03/08/2002 12:00AM

Machiavellian shows signs of reduced fertility


LEXINGTON, Ky. - English stallion Machiavellian, sire of champion Almutawakel and Dubai World Cup hopeful Street Cry, among others, is showing signs of reduced fertility and has had his number of daily covers reduced, a Darley spokesman confirmed Friday.

"He's got three of his first 11 mares in foal, which is beneath his standard, because he has been superbly fertile," said Darley spokesman Jocelyn Targett. "There's no panic; we're managing it by reducing the number of covers that he has on a daily basis in the hope that he will discover his former fertility."

Machiavellian, a 15-year-old Mr. Prospector horse out of Coup de Folie (Halo), stands for about $113,600 at Dalham Hall Stud near Newmarket, England, for Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum's Darley operation. He has proven popular on both sides of the Atlantic and has 32 American mares booked to him for 2002, according to Targett.

Targett said the stallion, a champion 2-year-old in France and classic-placed in England, currently is covering one mare a day while being monitored by veterinarians. He said that veterinarians hadn't yet identified a cause for the unusual drop in fertility. "He has no illness," Targett said.

Machiavellian has three runners pointing for races at the Dubai World Cup meet later this month. In addition to Street Cry in the World Cup, Machiavellian also is the sire of Group 2 winner No Excuse Needed, who is pointing for the Dubai Duty Free, and of Asaal, who is entered in the Golden Shaheen.

From nine crops to race, Machiavellian has 35 black-type winners and total progeny earnings of more than $17.9 million.

Kris S. on sidelines

WinStar stallion Kris S., whose progeny include champions Soaring Softly and Hollywood Wildcat and a host of Grade 1 winners, has temporarily been removed from stud duty at the Versailles, Ky., farm.

Doug Cauthen, speaking for WinStar, said that Kris S., a 25-year-old Roberto horse, began experiencing pain in his neck two weeks ago and has been off duty since Feb. 21 while undergoing treatment and veterinary observation. Cauthen said the stallion is not showing any signs of incoordination, a symptom that can be associated with spinal problems.

"We're hopeful but don't know what the time frame will be," Cauthen said when asked when the stallion might return to covering mares.

"I think this is very similar to a pinched nerve. It's not in a clear-cut area. It hit him very suddenly, like a bolt of lightning. The muscles have tightened, like a spasm.

"He's improved dramatically, but, as you know, he has to get completely right before he comes back."

Kris S., who sired three seven-figure yearlings at last year's Keeneland September auction, is a popular commercial sire. From 18 crops to race, he has total progeny earnings of more than $47 million. Of the 10 mares he has covered so far this season, six have been checked in foal.

His fee is listed as private in 2002.

Etc. . . .

In other news from WinStar Farm, Doug Cauthen has been promoted from vice-president and racing manager to president and chief operating officer. Gary Bush, general manager and farm manager at the nursery, also moves up, to chief operating officer. . . . The Grayson-Jockey Club Foundation, which funds equine-related veterinary research projects, announced Friday that it will fund 22 research projects for a total of $777,524 this year. The projects cover such topics as mare reproductive loss syndrome, the role of intestinal disease as a cause of laminitis, possible side-effects from phenylbutazone (Bute) use, and the use stem cells for cartilage repair, among others.