05/30/2008 12:00AM

Lister enjoying strong season


It has been a banner year for owner-breeder Richard Lister, who has enjoyed three consecutive stakes wins from his homebred Danceroftherealm and will be cheering on Initforreal, whom he bred and sold, in the June 8 Woodbine Oaks.

"I'm an overnight success after 30 years of being in the business," joked Lister.

Lister's Cinnamont Stable - represented by the light blue silks with the white Pegasus horse - has provided the Ontario industry with dozens of good runners, including 2004 Bison City Stakes winner Touchnow.

But barely halfway through 2008, Lister horses are seemingly winning everywhere.

Danceroftherealm, who was foaled in Great Britain only because the mare was sent there to be bred to Mark of Esteem in a foal-sharing agreement, recently won the Giant's Causeway Stakes at Keeneland for her sixth win in 13 starts.

The 5-year-old mare is one of the last foals of Lister's prized mare Now Dance, the dam of Touchnow, who died last spring while foaling.

Lister also has had wins with Athena's Gift, a Fusaichi Pegasus filly, and Serenity Lake, by Alphabet Soup. And his horse Tell It As It Is was entered in Saturday's Nassau Stakes at Woodbine.

He also recently finished a deal to purchase a stallion, Tap Day, by Pleasant Tap. Tap Day, a Grade 2 stakes winner and earner of $775,000, will begin stud duty in Ontario next spring.

Lister mostly breeds to sell, and keeps his 14 mares at Mike Carroll's Grandview Farm, north of Toronto.

"I sell half of mine in Ontario and half in Kentucky," said Lister, who is also a director of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society.

"It is still hard to sell in Ontario. Until we can compete tax-wise with the United States - we cannot write off losses in this business against other income - we will still be under the gun."

One of the recent Woodbine sales offerings from Lister was Initforreal, a $26,993 purchase by David Rowbotham, Doug Lindskog, and Hugh MacKinnon two years ago. Lister had purchased the Real Quiet filly's dam, Favored One, carrying Initforreal, for $14,000 at the 2005 Keeneland January sale.

"She was a real runner, a bit of a freak," said Lister about the daughter of Son of Briartic.

Favored One won 4 of 11 starts, including the Gradeo2 Princess Stakes, but she broke down in the Grade 1 Hollywood Oaks.

Initforreal, third in the Grade 2 Selene Stakes at 53-1 last time out, is the mare's ninth foal, and four of her winners are by In Excess.

The mare is currently in foal to Holy Bull.

"I hope she can come off the pace in the Oaks," Lister said. "I would love to see her win."

Newcomer has Woodbine Oaks interest

Cecil Pring has not been in the Thoroughbred breeding industry as long as Lister. In fact Pring, who owns the 100-acre Stonehaven Farm in Port Perry, Ontario, with his wife, Mary Anne, bought his first of two mares in 2005. One of those, Otra Vez, is the dam of probable Oaks starter Sugar Bay, owned by George Strawbridge.

Pring, who hails from just north of Montreal, has raised and sold warmblood horses for the adult amateur riding industry for many years.

At the Woodbine mixed sale in winter 2005, he bought Otra Vez, a Rahy mare out of stakes winner Autumn Slew, from Strawbridge for $7,500.

Pring sold his first offspring of the mare for just $5,500 but is encouraged by the progress of Sugar Bay, a daughter of the little-known Strawbridge stallion Syncline.

"We're pretty excited about Sugar Bay - she already has a win and second this year," Pring said. "We will be watching the Oaks very closely."