11/17/2006 1:00AM

Midas Eyes heads to Empire Stud


Grade 1 winner Midas Eyes will stand at Kurt Butenhoff and Jamie Lamonica's Empire Stud in Hudson, N.Y., for the 2007 breeding season. He will stand for a fee of $7,500.

A son of Belmont Stakes winner Touch Gold, Midas Eyes stood his first season last year at Mill Ridge Farm near Lexington, Ky.

Lamonica feels that Midas Eyes, whom he calls a "strong stallion," is a good fit for the New York racing and breeding program.

After a study of the more than 800 statebred races at New York Racing Association tracks, Lamonica found races were run at an average distance of seven furlongs.

"When Mill Ridge called about him, here was a legit Grade 1 winner at seven furlongs," Lamonica said. "He can stretch out to a mile, and to me he was a horse with name recognition. When New Yorkers take a foal to sale, they're going to know who he is."

As a 3-year-old in 2003, Midas Eyes won the Grade 3 Derby Trial at one mile and the Grade 3 Swale Stakes at seven furlongs, defeating the likes of Champali, Posse, Whywhywhy, and Roaring Fever. Later that year he was second in the Cigar Mile and Malibu Stakes, both Grade 1 events.

At Saratoga as a 4-year-old, Midas Eyes captured the Grade 1 Forego Handicap at seven furlongs over Clock Stopper, Gygistar, and Strong Hope.

He won the Swale in 1:21 and the Forego in 1:22.22, earning respective Beyer Speed Figures of 110 and 113.

"He offers that crucial element and that is pure, raw speed," said Lamonica, who noted that City Zip and Belong to Me marked themselves with speed at the beginning of their stud careers in New York.

Midas Eyes is out of Bayou Plans, by Bayou Hebert, and he is the first of her three stakes winners.

A stakes winner with earnings of $308,959, Bayou Plans is also the dam of stakes winner Bourbon N Blues, a son of New York sire Lycius, and Bayou's Lassie, winner of this year's Calder Oaks and Judy's Red Shoes as a 3-year-old filly.

Bayou Plans descends from a family that includes Hopeful Stakes winner Outing Class and Sunset Handicap winner O'Hara, who placed in the Hollywood Gold Cup and Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Two progeny of Naughty Natisha score

William B. Wilmot and Joan M. Taylor, who own and operate Stepwise Farm in Saratoga, saw two winners from their mare Naughty Natisha at Aqueduct last weekend.

Naughty Natisha is the dam of Naughty New Yorker, who won the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap on Nov. 11, a day after his younger half-sister Fast and Furious won her maiden.

Naughty New Yorker, by Quiet American, won the 10-furlong Red Smith, transferred to the main track after heavy rain canceled turf racing, for his first graded victory. The hard-trying 4-year-old sent his career earnings to $608,802, with a record of 7-5-5 from 27 starts.

Wilmot and Taylor purchased Naughty Natisha, by Known Fact, for $150,000 at the Keeneland November sale while she was carrying eventual stakes winner Pupil.

Naughty New Yorker was purchased for $145,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s March auction of 2-year-olds in training, while Fast and Furious, by Artax, was purchased for $150,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Eastern May 2-year-olds in training sale in 2005.

Pair of triumphs in open stakes

New York-breds Ferocious Fires and Magnolia Jackson both scored open stakes wins last weekend.

Ferocious Fires, bred by Sanford Goldfarb, remained unbeaten in five career outings with a victory in the Mr. Leader Stakes at Aqueduct.

A 3-year-old son of Lite the Fuse, Ferocious Fires is out of Flag on the Gate, by Key to the Flag, and he sent his career earnings to $97,134.

Ferocious Fires descends from a family that includes Gazelle Handicap winner Another Nell.

Magnolia Jackson won the Montclair State University Stakes at the Meadowlands for her third open stakes victory this year. The 4-year-old daughter of Cape Canaveral earlier captured the Correction and Grade 2 Bed o' Roses handicaps at Aqueduct, and has not been worse than third in seven races in 2006.

She sent her career earnings to $391,784 with a record of 8-2-1 in 13 starts.

Bred by Sez Who Thoroughbreds, Magnolia Jackson is out of Just a Bullet (by Jolie's Halo), a full sister to American Bullet, winner of the Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes in 2000.