07/13/2001 12:00AM



1. Playfellow attracted huge attention because he was a son of Fair Play out of Mahubah, making him a full brother to Man o' War.

As a 3-year-old in 1921, Playfellow finally rattled off two wins within four days in one-mile races at Belmont Park. In the second win, his time was a blistering 1:36.80.

The superlatives began to flow and offers for the horse came in fast and furious. The Rancocas Stud of Harry Sinclair purchased Big Red's full brother from Fred Johnson for $100,000.

But Playfellow was a bust. After he finished a well-beaten eighth in his second start for Rancocas, trainer Sam Hildreth announced that the colt was a "cribber" and called for him to be returned to his previous owner.

Months of legal battles followed. Johnson was finally forced by the courts to take the horse back and return the $100,000 to Rancocas. The court's ruling established a precedent for the guarantee of good faith in the sale of horseflesh that exists to this day.

2. Vice Regent and Danzig are the only two non-stakes-winning horses in history to each sire more than 100 stakes winners.

Vice Regent, a foal of 1967, won two of five career starts and retired with earnings of only $6,215. He went on to sire 105 stakes winners before his death in 1997. Vice Regent sired U.S. champion Deputy Minister and three champions in Canada.

Danzig, a foal of 1977, was undefeated in three lifetime starts - a maiden and two allowance races. To date, he has sired nearly 160 stakes winners. Danzig stands at Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky. Among his offspring are champions Chief's Crown, Dance Smartly, and Dayjur.

3. At the inaugural Keeneland summer sale in 1943, a colt who later would be named Hoop Jr. was sold to Fred W. Hooper for $10,200.

On June 9, 1945, Hoop Jr. won the 71st Kentucky Derby by six lengths. (In 1945, the federal government shut down all racing from Jan. 2 until May 16, resulting in the Derby being run in June that year.)

In 1954, Hasty Road, purchased by Hasty House Farm for $23,100, outfought Correlation to the wire to become the first Keeneland sales graduate to win the Preakness.

That same year, High Gun, bought by the King Ranch for $10,200, got up in the last few strides to become the first Keeneland sales graduate to win the Belmont Stakes.

4. Majestic Prince, who two years earlier had been purchased at the Keeneland July sale for a world-record $250,000, won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 1969. Owned by Frank McMahon, Majestic Prince was 9 for 9 following his win in the Preakness.

Four months later, a nearly ignored colt, Canonero II, was sold at the Keeneland September sale for $1,200 to Luis Navas, agent for Don Pedro Baptista of Caracas, Venezuela.

Canonero II (who opened in Agua Caliente's Winter Derby Future Book at 500-1 and closed at 100-1) won the 1971 Kentucky Derby. Like Majestic Prince, he also won the Preakness. Unlike Majestic Prince, Canonero II was voted champion 3-year-old.

5. Arthur Hancock Sr. only intended to sell one filly when he sent two into the sales ring at Keeneland in July 1944. He wanted to sell one and keep the other, but he couldn't make up his mind.

Cosmetics magnate Elizabeth Arden made the winning bid of $22,000. She selected the filly by Stimulus.

The underbidder, Fred W. Hooper, approached Hancock and asked to buy the other filly (by Sir Gallahad III) at the same price. Hancock realized that his idea of putting two fillies in the ring was unfair and granted Hooper's request.

Hooper's filly, Gallonia, won only two minor races. Arden's purchase, Beaugay, won seven stakes races and was champion 2-year-old filly of 1945.