10/02/2001 11:00PM

Mozart, Johannesburg should take to dirt

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LAS VEGAS - With the Breeders' Cup only three weeks from Saturday, it's time to take a look at some of the Europeans who may try to transfer their brilliant turf form to dirt.

Mozart (Danehill-Victoria Cross, by Spectacular Bid) won the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes in England on Aug. 23, and he is Europe's leading hope for the Breeders' Cup Sprint. Mozart previously won the Darley July Cup (Group 1), as well as Jersey Stakes (Group 3). In Ireland, he finished second in the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Group 1) and third in both the Tetrarch Stakes (Group 3) and listed Leopardstown Two Thousand Guineas Trial.

Mozart's sire, Danehill, may not be familiar to racegoers in the U.S., but he is recognized as one of the world's truly great stallions. Danehill won three of six starts at 3, including the Group 1 Ladbroke Sprint Cup, and was England's champion sprinter in 1989. He entered stud in Ireland and Australia in 1990, and was champion Australian sire three times, champion Australian juvenile sire five times, and champion European juvenile sire. He has more than 125 stakes winners and is unquestionably Danzig's best son at stud.

Danehill's female family all but guaranteed his global success. His dam, Razyana (His Majesty), also produced stakes winners Eagle Eyed (Danzig), Harpia (Danzig), Shibboleth (Danzig), and Euphonic (The Minstrel). Another foal, Anziyan (Danzig), was group-placed in France and stands in California.

Danehill is ingeniously inbred to Natalma, one of the most influential broodmares of the last century, and is an example of the Rasmussen Factor (a horse inbred to a superior female within five generations through different individuals) at its finest. Natalma is the dam of Northern Dancer (sire of Danzig), and is also the dam of Spring Adieu, the dam of Razyana. This extraordinary female line has also produced Halo, Machiavellian, La Prevoyante, Coup de Folie, Coup de Genie, and Exit to Nowhere.

Mozart's female family is as famous and imposing as his sire's family. Although his dam, Victoria Cross, was unraced, she is out of Broodmare of the Year Glowing Tribute, and is a half-sister to seven stakes winners, including Sea Hero, Hero's Honor, Wild Applause, Glowing Honor, Coronation Cup, Mackie, and Seattle Glow.

Because they race primarily in Australia and Europe, Danehill's offspring have not had many opportunities to race on dirt, but there are many reasons to believe they will handle dirt. Harpia, a full sister to Danehill, was a graded stakes winner on dirt who possessed superior speed. Although Mozart is better-bred for turf, with Danehill on top and Spectacular Bid on the bottom, there is reason to think he may take to dirt.

Sheikh Albadou (Green Desert), another son of Danzig, won the 1991 Breeders' Cup Sprint, while Dayjur, a champion European sprinter by Danzig, finished second in the 1990 Breeders' Cup Sprint after jumping shadows near the finish line. Clearly, Danzig's offspring have been quite versatile, winning on all surfaces, so Mozart should be right at home on Belmont Park's dirt.

While Mozart is unproven on dirt, he is Europe's best sprinter, has a very high-class pedigree, and should not be overlooked in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at what should be generous odds.

Johannesburg (Hennessy-Myth, by Ogygian) is undefeated in five starts in England, Ireland, and France. He is indisputably Europe's best 2-year-old this year, and his pedigree is all American.

Johannesburg is from the second crop of Hennessy, who was leased to stand in Japan this year. Hennessy's first crop included Distilled, Harmony Lodge, and Keats, and his runners have inherited his speed. Hennessy was brilliant at 2, the only year he raced, winning four of nine races, including the Hopeful, Sapling, and Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes. He also finished second in the Hollywood Prevue Breeders' Cup Stakes and Breeders' Cup Juvenile, by a neck to Unbridled's Song.

While Hennessy's runners have shown a distinct fondness for turf, his offspring, such as Harmony Lodge, have displayed high speed on dirt.

Johannesburg's female family has had great success on dirt and turf. His dam, Myth, is a winning-half-sister to stakes winners Tale of the Cat (Storm Cat), Minardi (Boundary), and Spunoutacontrol (Wild Again). His second dam, stakes winner Narrate, is the dam of stakes winner Preach (the dam of stakes winner Pulpit). The third dam, State, is the dam of prominent turf stakes horses Region and Double Feint, and the fourth dam, Monarchy, is a full sister to Round Table.

As usual, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile will have an abundance of speed and Johannesburg is an intriguing entrant, because he has rated in his races and shown a burst of acceleration in the stretch. Based strictly on his pedigree, he is a definite threat on dirt.

