06/03/2001 11:00PM

Include rewards Meyerhoff program


ELMONT, N.Y.- Nine of his last 10 and counting.

The last horse able to put important victories back to back with consistency was Cigar, and many thought he was great. Include gave a splendid performance winning the recent Pimlico Special and was every bit as good, if not better, in bringing off the weekend's Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs. New Yorkers may have a chance to view this rapidly rising star, who is under consideration for the $500,000 Suburban Handicap on July 1, as well as the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on the same day. The spectacular Bud Delp will make the call.

Include, who has earnings of about $1.3 million, is a homebred, and very much to the credit of the discerning Robert Meyerhoff of Baltimore. As pleased as he is with Include, though, Meyerhoff is not yet ready to place him above the colt's sire, Broad Brush, in his personal esteem.

"You can't compare them yet, " he says. "Broad Brush was a wonderful race horse and is a wonderful sire. He has 17 percent stakes winners, which is the best among active stallions. He is the third leading sire in the country now, and a few years ago, when another of his outstanding sons, Concern, was in top form, Broad Brush topped the sires list."

Broad Brush stands at Gainesway Farm in Lexington for a fee of $100,000. In an era when top stallions are routinely bred to 100 or more mares a season, his book is limited to 50 or fewer.

Meyerhoff bred Include from a broodmare band numbering only 28.

"I try to limit it," he noted. "When Concern was racing I had only 15 mares. I have some theories about the type of mare that matches up well with Broad Brush. One of those is Illeria, the dam of Include. I bought her in foal to Affirmed for $350,000, and her first foal for me was a graded stakes winner, Magic Broad. Include was the second foal and he has matured into a good horse. We hope he becomes a great horse."

Critical Eye in a breeze

The Schwartz family claimed Vestal for $20,000. Vestal produced Sounding Off, who was second in the Canadian Oaks. She, in turn,was the dam of Critical Crew, whose first foal, Critical Eye, won the Grade 1 Gazelle Handicap at Belmont Park last fall.

Critical Eye, by Dynaformer, was much the best Saturday, winning the $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Handicap by more than seven lengths on a muddy track.

Back to her winning ways again, Critical Eye, owned by Herbert and Carol Schwartz and trained by their son, Scott, has a formidable schedule ahead. She will run in either Belmont's Hempstead Handicap on June 23 or Monmouth's Molly Pitcher on June 30. She is to compete in next month's Delaware Handicap, the Personal Ensign at Saratoga, and, as an ultimate goal, the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Belmont this fall.

"She is a pleasure to train, and she loves to run," Scott Schwartz advised.

"She wants a distance of ground and gets her stamina from her sire's sire, Epsom Derby winner Roberto. She has matured nicely and is a better filly today than she was last year."