02/19/2002 1:00AM

Juddmonte program's banner year


Khaled Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms, always among the world's leading breeders, enjoyed an especially gratifying season in 2001.

Juddmonte's North American operation bred 58 winners individually and two others in partnership, for total earnings in excess of $7.3 million. The Juddmonte juggernaut fueled a personal-best season for Juddmonte's trainer, Bobby Frankel, who picked up his own Eclipse.

Among the horses winning Grade 1 races for Juddmonte this year was Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Banks Hill, an Andre Fabre trainee who won the Eclipse Award as North America's top female grass runner in 2001 on the strength of her only American start.

But Dr. John Chandler, a Juddmonte adviser who accepted the award from Hans Stahl of The Jockey Club, noted that the leading breeder award honored a pattern of achievement rather than a single moment of success.

"Prince Khaled likes this particular award," Chandler said. "The other awards are for individual horses, but this is recognition of his entire breeding operation."

There was plenty of glory reflecting back on the Juddmonte program. In addition to Banks Hill, the operation also fielded such Grade 1 winners as Flute, Aptitude, Skimming, and Senure.

Juddmonte's success springs from deep pools of quality bloodstock at breeding farms in Kentucky, England, and Ireland, which have produced such champions as Wandesta and Ryafan. Those outstanding fillies eventually return to Juddmonte as broodmares, producing more blue-blooded stakes runners. Banks Hill's pedigree is a case in point. Her dam, Hasili (Kahyasi), was a group winner in France before she produced the French champion Dansili, Banks Hill's full brother and a third-place runner in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Mile.

In Juddmonte's case, breeding best to the best has in fact resulted in some of the world's best racehorses.

But 2001 was not all joy for Juddmonte. In April, the Kentucky farm lost Ryafan at age 7 when she ruptured a uterine artery after foaling, and in May the nursery felt the toll of mare reproductive loss syndrome, the abortions that struck some 3,000 mares in central Kentucky.

Khaled Abdullah, a Saudi Arabian prince who runs international businesses under the Manwared conglomerate, bought his first racehorses in England in 1977 and still maintains a house in Newmarket. Not surprisingly, his breeding program has maintained a turf focus, though Jolypha broke something of a Juddmonte tradition by contesting - and finishing third in - the 1992 Breeders' Cup Classic.