LAS VEGAS - With the Breeders' Cup only three weeks from Saturday, it's time to take a look at some of the Europeans who may try to transfer their brilliant turf form to dirt.

Mozart (Danehill-Victoria Cross, by Spectacular Bid) won the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes in England on Aug. 23, and he is Europe's leading hope for the Breeders' Cup Sprint. Mozart previously won the Darley July Cup (Group 1), as well as Jersey Stakes (Group 3). In Ireland, he finished second in the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Group 1) and third in both the Tetrarch Stakes (Group 3) and listed Leopardstown Two Thousand Guineas Trial.

Mozart's sire, Danehill, may not be familiar to racegoers in the U.S., but he is recognized as one of the world's truly great stallions. Danehill won three of six starts at 3, including the Group 1 Ladbroke Sprint Cup, and was England's champion sprinter in 1989. He entered stud in Ireland and Australia in 1990, and was champion Australian sire three times, champion Australian juvenile sire five times, and champion European juvenile sire. He has more than 125 stakes winners and is unquestionably Danzig's best son at stud.

Danehill's female family all but guaranteed his global success. His dam, Razyana (His Majesty), also produced stakes winners Eagle Eyed (Danzig), Harpia (Danzig), Shibboleth (Danzig), and Euphonic (The Minstrel). Another foal, Anziyan (Danzig), was group-placed in France and stands in California.

Danehill is ingeniously inbred to Natalma, one of the most influential broodmares of the last century, and is an example of the Rasmussen Factor (a horse inbred to a superior female within five generations through different individuals) at its finest. Natalma is the dam of Northern Dancer (sire of Danzig), and is also the dam of Spring Adieu, the dam of Razyana. This extraordinary female line has also produced Halo, Machiavellian, La Prevoyante, Coup de Folie, Coup de Genie, and Exit to Nowhere.

Mozart's female family is as famous and imposing as his sire's family. Although his dam, Victoria Cross, was unraced, she is out of Broodmare of the Year Glowing Tribute, and is a half-sister to seven stakes winners, including Sea Hero, Hero's Honor, Wild Applause, Glowing Honor, Coronation Cup, Mackie, and Seattle Glow.

Because they race primarily in Australia and Europe, Danehill's offspring have not had many opportunities to race on dirt, but there are many reasons to believe they will handle dirt. Harpia, a full sister to Danehill, was a graded stakes winner on dirt who possessed superior speed. Although Mozart is better-bred for turf, with Danehill on top and Spectacular Bid on the bottom, there is reason to think he may take to dirt.

Sheikh Albadou (Green Desert), another son of Danzig, won the 1991 Breeders' Cup Sprint, while Dayjur, a champion European sprinter by Danzig, finished second in the 1990 Breeders' Cup Sprint after jumping shadows near the finish line. Clearly, Danzig's offspring have been quite versatile, winning on all surfaces, so Mozart should be right at home on Belmont Park's dirt.

While Mozart is unproven on dirt, he is Europe's best sprinter, has a very high-class pedigree, and should not be overlooked in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at what should be generous odds.

Johannesburg (Hennessy-Myth, by Ogygian) is undefeated in five starts in England, Ireland, and France. He is indisputably Europe's best 2-year-old this year, and his pedigree is all American.

Johannesburg is from the second crop of Hennessy, who was leased to stand in Japan this year. Hennessy's first crop included Distilled, Harmony Lodge, and Keats, and his runners have inherited his speed. Hennessy was brilliant at 2, the only year he raced, winning four of nine races, including the Hopeful, Sapling, and Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes. He also finished second in the Hollywood Prevue Breeders' Cup Stakes and Breeders' Cup Juvenile, by a neck to Unbridled's Song.

While Hennessy's runners have shown a distinct fondness for turf, his offspring, such as Harmony Lodge, have displayed high speed on dirt.

Johannesburg's female family has had great success on dirt and turf. His dam, Myth, is a winning-half-sister to stakes winners Tale of the Cat (Storm Cat), Minardi (Boundary), and Spunoutacontrol (Wild Again). His second dam, stakes winner Narrate, is the dam of stakes winner Preach (the dam of stakes winner Pulpit). The third dam, State, is the dam of prominent turf stakes horses Region and Double Feint, and the fourth dam, Monarchy, is a full sister to Round Table.

As usual, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile will have an abundance of speed and Johannesburg is an intriguing entrant, because he has rated in his races and shown a burst of acceleration in the stretch. Based strictly on his pedigree, he is a definite threat on dirt.