08/02/2001 11:00PM

Homebreds make good in Ontario


There are not many things in racing that surpass the thrill of winning a stakes race. One is winning a stakes race with a horse you bred yourself.

Through the spring and summer months of the Woodbine meet, more than 60 percent of the stakes races on the track's schedule have been won by homebreds, proving that the Ontario breeding industry is becoming healthy again.

The dam of the undefeated stakes winner Highland Mood could have been scooped up for $5,000 in 1985 when she won her maiden race for that claiming price at Fort Erie.

Instead, owners Howard Walton and Hal Gregory retired Creative Mood, originally a $16,000 yearling purchase by Tony Mattine, after only two starts and sent her to the breeding shed.

Highland Mood, a bay 3-year-old daughter of Highland Ruckus, is Creative Mood's second foal. The filly won the Ontario Damsel and Passing Mood Stakes for Walton's Norseman Racing Stable and Hali Stable before injury curtailed her 2001 campaign.

Krz Ruckus, one of the leaders of the Canadian sprint division, is undefeated in 2001 from four starts including the New Providence and Overskate Stakes. The 4-year-old Krz Ruckus is owned in part by Ron Guidolin, whose family raced the gelding's dam, Krz Ldy. Krz Ldy was a local yearling purchase and a stakes winner.

The majority of the Woodbine juvenile stakes races that have been contested to this point in the season have also been won by homebreds.

Mel Lawson's grey filly Ginger Gold won her career debut in the $135,000 Shady Well Stakes on July 6. The filly is the third foal and first winner for her dam Gleaming Glory (Ginger Gold's sire also has a double G name, Golden Gear), a 14-time winner who was purchased for $40,000 in foal to Golden Gear at the 1998 Keeneland November sale.

Frank Stronach's Adena Springs bred Nandi Stakes winner Jade Eyed, a daughter of the mare Jade Cat, which the Stronach family purchased for $39,000 at the 1997 Keeneland November breeding sale.

Jade Cat, a Woodbine stakes winner owned by the late Austin Taylor, was purchased in foal to Unaccounted For. That first foal was unplaced but a mating to Friendly Lover produced Jade Eyed.

On July 29, the day after the Nandi, Gino Molinaro's homebred 2-year-old colt Molly's Wisdom won the Bull Page Stakes for Ontario-sired juveniles. Molinaro purchased Molly's Wisdom's dam, Miss Molinaro for $31,000 at the local June 2-year-old sale in 1994. Molly's Wisdom is the second foal for stakes winning Miss Molinaro.

Select sale catalog available

Yearling shoppers have 269 youngsters to choose from at the one-day Canadian Breeders' September select sale on Sept. 4 beginning at 1 p.m.

The select sale realized increases in yearling average in the last two years. In 1999, yearling average rose to $34,540, up 11 percent from the previous year, just shy of the 1997 mark of $34,714. Last year, the average skyrocketed to $43,514, an increase of 26 percent. Of last year's top 12 selling yearlings, only two have started and both were unplaced.