05/23/2002 11:00PM

Ivy League Farm breeds major league filly


Carson Hollow, an undefeated 3-year-old New York-bred filly, looked like the real deal when winning the Bouwerie by five lengths at Belmont Park last Sunday in her stakes debut.

The win has prompted Carson Hollow's trainer, Richard Dutrow Jr., to consider running his filly, who is 3 for 3, in the Grade 1 Prioress Stakes at Belmont on July 6.

Carson Hollow's breeders, Patricia and Chris Purdy, were at Belmont to witness the filly's victory in the restricted Bouwerie. Last year, the Purdys privately sold Carson Hollow to Dutrow shortly after the filly failed to reach her reserve price of $80,000 at Keeneland's 2-year-old in training sale. Dutrow bought Carson Hollow, a daughter of Carson City, on behalf of a partnership consisting of Hemlock Hills Farm and Gabrielle Farm.

Patricia Purdy, 46, said Carson Hollow has already shown enough potential to suggest she could be the best horse Purdy and her husband have bred since getting into the business in the 1980's.

The Purdys, who are primarily commercial breeders, own Ivy League Farm, a 65-acre breeding facility in Ithaca, N.Y., near Cornell University. The Purdys married after meeting in dental school and bought their farm in 1988. Patricia never practiced dentistry, but Chris, 48, works as a dentist when he isn't helping his wife on the farm.

Twenty mares reside at Ivy League, but unfortunately for the Purdys, their broodmare roster doesn't include Lizeality, Carson Hollow's dam. Lizeality, a daughter of Hold Your Peace who was privately purchased by the Purdys, died from complications of colic in 2000. Carson Hollow is Lizeality's first stakes winner from four foals to race.

"Lizeality was a beautiful mare," Patricia Purdy said. "Her conformation was lovely and she had a very attractive and kind eye."

Lizeality's foals were not early developers so the Purdys, who usually sell their foals as yearlings, gave Carson Hollow time to mature before entering her in the Keeneland sale as a 2-year-old.

"Carson Hollow was an early May foal," Patricia Purdy said. "She wasn't very meaty and a bit awkward. She seemed like she would mature as she got older."

Lizeality's last foal is a 2-year-old filly by Boston Harbor, Sovereignoftheseas. Because of Lizeality's death and the success of Carson Hollow, the Purdys, in an unusual move, have decided to keep Sovereignoftheseas to race and will later add her to their broodmare band.

Patricia Purdy, who modestly refers to Ivy League as a "mom-and-pop" operation, said breeding a horse like Carson Hollow is a coup for the couple.

"This is very exciting for a little breeding operation," she said. "We might be looking at the best horse we have ever bred. We have had minor stakes winners, but certainly not a graded winner."

New York-breds and Midlantic sale

Thirty-nine registered New York-bred 2-year-olds sold for $1,031,500 at Fasig-Tipton's Midlantic two-day sale last week in Maryland.

The New York-bred sales topper was a French Deputy filly, out of a Cure the Blues mare, who was bought for $105,000 by Richard Balfour. The unnamed 2-year-old, who commanded the third-highest bid among fillies at the sale, was consigned by Pike Racing Inc., agent. She was bred by James and Lorna Mack and was foaled at the Mack's farm, Silvernails, in Pine Plains.

Gary Contessa, a leading New York trainer, bought the second-highest priced New York-bred, a filly by freshman sire Gold Token, for $77,000 on behalf of Canterbury Racing Stables. The filly was sold by Barry Schwartz, with Robert N. Scanlon acting as agent.

Critical Eye shoots for $1 million

After winning an allowance race at Belmont Park on May 19, Critical Eye, a two-time New York-bred champion, will try to win back-to-back runnings of the $300,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap on June 22. Last year, when Critical Eye won the Grade 1 race, it was known as the Hempstead. The race was renamed this spring following the death of Ogden Phipps.

A win in the Ogden Phipps would put Critical Eye over $1 million in earnings and place her 15th on the list of all-time leading New York-breds.

* The New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund rescheduled its board of directors meeting for June 19 at 10:30 a.m. in the Fund's New York City offices.