07/18/2008 12:00AM

Maryland: Seeking Daylight gets stakes winner


Members of Maryland's freshman sire class of 2007 were locked in a tight battle last year, until Maryland Stallion Station's Seeking Daylight surged late, getting five winners in the last six weeks of the year, to take the title of leading freshman sire.

Seeking Daylight, a tall, dark bay graded-stakes-winning son of Seeking the Gold, is now in the midst of a tight battle as the state's leading second-crop sire. But he retains his position at the top, and his cause was helped tremendously when his daughter Dance Hall Days became his first stakes winner on July 13 at Monmouth Park.

A 3-year-old Virginia homebred from the powerful stable of Edward P. Evans, won the Serena's Song Stakes by a neck over multiple stakes winner Hartigan.

Dance Hall Days showed her liking for Monmouth Park by winning a six-furlong allowance on June 28 by 5 3/4 lengths. The Serena's Song, at a mile and 70 yards, was her stakes debut, and boosted her career earnings to $105,040.

Seeking Daylight was also bred and campaigned by Evans, who has supported the stallion since he entered stud in 2004. A lightly raced horse, Seeking Daylight was dominant in his four wins (from seven starts), topped by an 8 1/4-length victory in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap over a sloppy track.

From a family of classy runners, Seeking Daylight is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Hedonist. His dam, Play All Day, is a graded stakes winner, and is the great-granddaughter of Canadian Oaks winner Cool Mood, who is the granddam of Canadian Horses of the Year With Approval and Izvestia and Belmont Stakes winner Touch Gold.

Seeking Daylight, 10, has 56 foals of racing age in his first two crops. Since 2005, he has shuttled to Argentina for dual stud duty, and his first South American crop will come to the races later this year.

Another battle for leading sire

It doesn't seem possible based on Not for Love's record over the past six years that there could be a chance he will be dethroned as the state's leading sire. But with the year Maryland Stallion Station sire Outflanker is having, things could get much tighter.

Not for Love, a son of Mr. Prospector who stands at Northview Stallion Station, continues to have a strong hold on the top of the state's leading sire list with more than half the year in the books. The 18-year-old stallion has progeny earnings in excess of $2.7 million, ranking him in the top 30 nationally.

Not for Love's daughter Smart and Fancy won her second consecutive Light Hearted Stakes on July 13 at Delaware Park. Finishing third to Smart and Fancy in the $100,000 Light Hearted was another daughter of Not for Love, the 2008 stakes winner Akronism.

But having an even better week were the offspring of Outflanker. His 4-year-old son Wheels Up at Noon scored the most lucrative victory of his career in the $200,000 Caesar Rodney Stakes at Delaware Park on July 13, defeating the favorite Silver Tree.

Four days earlier, the 4-year-old Outflanker filly Marina Ballerina scored her third stakes victory when leading throughout in Woodbine's $100,000 Repercussion Stakes. And Outflanker's all-time leading earner, Bayou's Lassie ($683,561), finished third in Churchill Downs's Grade 3 Locust Grove Handicap on July 6.

Outflanker, a 14-year-old son of Danzig, has 10 stakes horses this year, and progeny earnings of $2.1 million. Last year, he was the second-ranked Maryland stallion by progeny earnings, with $3,451,870. Not for Love, having had the best year ever for a Maryland sire, topped the list with $5,783,620.