09/20/2001 11:00PM

Lite Light makes a name for herself as broodmare


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Who can forget the exceptional performances of Lite Light in the 1991 Kentucky Oaks, Santa Anita Oaks, Mother Goose Stakes, and Coaching Club American Oaks? If anyone has, the race results of the past two weeks give cause to remember this splendid mare.

Her second foal, the Storm Cat mare Gaily Egret, won the Group 3 Sakitama Hai in Japan on Sept. 9, defeating colts. And Lite Light's 2-year-old, the Gone West colt Saddad, won the Group

2 Flying Childers Stakes in England on Sept. 16.

Saddad was the first foal that Lite Light produced for Carl Icahn's Foxfield.

Rob Whiteley, director of operations for Foxfield, said, "It was a great day for Foxfield when we purchased Lite Light for $750,000 in foal to Gone West. I thought it was a wonderful mating, and we had valued her much higher than the hammer price."

Purchased by Sheikh Hamdan's Shadwell Estate Co. for $400,000 at the Keeneland September sale in 2000, Saddad has won two of his three starts, and with his natural speed and impressive finishing ability, he appears to be a colt with a very promising future. With his racing qualities and a family descending through one of the best branches of La Troienne, he is also a good stallion prospect in Europe or America.

A winner of 7 races from 25 starts, Gaily Egret has been a tough and consistent performer in Japan, winning well over a million dollars, just as her dam did in the U.S. Lite Light is best known for being the only filly in history to sweep the Santa Anita, Kentucky, and Coaching Club America Oaks.

Setting a stakes record in both the Kentucky and CCA Oaks, she showed herself at least the equal of any middle-distance filly of her highly talented generation. Whiteley said, "To ship around from both coasts and sweep all the major Oaks races was an incredible accomplishment."

In between the Oaks in Kentucky and New York, Lite Light ran an outstanding race against Meadow Star in the Mother Goose. Whiteley recalled that "the greatest thrill in purchasing Lite Light for Carl Icahn was reuniting her with Meadow Star at Trackside Farm. Their battle in the Mother Goose is one of the greatest filly races of all time."

In the last three-eighths of the Mother Goose, they went head and head, and the top-class pair left their nearest competition 15 lengths behind. At the end of this hard race, the compact and muscular Meadow Star won by a nose over the rangy bay daughter of Majestic Light, Lite Light. The race took a high toll on both.

Although only once beaten at this point in her career, Meadow Star never again won at the Grade 1 level, and Lite Light produced only one more top effort, her impressive victory in the CCA Oaks. Neither, in fact, was named champion 3-year-old filly, an honor that fell to Dance Smartly after she won the Breeders' Cup Distaff in their absence.

Trained initially by Jerry Hollendorfer and later by D. Wayne Lukas, Lite Light was the best horse campaigned by MC Hammer's Oaktown Stables. After her racing career, she passed into the ownership of Green Gates Farm, which bred Gaily Egret. Padua Stables acquired the mare and then sold her in foal to Gone West at the Keeneland November sales to Foxfield.

Following Saddad, Whiteley said "Lite Light has an attractive Deputy Minister weanling filly with a lovely head and a great top line. She is open for 2002 from a single cover after producing three consecutive May foals, including

Saddad. Her yearling is a Silver Deputy filly who is especially well made and beautifully balanced. As a May foal, she needed a little more time to grow and mature. So we decided at sale time to withdraw her and give her a chance to be at her best for a future sale.

"We haven't finalized breeding plans for 2002, but Lite Light's recent group winners underline our conviction that she warrants a very high-class mating."

Now grazing in the pastures of Trackside Farm, where Foxfield boards its stock, Lite Light is proving her worth. Whiteley added, "Lite Light has always been a special filly, but given her young age, she's now a very valuable one, too."