11/28/2008 12:00AM

Miracle Man joins Pucker Ridge roster


Miracle Man, a multiple-stakes-placed runner on turf and dirt at several tracks, will begin his stud career at Lois Engel's Pucker Ridge Farm in Warrensburg, N.Y.

His fee for the 2009 breeding season is $2,500, and he stands as the property of Jeff Pearl, Fred Picarello, Vincent Formato, and John Seyford.

Miracle Man started his career with three consecutive victories, moving through his conditions and defeating several good performers, including the graded-stakes winner Silver Train.

Those victories, by a combined 11 1/2 lengths, came at Churchill Downs, Gulfstream Park, and Keeneland.

He placed in three successive stakes at Monmouth Park during his 3-year-old season, and returned to that track at age 4 to set a course record of 1:41.03 for 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Engel explained that Picarello moved his stallion Carry My Colors to Pucker Ridge Farm in early 2008, and suggested to her that he would try to get another one for the 2009 season. That horse turned out to be Miracle Man.

Noting that the mid-Hudson Valley region of New York has several farms with a wide range of stallions, Engel said Miracle Man is a good addition to the northern region of the Hudson Valley and upstate New York.

Warrensburg is 30 miles north of Saratoga Springs.

"There is a huge mare population in the Saratoga area," said Engel. "If you are able to stay in the region, it is less stressful for the mares than shipping several hours. So I think having another stallion available here could be helpful."

Miracle Man is by Yankee Victor, a son of Saint Ballado from the Hail to Reason line.

Active sires in this line include Arch, Red Ransom, and More Than Ready.

An outcross through his first five generations, Miracle Man is out of the Fappiano mare Broadway Boogie. He is a half-brother to stakes winner Princess Willow.

Miracle Man's second dam is the Nijinsky II mare Vestris, who finished third in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes to New York-bred Cupecoy's Joy in 1982.

Vestris is the dam of Highest Glory, winner of the Grade 2 Rare Perfume Stakes, and Video Ranger, who placed in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby.

Wishful Tom takes graded stakes

The 3-year-old New York-bred Wishful Tomcat won the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap on Nov. 22 at Aqueduct, becoming the 12th member of his statebred crop to win or place in a graded event.

A homebred of Anthony Grey's Winter Park Partners Stable, Wishful Tom sent his career earnings to $280,509, with a record of 5-3-1 in 11 starts.

Wishful Tomcat is the 32nd New York-bred to win an open stakes race in 2008.

Foaled at Becky Thomas's Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson, N.Y., he is by Tactical Cat out of Holy Wish, by Lord at War.

Holy Wish is also the dam of Uncle T Seven, a 2-year-old by state sire Freud who has placed in the Continental Mile and Bertram F. Bongard Stakes this season.

Holy Wish is a half-sister to the dam of graded stakes winner Betty's Wish.

Wishful Tomcat's third dam is Papal Decree, the mother of Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes winner Papal Power, from a family that also includes New York-bred stakes winner Light Up New York.

Wishful Tomcat was winning his third straight in the Discovery, which followed turf stakes wins in the Floral Park and John's Gold at Belmont Park.

The consistent New York-bred That'srightofficer finished second in the Discovery.

Owner of Identify dies

Kenneth C. Avanzino, 71, who owned New York-bred stakes winner Identity, died on Nov. 20.

Avanzino, of Stamford, Conn., Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and Hallandale Beach, Fla., was an enthusiastic supporter of the state program.

He was a partner in Broadlands Farm, in Andes, N.Y, the home of stallions Coup de Chance, Determined Cosmic and Roman Reasoning.

Identity captured the West Point Handicap and Ashley T. Cole Handicap in 1996.

Sale numbers adjusted downward

The New York Breeders' Sales Company is adjusting its final numbers for the fall mixed sale held at Saratoga Race Course on Oct. 12, according to director of sales Todd Venetz.

The company originally reported small gains in gross receipts of $1,787,650, a bit higher than its 2007 gross of $1,778,700. The adjusted numbers will represent a decline because several horses listed as sold were not.

"The issue is resolved," said Venetz.

Venetz declined further comment, but noted the horses in question never left the sales grounds.