09/11/2008 11:00PM

Mr. Livingston's offspring thrive on turf


The racing and marketing departments of Calder Race Course know how to put on a good show. Their racing creations include the Summit of Speed, the Florida Stallion Stakes series, the Juvenile Showcase, and others. The Sept. 6 program was an all 2-year-old card, labeled Juvenile Showcase Day.

Perhaps only at Calder could a racing secretary fill a 12-race card exclusively with 2-year-olds and make it go. Racing secretary Mike Anifantis touched about every base for the Juvenile Showcase. No doubt with some trepidation, Anifantis carded four of the 12 races for the turf. With all of the hurricanes swirling around south Florida, the chances of avoiding foul weather were not good. But Calder and the horsemen, who have been awaiting the turf, got lucky, and many 2-year-olds trying the turf for the first time found a new forte.

Two of those came from the first crop of Mr. Livingston, a versatile, sound horse who raced from 1999 through 2006 in a mostly Florida campaign. He went postward 40 times for trainer Bill Kaplan and won seven stakes, including the Grade 3 Palm Beach. He earned $429,285, and his best surface definitely was the turf. The almost white son of El Prado stands at Bridlewood Farm these days for $3,500, the property of David and Teresa Palmer.

Mr. Livingston's daughter Ms. Lively won a maiden special weight race. Ms. Lively is out of the producer Notatinkertoy, by Great Above, and she belied her 21-1 odds as she rallied from midpack to win the mile turf race going away.

The third race on the program was for maiden colts and geldings at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. And in this race, Kaplan and Mr. Livingston completed their double when the gelding Livingston Street rallied from far back and whooshed by his rivals in the stretch to win by more than six lengths. Livingston Street's dam is Eskimo Mom, by Eskimo, and he was bred by Cornelius Link.

Whatever else Mr. Livingston does as a stallion from now on, there are two things going in his favor. First, his offspring get better as distances lengthen, and second, they sure like the grass.

Trippi, Montbrook battle for top spot

Two stallions associated with Ocala Stud are in a nip-and-tuck race to be Florida's leading sire in 2008. Trippi, as announced, has departed for his new residence in South Africa. Montbrook, according to Ocala Stud, is not going anywhere

The Sept. 6 program had a number of Trippi 2-year-olds competing. His daughter Aroma de Mujer, out of Cuchu, by Storm Creek, won the $150,000 Susan's Girl division of the Florida Stallion Stakes. Another daughter of Trippi, Trippi's Greatstar, bred by Ocala Stud, finished third behind Aroma de Mujer. Trippi's other winner on the card came in the second race, when Sayer's won a $40,000 maiden claimer.

The 18-year-old sire Montbrook has not had as many Florida Stallion Stakes winners as one might have thought. Prior to this year, Montbrook had sired Snuck In, winner of two divisions in 1999, and Trust N Luck, winner of a division in the 2002 series.

This year, the Montbrook-sired Big Drama won his maiden by 7 1/4 lengths and took the first leg of the open division of the series, the Dr. Fager, by three lengths in August. In the Affirmed division, Big Drama sat off a blistering pace, moved when asked, and won by 3 1/2 lengths.

Big Drama is out of the Notebook broodmare Riveting Drama and was bred by Harold Queen. Queen is no stranger to good horses, as one of the more successful of his recent homebreds is the millionaire and first-crop sire Burning Roma, who stands at Hidden Point Farm.

Circular Quay to stand at Journeyman

Circular Quay, one of the ranking juveniles of 2006 when he won the Grade 1 Hopeful and Grade 3 Bashford Manor, is being syndicated to stand in 2009 at Brent and Crystal Fernung's Journeyman Stud. Circular Quay also won the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at 3 and the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap this year at 4.

The chestnut son of Thunder Gulch out of Circle of Life, by Belong to Me, raced for Coolmore Stud interests, and Coolmore will be a part of the syndicate.

"We still need to fine-tune parts of the deal," Brent Fernung said earlier this week.

Fernung said Circular Quay is to be syndicated into 50 shares, and the price per share will be about five times his stud fee, which will likely be $15,000.

"Circular Quay fits Florida," said Fernung.