02/22/2008 12:00AM

Nashoba's Key crowned queen of Cal-breds


ARCADIA, Calif. - Nashoba's Key, the California-bred horse of the year for 2007, occupies the first stall at trainer Carla Gaines's Santa Anita stable. She deserves it. With a career record of 7 wins in 9 starts and earnings of $1,072,090, Nashoba's Key is the finest horse owned by Warren Williamson and trained by Gaines.

The stall next to Nashoba's Key is filled by an unraced 4-year-old filly named Nashoba's Excess, a half-sister to Nashoba's Key.

Nashoba's Key is by Silver Hawk, a Kentucky-based stallion who was retired from stud duty in 2006. Nashoba, Nashoba's Key's dam, was sent to California after she was bred to Silver Hawk. After Nashoba foaled Nashoba's Key, she was bred to a California-based stallion, In Excess, which allowed Nashoba's Key to be registered as a California-bred. The resulting foal was Nashoba's Excess, also a California-bred.

While the two females are side-by-side in the stable, their careers have taken divergent paths. Nashoba's Excess has yet to start, and Gaines is taking a cautious approach to the way she is trained.

"She took a pretty good rap to a leg when she was 2," Gaines said. "She hasn't had any workouts yet. It will be a long, slow process."

Nashoba's Excess jogged at Santa Anita on Friday morning. Nashoba's Key is in training for an expected start in the $300,000 Santa Margarita Handicap over 1 1/8 miles at Santa Anita on March 9.

In that race, she will be seeking her third Grade 1 victory, having won the Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park last July and the Yellow Ribbon Stakes on turf at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meeting last September.

Nashoba's Key will be trying to end a two-race losing streak, the only losses of her career. She was fourth in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Monmouth Park last October, her first loss, and second in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf here on Jan. 26.

This year, Gaines figures to start Nashoba's Key on both synthetic tracks and turf. Three of Nashoba's Key's win have come on synthetic tracks.

"She can go on both," Gaines said.

Nashoba's Key became the first female since Moscow Burning in 2004 to earn the title of California-bred Horse of the Year in 2007. She outpolled two male Grade 1 winners - Lava Man, the California-bred Horse of the Year in 2005 and 2006 and the 2007 older horse of the year, and Idiot Proof, the California-bred champion sprinter and outstanding 3-year-old of 2007.

Breeders Association election

John Barr, Sue Greene, Leigh Ann Howard, Myron Johnson, and Scoop Vessels have been elected to the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association's board of directors, the association announced last week.

The election was held in conjunction with the organization's annual meeting.

Greene was elected for the first time, while the others were reelected. Barr is a past president of the CTBA. Greene owns Woodbridge Farm in Oakdale, Calif. Howard manages Valley Creek Farm in Valley Center, Calif; Johnson owns Rivendell Farm in Fresno, Calif.; and Vessels, the current CTBA president, owns Vessels Stallion Farm in Bonsall, Calif.

Good Journey runner wins stakes

Good Journey, who stands at Magali Farm in Santa Ynez, Calif., was represented by his first stakes winner earlier this month when Sound Journey won the Group 2 Top Cut Alister Clark Stakes at Moonee Valley, Australia.

Good Journey stood in Australia before being sent to Magali Farm in late 2006. Good Journey began his stud career in Australia in 2003.