07/19/2001 11:00PM

Locals get into Spa act


During the course of the 36-day Saratoga meet, only three of the 35 stakes on the calendar are devoted to New York-breds, but state-breds could have a say in the outcome of at least a few of the open stakes as well.

Critical Eye, Dat You Miz Blue, and Gander are each expected to start in graded races early in the Saratoga meet, which opens Wednesday.

Gander, last year's New York-bred horse of the year, was scheduled to run in Saturday's $400,000 Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park, but his connections were unable to secure suitable transportation arrangements for the gelding.

Brothers Ted and Mike Gatsas, the owners of Gander, said it's probable their 5-year-old will run in the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Handicap on July 28.

The following day, Critical Eye, who won the Grade 1 Hempstead in her last start, defeating Eclipse Award champion Beautiful Pleasure, will start in the $250,000 Go for Wand, another Grade 1.

Grade 3 Vagrancy winner Dat You Miz Blue is being pointed to the $100,000-added Honorable Miss Handicap, a Grade 3, on Aug. 1.

One New York-bred who will be conspicuous by his absence at Saratoga is Say Florida Sandy, a graded winner of $370,799 this year.

Say Florida Sandy's owner, John Rotella, said his 7-year-old will run in the $200,000 Philadelphia Park Breeders' Cup on July 28. Last year, Say Florida Sandy finished second in the six-furlong race that was run in 1:07.90, a track record.

Rotella said he would like to give Say Florida Sandy the month of August off before bringing the horse back to defend his title in the $75,000-added Gen. Douglas MacArthur on Sept. 7, opening day of the Belmont Park fall meet. The long-range goal for Say Florida Sandy is the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint at Belmont on Oct. 27.

Lone New York-bred at Keeneland

A New York-bred son of Unbridled's Song was bought by Bob and Beverly Lewis for $625,000 at the Keeneland July selected yearling sale on Tuesday.

The colt, consigned to the sale by Catesby W. Clay's Runnymeade Farm, is out of Mimi Cat, an unraced daughter of Storm Cat. Mimi Cat is the dam of two other foals, who are both winners this year. He was foaled at Joe and Anne McMahon's McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds.

The Unbridled's Song colt was the only New York-bred among the 89 yearlings sold at Keeneland's two-day sale, where the average selling price of $710,247 was a record.

Another winner for Seeking Regina

Broodmare Seeking Regina continues to crank out winners for her owner, Barry Schwartz, the chairman of the New York Racing Association.

The latest winner out of Seeking Regina, a daughter of Seeking the Gold, is Seeking the Money. The 2-year-old colt, who is by Capote, won a New York-bred maiden race by 7 3/4 lengths at Belmont Park on July 11 and is expected to run back in Thursday's $100,000-added Sanford Stakes at Saratoga.

Seeking the Money, trained by Mike Hushion, is the third foal out of Seeking Regina.

The dam's first foal, Seeking the Sky, a daughter of Storm Cat, was a graded stakes winner of $143,589 for Schwartz and Hushion. Seeking it All, the second foal, got off to a fast start at Saratoga last year when she finished second in the Grade 2 Schuylerville and then was third in the Grade 1 Spinaway as a maiden. This year, Seeking It All won a state-bred maiden race and a first-level allowance.

Record-setting filly in training with Ward

The Silver Deputy filly who last year broke the all-time record for highest-priced New York-bred yearling sold at auction, is in training with John Ward in Kentucky.

The 2-year-old filly, who has yet to be named, was bought for $1.25 million by John Oxley at the 2000 Fasig-Tipton select sale at Saratoga. The purchase price surpassed the old record of $900,000 for a New York-bred yearling sold at auction.