01/20/2006 12:00AM

Mare owners have nothing to lose trying Suances

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Suances, a Group 1 winner in France in 2000, never had a chance to prove himself as a racehorse in the United States.

Shortly after arriving in this country, Suances suffered a serious leg injury that required surgery. The subsequent layoff forced him to miss his 4-year-old season in 2001. Suances returned to racing in 2002 and made only five more starts, but won two stakes.

Suances, 9, enters his first full season at stud this winter at Cardiff Stud Farm in Atascadero, Calif. His owners, Jed and Roberta Cohen, are determined to give him a full chance at stud.

As a promotion, they are offering a free season to approved mares, and have committed to pay mare owners $1,000 when a live foal is born.

In an era of increased competition for quality mares, the Cohens' plan is the latest marketing idea to hit California stallion owners intent on attracting attention.

"You have to, because the competition is so tough for a limited numbers of mares," said Steve Sahadi, who operates Cardiff. "If you get [the stallions] to the point they are proven, that's the goal."

Two other farms have conducted notable promotions.

Breeders who send mares to Momentum this year will be given the opportunity to sell the resulting yearling back to Vessels Stallion Farm in 2008 for $15,000 without obligation if they are dissatisfied with the yearling. The plan was announced last month by Vessels and stallion owner Paul Reddam.

Momentum, who entered stud in 2005, will stand for $5,000 at the Bonsall, Calif., farm.

A few years ago, Tom and Debbie Stull, of Tommy Town Thoroughbreds in Santa Ynez, offered a money-back guarantee of a $3,500 stud fee contingent that Old Topper would be the leading freshman stallion in 2004, a title that the young sire claimed.

Suances won 8 of 12 starts and $402,559. He won the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat in France in 2000 and was in training in Chicago when the injury occurred.

In 2002, he won the Grade 2 San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile and the Dallas Turf Cup Handicap.

The Cohens plan to breed 15 of their mares to Suances, while Sahadi has 15 mares he will breed to the stallion. Sahadi said owners that apply to breed their mares to Suances by Feb. 15 will be considered for the promotion.

Sahadi said he has received a strong reaction, so far.

"He's going to get a big book of mares, I believe," Sahadi said. "We would expect him to be in the 75- to 80-mare range, and that's a lot for a young sire."

Multiple first-crop youngsters at Barretts

The two-day Barretts January mixed sale this Monday and Tuesday in Pomona has a high concentration of broodmares, but the sale does feature yearlings and 2-year-olds by several first-crop stallions.

The first crop of yearlings by America's Storm, Capsized, D's Bertrando, Decarchy, Gotham City, Lake William, Slewquero, and Stormy Jack are offered in the 586-horse catalog.

There are first-crop 2-year-olds by Officer, Richly Blended, Skimming, and Until Sundown.

The sale features a major reduction in holdings from owner-breeders Barbara and Jerry Dutton, including broodmares, horses of racing age, and the stallions Fabulous Champ and Renteria.

Hideaway Farms is acting as agent for a complete dispersal of horses of all ages owned by John Zamora.

The supplemental catalog features Texcess, the 2004 champion 2-year-old California-bred male, and Papa to Kinzie, a graded-stakes-placed 5-year-old mare.

Last year, the Barretts January mixed sale had an average of $6,520 for 493 horses sold, a figure that was down 17 percent from 2004. The lower average was blamed on the lack of prominent dispersals.