10/24/2002 11:00PM

Mare Biddy Mulligan's boys A-okay


In an old Irish song from Dublin, Biddy Mulligan is a "lady of the evening" who was the pride of a part of town called the Coombe.

And, somewhat like her namesake, the equine Biddy Mulligan is a tough, independent female who has always been popular with the fellas.

Biddy Mulligan, a 13-year-old daughter of Geiger Counter, is also a proud mother these days as her 2- and 3-year-old sons, Biddy's Lad and Mulligan the Great, have won stakes races at Woodbine.

This spring, the mare overcame a near-deadly bout of colic while foaling, but pulled through the ordeal and is living comfortably at Woodlands Farm in Hillsburgh, Ontario.

Trainer Mike Doyle, who bred Biddy Mulligan in partnership with Michael Byrne, always thought the filly would make a good broodmare because she had a lot of the same qualities as her dam, Cailin Deas.

Cailin Deas was brought to Canada by Doyle after he purchased her at a Florida 2-year-old sale, but the mare was lost through the claiming ranks.

"She ended up with [trainer] Nick Gonzalez after moving around a lot," said Doyle. "I told him that I'd love to have her at the end of the day."

Doyle got the chance to purchase Cailin Deas, a 14-time winner, at the end of her 14-year career and Biddy Mulligan was her first foal.

Doyle and Byrne raced the filly and won about $83,000 with her until they sold her to American trainer Joe DiAngelo in 1992.

During the next three years, Biddy Mulligan had several different trainers and visited numerous different tracks in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, winning with frequency in short races on dirt and turf.

By the fall of 1995, Biddy had slid down to the $7,500 claiming level for trainer Juan Serey when Doyle got a call from DiAngelo.

"She looked awful and ran no good in her last race," said Doyle. "Joey called me and we wound up buying her. I just wanted her because her mother was really quick and she was really quick herself."

Biddy Mulligan retired with 15 wins from 79 starts and earnings of over $258,000. Her first two foals, the cleverly named Pridethecoombe and Del Carmen, have earned over $100,000 in the high claiming ranks.

Mulligan the Great, who was sold by Doyle at the local yearling sale for $60,000, has won the Kenora and Deputy Minister Stakes this year and earned an impressive 103 Beyer Figure in the latter.

Biddy's Lad, owned in part by Doyle and Dura Racing Stable, won the Bull Page Stakes this summer.

Biddy Mulligan was barren in 2001 and was ready to foal in June when she was stricken with colic. "She had a tough time foaling, but she showed a lot of bravery and courage," said Gail Wood, owner of Woodlands. "She's a character - eccentric, diminutive, and unassuming."

The mare foaled a filly foal by Mutakkdim whom Wood says is being raised by her dam to be similarly independent. "She's quite the modern mother," said Wood. Biddy Mulligan was not bred back this year but might visit the court of Sky Classic or Lear Fan next spring.

"Biddy's been fantastic," said Doyle, who has collected plenty of breeders' awards from her stakes winning foals. "She's done very well for me."