09/16/2004 11:00PM

Off to Kentucky for two freshmen

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The 2004 Florida stallions with first crops going to the races this year were considered as promising a group of stallions as the state has had in years. The market responded early on to this group by first driving up their yearling prices and later their 2-year-olds in training auction prices. The market proved savvy.

Two of these freshmen sires, Successful Appeal, currently the nation's leading freshman sire, and Yes It's True, currently third among freshman sires, will both stand in Kentucky next season. Successful Appeal has moved on from Hartley-DeRenzo Walmac South to Walmac Farm Kentucky, and this past week it was announced Padua Stables' Yes It's True will stand at Three Chimneys.

These relocations leave Straight Man (by Saint Ballado), holding court at Signature Stallions, as the pro-tem Sunshine State freshman sire leader with 8 winners from 22 starters and earnings of near $290,000. Padua's Dance Master (Gone West) has 2 winners, including the Canadian stakes winner Flamenco, from 6 starters. Not far behind the resident leaders in progeny earnings is the Adena Springs South's Running Stag (Cozzene) with 19 starters and 7 winners.

The departure of Yes It's True also means a change of venue for those who bought lifetime breeding rights when the stallion was retired in 2000 for the 2001 breeding season.

"These rights follow the horse," said Nadia Sanan, general manager of Padua Stables. "Rightsholders can sell their rights or their annual seasons. Nothing has changed."

Said one of the Yes It's True rightsholders, who requested anonymity: "I think there are 18 of us, and the original deal was that the horse would stand at Padua for at least five years and if an offer came to move him that offer was subject to the majority approval of those who owned the rights. Obviously, the majority gave its approval to move the horse. Personally, I think breeders here would have supported Yes It's True even if Padua had doubled the fee and stood him for $20,000 in '05."

Strong fall sale predicted

While the Keeneland yearling sale continues, the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's fall mixed sale is coming on.

"The catalogs are in the mail," said OBS's Tom Ventura.

The four days of sales begin on Monday, Oct. 11. The first catalog, the consignors' preferred sessions, numbers 660. The open sessions have cataloged 492.

"We're especially strong on weanlings this year," said Ventura.

The OBS sold 268 weanlings at the 2003 fall mixed sale, making this market second only to Keeneland in number of weanlings sold at auction in North America.

There are 17 new black-type stallions who entered stud in Florida this past breeding season and have pregnant mares representing them in this sale. Among these are champions Macho Uno (Holly Bull), who stands at Adena Springs South, and Lambholm South's Lido Palace (Rich Man's Gold), champion at 2 and 3 in Chile and a Grade 1 stakes winner and multi-millionaire in the U.S. at 4 and 5.

Foal count could top 4,000

Florida has registered 3,944 foals for 2004. Linda Leaf, who keeps the registry tally for the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association, thinks that there are at least another 150 to 200 that will eventually be added to the total.

"Things happen, forms get filled out inaccurately, delays for countless reasons," she said. "That's why I would estimate that when the count is complete, we'll have 4,200 give or take."