02/08/2008 12:00AM

Hard Spun tops record year for millionaires


Pennsylvania breeders hit the jackpot in 2007. And for the biggest winners, slots-enriched purses were not a factor.

For the first time in history, three Pennsylvania-breds - all from the crop of 2004 - surpassed $1 million in earnings in a single year. When year-end championships were announced this past week by the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association, the trio - Hard Spun, Mrs. Lindsay, and Lucarno - were prominently featured on the list.

In naming its first-ever horse of the year, the PHBA selected the hard-trying, well-traveled Hard Spun, who topped all Pennsylvania-breds in 2007 with earnings of $2,572,500. He was also named champion 3-year-old male.

A son of Danzig, Hard Spun was bred by Michael Moran and Moran's mother, Elizabeth Moran, of Brushwood Stable. Campaigned by Richard Porter's Fox Hill Farms, Hard Spun was acquired privately by Porter from his breeders for $400,000 in 2005 after failing to reach his $485,000 reserve at the Keeneland September yearling sale.

Hard Spun won 4 of 10 starts, including the Grade 1 King's Bishop at Saratoga, and was second in the Kentucky Derby, Breeders' Cup Classic, and Haskell Invitational, and third in the Preakness. Hard Spun, now standing his first season at stud at Darley in Kentucky, retired with total earnings of $2,673,470, placing him fourth on the all-time Pennsylvania-bred earners list. Topping the list is Smarty Jones ($7,613,155).

Five Pennsylvania-breds won Grade 1 or Group 1 races in 2007. Mrs. Lindsay, a homebred for Bettina Jenney's Derry Meeting Farm, accounted for one on both sides of the Atlantic. With her determined victory in the $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine in October, she boosted her season earnings to $1,170,915. She is Pennsylvania's champion 3-year-old filly of 2007.

A French-based daughter of Theatrical, Mrs. Lindsay made six starts last year, five in France, and captured her first Group 1 in Longchamp's Prix Vermeille in September. Earlier in the season, she won the Group 3 Prix Penelope at Saint-Cloud and was second in the classic Prix de Diane (French Oaks).

Also making his mark in Europe was George Strawbridge's Augustin Stable homebred classic winner Lucarno, who capped off his 3-year-old campaign in September with a thrilling score in the Group 1 St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster in England and was named Pennsylvania-bred champion turf horse.

Lucarno also won the Group 2 Great Voltigeur and was second in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes. Unraced at 2, Lucarno (by Dynaformer) earned $1,033,373 from eight starts in 2007.

Master Command, a son of A.P. Indy bred by Brushwood Stable and owned by Aaron and Marie Jones, was one of the top handicap horses in the country early in the season as he reeled off three consecutive graded stakes victories, which contributed greatly to his $598,170 in earnings from five starts in 2007.

Earning the title of Pennsylvania's champion older male for the second consecutive year, Master Command retired to Taylor Made Stallions in Kentucky after amassing $1,137,188. He was the fourth statebred to surpass the $1 million mark in career earnings in 2007.

Walter Downey, racing in the name of Tea Party Stable, came up with his best runner ever when Fabulous Strike, by leading sire Smart Strike, dazzled in the sprint division, taking the Grade 1 Vosburgh and two other stakes from four starts. A finalist for the Eclipse Award, Fabulous Strike was the obvious choice for Pennsylvania's champion sprinter.

William Pape's homebred Mixed Up, trained by co-breeder Jonathan Sheppard, earned his second consecutive championship as the leading jumper, following a season in which he defeated 2007 Eclipse Award winner Good Night Shirt in the Grade 1 Royal Chase Hurdle Stakes.

Also recognized at the top of their divisions were Notgivinmyloveaway, 2-year-old male; Extra Sexy Psychic, 2-year-old filly; Grade 2 winner Redaspen, older female; and Speechifying, claiming horse of the year.

* Another historic mark was reached when the PHBA disbursed more than $13 million in 2007 from the breeding fund to breeders and owners of registered Pennsylvania-breds, and to the owners of sires of registered statebreds. The record nearly doubled that which was distributed in 2006.