08/30/2001 11:00PM

Majestic Bid's 'Legacy' big hit for Siegel


August was a memorable month for Pete Siegel, a New York-based owner and breeder.

Siegel sold New York-bred Fearless Legacy, the sale topper at Fasig-Tipton's preferred yearling sale in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and also watched a mare he owns, Love Shy, earn black type in a Fort Erie stakes by finishing third. Siegel plans to add Love Shy to his small broodmare band upon her retirement.

Siegel, 47, a computer consultant from Long Island, made his first Thoroughbred purchase in December 1997 at a Maryland sale. Since then, he has become a student of pedigrees and diligently combs through sale catalogs looking for mares at bargain prices.

Siegel said he bought Wandering Ways, a half-sister to graded stakes winner Megans Bluff, cheaply through a private sale and then sold her privately for a handsome profit - he declined to reveal the prices - while she was in foal to Gold Fever.

But Majestic Bid, the dam of Fearless Legacy, was meant to be a keeper. Siegel bought Majestic Bid, a Spectacular Bid mare, for $38,000 at Keeneland's 2000 January sale when she was in foal to Peaks and Valleys.

Siegel said his advisor on the sale, Bill Sanborn of Sanborn Chase Farm in Kentucky, bid on Majestic Bid, whom Siegel remembers betting on while she was running at Aqueduct.

"I was on the phone with Bill, but I felt like I was there," Siegel said. "Bill is extremely objective, but I could tell he was very, very emotionally hit by this beautiful mare. The bidding went up to $36,000, and I told Bill, 'hit again.'"

Siegel was dealt a blow when following a serious bout with colic Majestic Bid died only a few months after delivering her Peaks and Valleys colt at Tom Gallo's Blue Stone Farm in Cambridge, N.Y.

Siegel said his emotions were running high when Majestic Bid's last foal, whom he named Fearless Legacy, came into the sales ring at Saratoga's preferred sale on Aug. 12.

Fearless Legacy, who was consigned by Gallo and his daughter, Nadine Gallo, was bought for $180,000 by Ernie Paragallo, with Buzz Chace acting as agent.

Siegel and Elaine Peck, who raised Fearless Legacy at her Rhapsody Farm near Oneonta, N.Y., shared a hug after the auctioneer's hammer fell on the sale topper.

"It was a little bittersweet," Siegel said. "The odd thing was Majestic Bid was going to be a long-term keeper; I usually flip [mares] over quickly. This was the first yearling I ever sold. I usually sell them as weanlings."

Siegel said he plans on a return trip to next year's preferred sale with three yearlings he owns fully or in partnership. The three are from mares Siegel bought for a total of $33,500. They are: a Devil His Due colt foaled by Remember Charm, a daughter of Charming Turn; a General Meeting filly out of Quite a Honey, an unraced mare; and an Artax colt from Sassy Reserve, a Caveat mare.

Each of the mares were bred back to Abaginone, a freshman sire standing at Questroyal Stud in New Hampton, N.Y. Siegel owns one share Abaginone.

In addition to spending 40 to 50 hours per week analyzing pedigrees, Siegel said he has surrounded himself with people whose opinion he values, including Gallo, Peck, Sanborn, and bloodstock agent Jack Brothers.

"There is never too much good knowledge," Siegel said.

Siegel has also formed his own theories during his four years in the business.

"I try to stay away from big-name families, with huge black type, which would be out of my price range," he said. "Majestic Bid is a perfect example. I look for potential in the mare and family, as well as seeing if the mare physically has the body to reproduce."