 1 winner Tenski (by Polish Numbers) who sells as Hip No. 216 with Eaton Sales. The colt is from the family of Pennsylvania Derby winner Love of Money and Canadian graded stakes winner Sheila's Prospect.

A total of 59 Maryland-bred yearlings were entered in the sale. The majority of them sell the first week and are by such sires as Distorted Humor, Harlan's Holiday, Hennessy, Johannesburg, Malibu Moon, More Than Ready, Mr. Greeley, Pleasantly Perfect, Silver Deputy, Smoke Glacken, Speightstown, and Tiznow. Last year, Maryland-bred juvenile star Ready's Image (by More Than Ready) was sold by his breeder, David and JoAnn Hayden's Dark Hollow Farm, for $410,000 as Hip No. 1569 during the sale's fifth session.

Four Maryland-bred yearlings are by Northview Stallion Station's Not for Love, the state's leading sire, who has 12 yearlings in the catalog. Other Maryland sires represented are Two Punch and Lion Hearted (both stand at Northview); first-year sires Domestic Dispute (Northview) and Bowman's Band (Maryland Stallion Station); and freshman sires Rock Slide and Seeking Daylight (both at Maryland Stallion Station).

Maryland's freshman sires

Rock Slide remains at the top of Maryland's freshman sires list after his undefeated daughter Happy Hailey got her second win, at Delaware Park on Sept.o3. Bred and owned by John Salzman and trained by Tim Salzman, Happy Hailey became Rock Slide's first winner when she scored at Pimlico in April.

Rock Slide, a graded-stakes-winning son of A.P. Indy out of Broodmare of the Year Prospectors Delite (by Mr. Prospector) who stands at Maryland Stallion Station, is a year-older full brother to Horse of the Year Mineshaft, whose first foals also are racing this year. Ranked ahead of his younger brother on the national standings, Rock Slide has sired two winners from six starters.

Second among Maryland's freshman sires is Country Life Farm's Parker's Storm Cat, who has three winners from five starters. A son of Storm Cat, Parker's Storm Cat is a half-brother to the former Country Life stallion Malibu Moon.

Other Maryland first-year sires with winners are Maryland Stallion Station's Seeking Daylight (Seeking the Gold-Play all Day, by Steady Growth) and Country Life Farm's No Armistice (Unbridled-Ataentsic, by Hold Your Peace). No Armistice is the first of the freshman sires with a stakes horse - his daughter Valin Time, who ran third in the Colonial Downs Tippett Stakes in July.

St Averil a shuttle stallion

Among the stallions in quarantine in Australia because of an outbreak of equine influenza is Maryland Stallion Station's St Averil, a 6-year-old son of Saint Ballado whose first foals arrived this year.

St Averil, the first Maryland stallion to stand a dual season in Australia, is at the Spotswood quarantine facility in the Melbourne area of Victoria. The breeding season in Australia has been delayed due to the outbreak of equine influenza in the New South Wales region, but there have been no reported cases of influenza at the Spotswood facility after two rounds of tests.

A graded stakes winner out of top-class race mare Avie's Fancy, St Averil will stand at Marshal Boyd's Goodwood Park in Allora in the southern area of Queensland. He is expected to cover more than 100 mares once the breeding season gets under way.