07/22/2004 11:00PM

Mona Rose latest boon for brothers


Paul O'Brien jokes that he and his brother Frank are "overnight successes" in the Ontario breeding industry after more than 15 years in the business. On July 17, their homebred filly Mona Rose won the Grade 3 Dance Smartly Handicap.

"We've bred a lot of claiming winners, but this is just our second stakes winner," said O'Brien, who owns the 50-acre Dalcassian Farm in Caledon East, Ontario.

The O'Briens joined the Thoroughbred industry through Michael Bennett, a friend of theirs from their native Ireland and the breeder of a top-class runner and sire, Briartic.

"When we came to Toronto, we bought a horse with him, but that one didn't work out very well," said O'Brien. "So he gave us a mare, Royal Canada, to make up for it."

The O'Briens were hooked, and in 1987 purchased their first top mare, Willowy Miss, at a yearling sale.

"She was a hard-knocker but suffered a couple of fractures and had to be retired," said O'Brien.

Willowy Miss produced the 1993 Silver Deputy filly Angel's Tearlet, who went on to win over $280,000 for the brothers, including two stakes. Angel's Tearlet also finished second in the Grade 3 Honorable Miss Stakes at Saratoga as a 5-year-old.

The O'Briens sold Angel's Tearlet for $150,000 (U.S.) at the 1999 Keeneland November breeding stock sale to Cobra Farm and still closely follow her breeding career.

A year earlier, the O'Briens had claimed the Lomond filly Royal Charmer for $10,500 from trainer Abraham Katryan and bred her to Sultry Song.

While that foal never raced because of a club foot, the mare's second foal was the impressive-looking Mona Rose, a daughter of Gold Legend.

Gold Legend, who stood for a $5,000 fee this year in Texas, is an unraced son of Seattle Slew out of the champion sprinting mare Gold Beauty. Gold Legend is a half-brother to a European champion, Dayjur, and the sire of millionaire Heritage of Gold.

"The liberal doses of Native Dancer, top and bottom, were a prime attraction," explained O'Brien about choosing Gold Legend to breed to Royal Charmer. The 3 x 3 nick to My Charmer, the dam of Seattle Slew and Lomond, said O'Brien, "is a bit close, but I guess it worked."

Full sister to Overskate winner on offer

A full sister to Barath, winner of Wednesday's Overskate Stakes, is cataloged for the Sept. 7 Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society's select sale of Canadian-bred yearlings. Barath and his younger sister are offspring of Bold Executive-Set Destiny, by Marshua's Dancer and were bred by William Gierkink of Stouffville, Ontario.

Gierkink, whose son Ron is a handicapper for Daily Racing Form, had success with that nick in 1989 when his homebred Bodust, a daughter of Bold Ruckus (the sire of Bold Executive) from Set Destiny's dam, Sonsette Dust, won the Shady Well Stakes.

* Jurgen and Monique Schemmer purchased a Straight Man-Wedding Day Blues colt from the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky yearling sale last week for $110,000. A Canadian-bred gray, the colt is a half-brother to stakes winner Bachelor Blues. The Schemmers, who race as Arosa Farms, were among the very few Canadian buyers at the Kentucky sale.