06/28/2002 12:00AM

A maiden on the track, Outflanker a success at stud


Bonnie Heath III stood Honor Grades at the now-closed Bonnie Heath Farm until the stallion left for Kentucky in the late 1990's.

Heath also is one of the original members of the syndicate that owns Outflanker, who is from the family of Honor Grades.

Danzig sired both Honor Grades, who died this spring, and Outflanker, and while Honor Grades was out Weekend Surprise, dam of A.P. Indy and Summer Squall, Outflanker is out of a half-sister to Weekend Surprise.

When Heath first was approached to participate in the syndication of Outflanker, he was unsure whether to do it.

"I certainly liked his pedigree, but he was winless in 10 starts," said Heath. "That kind of makes you go slow."

Outflanker, 8, stands at Cloverleaf Farms II, where Ken Breitenbecker is the stallion manager. Breitenbecker once was the farm manager at Heath Farm and has managed Outflanker from the beginning.

"He's a little on the coarse side," said Breitenbecker, "much as his sire Danzig is. [Outflanker is] more the European type. Honor Grades was much more refined."

Outflanker went to stud in 1998 supported almost exclusively by the syndicate. His book closed at 52 mares.

"No problem filling him after his first season," Breitenbecker said. "He's been bred to 123 mares this year and he may get a couple more before we close the book."

Outflanker is Florida's leading second-crop sire by stakes winners, with four. Another son of Danzig, Lost Soldier, who stands at Franks Farms South, is first among second-crop sires in Florida in money won. There is less than $100,000 in progeny earnings separating Outflanker and Lost Soldier.

An 8-year-old son of Honor Grades, Honor Glide recently was retired and is a stallion prospect. Honor Glide was foaled and raised on Heath Farm - which is soon to become an upscale gated community - and retired sound with 11 wins, two of them Grade 1 stakes, and earnings of almost $1.4 million.

The success of Outflanker, Heath said, "has made it easier for us to give serious consideration to standing Honor Glide in Florida."

Heath, who owns Honor Glide with Robert Schaedle III, said running is no longer foremost on the mind of Honor Glide.

"He's discovered the opposite sex," said Heath. "He runs the paddock fence making himself known to the broodmares a few paddocks away. We have not test-bred him yet, as there are insurance protocols that you have to follow if you want fertility insurance. All I can tell you is that old Glide is impatient to get on with his new job."

Honor Glide raced mostly on the turf, but Heath thinks he would have been successful on dirt.

"I don't know if he would have been as good on the dirt as on the turf, but the way he trained I think he would have won his share of good races," he said. "As it is, Glide won from

1 1/16 miles to 1 1/2 miles on the grass, and in the best of company. Grass is becoming more and more important, especially with the focus on international racing. And most of the money on the turf goes to the horse who can compete over nine furlongs.

"It seems to me, if you want to race a horse at the classic distances, you have to breed to a horse who can get you there."