06/29/2006 11:00PM

Louis Quatorze colt best in show


Rain or shine, the show goes on. And trainer Tim Ritchey, who handled the pressures of last year's Triple Crown with aplomb, was equally composed while judging six classes of Maryland-bred yearlings Sunday in the 72nd annual Maryland Horse Breeders Association Yearling Show at the Maryland State Fairgrounds's horse show ring in Timonium.

The show was conducted as scheduled, as rain pelted the area for much of the day. The owners of 89 yearlings braved the weather to seek confirmation from Ritchey that they had athletes on their hands, and also to make the yearlings eligible for $40,000 in premium awards when they race at 2 and 3. The majority of yearlings exhibited were homebreds.

Ritchey selected Cary W. Jackson's colt by Louis Quatorze as grand champion. The colt, who was the winner of Class 2, is a well-built colt out of the Dehere mare Carna and earned his championship based on his development, said Ritchey.

The winner of Class 6 (for out-of-state-sired fillies), a daughter of Hennessy, was selected by Ritchey as the reserve champion. The filly was bred by her owners, Frank and Ginny Wright.

"There was not a lot of separation between the six class winners," said Ritchey. "The top two had a bit racier look, but all look like they'll be serious racehorses."

Jackson, who is from White Hall, Md., also bred and owned the winner of the 2005 show, a colt by Cryptoclearance. His champion colt this year represented only the fourth time in the history of the show that an owner has exhibited champions in consecutive years.

The colt is from the first Maryland-sired crop of Louis Quatorze, who won the Preakness in 1996 and now stands at Murmur Farm in Darlington. The colt's dam, Carna, is a winning half-sister to two-time Maryland Million Classic winner Algar and stakes-placed Princess Pickle. The family traces back to the marvelous producer Short Winded, who is the third dam of this year's champion and also the third dam of one of last year's top 2-year-olds, Henny Hughes.

The Wrights also exhibited a yearling show champion in 2001, when their Carnivalay colt Artillery Man took top honors. Their winner this year is the second foal out of Royal Feat, a Kingmambo mare who is a half-sister to the Wrights' stakes winners Blue Sky Princess and Vaguely Rich.

Ritchey, a regular auction buyer who plucked Afleet Alex out of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale and Pennsylvania Derby winner Smart Guy out of the Eastern fall yearling sale in Timonium, was diligent in his quest for athletes. Watching yearlings walk the length of the waterlogged ring, Ritchey said he was looking for long strides and straight movement. Discussing his final selections, he noted that, even though he wasn't allowed to know the pedigrees of the yearlings during the judging, they were all horses he would love to train.

Other class winners were:

Class 1 (for Maryland-sired colts and geldings foaled before March 31, 2005): Dark Hollow Farm's homebred colt by Partner's Hero out of Kinlin, by Unbridled. The colt is the first foal out of a half-sister to Dubleo, a winner of multiple graded stakes as a juvenile.

Class 3 (for out-of-state-sired colts and geldings): the Dark Hollow Farm-bred and -owned colt by More Than Ready out of Clever Phrase, by Clever Trick. The colt is a half-brother to stakes-placed Yingyingying (by Horse Chestnut), a yearling show class winner in 2002.

Class 4 (for Maryland-sired fillies foaled prior to March 27, 2005): Shades of Purple Thoroughbreds's filly by No Armistice out of Say Becky, by Oh Say. The filly is the first foal for her dam, from the first crop of Country Life Farm stallion No Armistice, by Unbridled. No Armistice was graded stakes- placed sprinting.

Class 5 (for Maryland-sired fillies foaled on or after March 27, 2005): Robert T. Manfuso and Katharine Voss's Not for Love filly out of stakes winner Baste, by Broad Brush. Baste's half-sister, stakes-placed Hilda Mae, was also a yearling show class winner (she was reserve champion in 1992).

Not for Love well represented again

The leading sire at this year's show was Northview Stallion Station's Not for Love. Maryland's leading sire by earnings for the past three years, Not for Love was the sire of eight yearlings exhibited, with six getting ribbons. Not for Love earned yearling show honors for the third time since 2001.

The Worthington Farms Challenge Trophy, which was presented to the top Maryland stallion at each show, was retired after Sunday's show.