10/09/2002 11:00PM

Ivanavinalot's breeder holds trump card


LEXINGTON, Ky. - When Ivanavinalot goes to post in Saturday's $400,000 My Dear Girl Stakes, she will be carrying a substantial family tradition with her. And whatever the result of the race, her owner and breeder, Gilbert Campbell, figures that she already has fulfilled the family destiny pretty well.

Two-time stakes winner Ivanavinalot is the 11th foal for Campbell's broodmare Beaty Sark, an unraced daughter of Deputy Minister who is a pillar of Campbell's 100-mare broodmare band. All of Beaty Sark's four stakes performers are fillies: Ivanavinalot, Shananie's Beat, Slick Lady, and Beatie's for Real. Beaty Sark has not only given Campbell some fun and success on the racetrack, but also ensured a continuance of her bloodlines.

Campbell keeps most of Beaty Sark's stakes performers at his Stonehedge Farm near Ocala and already is pleased with the foals he has seen from those mares.

"I think this is going to be a real good family for breeding," said Campbell, a real-estate developer who lives near Boston. "Beaty Sark turned out to be a good one. I even bought her half-sister Always Belle, a 3-year-old by Always a Classic, at the breeding stock sale this week in Ocala."

Campbell paid $55,000 for Always Belle, and if she turns out to be anything like Beaty Sark, it will have been money well spent.

Campbell bought Beaty Sark for $40,000 in 1987 at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky's July yearling sale. He doesn't remember much about what he liked about Beaty Sark then except her pedigree. Campbell has a fondness for Deputy Minister, and it didn't hurt that by 1987 Beaty Sark was a half-sister to stakes-winner That Lady and to stakes-placed Crafty Belle.

He had planned to race Beaty Sark, but she never made it to the starting gate, because of, as Stonehedge manager Larry King faintly recalls, recurring foot trouble.

"That may be," Campbell said. "I don't remember. I've had so many horses, I can't always remember why one of them didn't run."

In any event, Beaty Sark's produce record has obliterated any need to remember such details, in Campbell's view.

"We knew she had some talent and a good pedigree, so we just took her home and bred her," he said. "If a horse has a good family and is good-looking, I have no problems with the fact they're unraced."

"She's a good-looking mare," King said. "Deputy Minister was a great horse, but he was young and hadn't turned out to be the broodmare sire he is now. Mr. Campbell likes pedigrees, and he liked hers. But she also has balance. She's a little above medium-sized with a lot of muscle."

Beaty Sark's first foal, a Justins Ruler colt, was unraced. But Campbell bred back Beaty Sark to his own stallion Shananie, and immediately got a stakes winner in the filly Shananie's Beat. That started the filly pattern that has brought Campbell so much success. After Shananie's Beat, Beaty Sark produced stakes winner Slick Lady and stakes-placed Beatie's for Real, both by Unreal Zeal.

Unfortunately, her first foal by West Acre - a full sister to Ivanavinalot - died in a pasture accident before she ever made it to the racetrack. But Ivanavinalot has convinced Campbell and King that, for as many productive years as are left to 16-year-old Beaty Sark, she ought to go to West Acre.

"We have a 2-year-old full sister to Ivanavinalot being trained at the farm right now," Campbell said. "And she looks very, very good. We have high hopes for her."

Big heart and a strong pedigree

Ivanavinalot also has boosted West Acre's credentials as a sire, another fact that pleases Campbell, who owns and stands the stallion. The 7-year-old Forty Niner horse has just 23 named foals from his first two crops, but Stonehedge is fielding more calls about him this year as a result of Ivanavinalot's 2-year-old record. Her $178,300 in purses makes her West Acre's leading earner, but he also is the sire of the stakes-placed runner Eliza's Cat.

Like Beaty Sark, West Acre is unraced. And as with the mare, that fact didn't bother Campbell. Campbell bought West Acre as a 2-year-old right out of training after seeing him breeze at Rockingham Park, and he already had the horse's stallion career in mind.

"When I saw him, I said, 'He's never going to race,' " Campbell recalled. "He had a leg problem. But it wasn't anything that would compromise him as a stallion. He had a heart as big as anything, and he would run through his problems."

Campbell gave the horse a year off, then sent him to a trainer to assess whether the colt should compete.

"He told me about what I had thought," Campbell said. "He said, 'This horse has so much heart, he'll run until he falls down. He'll break down.' So we sent him on to stud. I just loved his pedigree."

West Acre had plenty to offer on his pedigree page. He is by a champion son of Mr. Prospector and out of the Grade 3-winning Honest Pleasure mare Narrate. That family also includes such heady names as Johannesburg and Tale of the Cat, both of whom were produced by daughters or granddaughters of Narrate. One of Narrate's half-sisters is Grade 1 winner Preach, the dam of popular young sire Pulpit.

"This is becoming one of the hottest sire pedigrees out there," King said. "The phone has been ringing and more people are looking to breed to him this year. We're definitely supporting him more strongly this year ourselves, too, and we've even bought some mares to breed to him."

If Ivanavinalot puts in a characteristically good performance in the My Dear Girl, and if her full sister runs as well as Campbell believes she can, then West Acre will have no problem finding mates in the near future. That, Campbell happily acknowledges, will vindicate his judgment, both on Beaty Sark and on West Acre - and on their suitability for each other.

"That's the fun part, when you own the whole thing," he said. "When you've bred a horse and didn't buy it, you did it yourself. That's a great thrill."