09/02/2004 11:00PM

New stallion has a certain quality

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Northview Stallion Station's newest addition has settled in at the farm in Chesapeake City, Md., and if his new career is anything like his previous one, the 2005 breeding season can't arrive soon enough.

Great Notion, a stakes-winning son of the nation's current leading sire, Elusive Quality, is a stallion "who offers breeders lots of speed with a pedigree to back him up," says Richard Golden, one of the Northview owners. Now 4, Great Notion retired earlier this year after winning or placing in 7 of 12 starts and earning $194,608.

Of bringing Great Notion to Maryland, Golden said, "I have been a fan of Elusive Quality for a long time and have followed all of his good horses. The defining moment for me was when Great Notion just missed winning the King's Bishop in Saratoga."

Undefeated in two starts at 2, Great Notion displayed brilliance at 3, facing the best sprinters of his age group repeatedly in graded competition. "As I kept reviewing his racing career, I was extremely impressed with the caliber of horses that he beat," said Golden. "A horse has to have a lot of class to beat those kind of horses. Ghostzapper is a good example."

In the Grade 1 King's Bishop Stakes last year, he was in front for all but the last jump of the seven-furlong contest, losing to Valid Video by a neck. Among those he fought off were Grade 1 winner Ghostzapper, who finished third, as well as graded winners During, Posse, Eye of the Tiger, Zavata, and Scrimshaw.

Earlier in his campaign, Great Notion flew to a nine-length victory over Alke, Comic Truth, and Sir Cherokee in the one-mile Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. He was second in three additional stakes: to Zavata in the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes at six furlongs at Saratoga; to Champali in the 6 1/2-furlong Turfway Preview at Turfway Park after setting opening fractions of 22.82 and 45.79 seconds; and to Crowned King, stretching out to 1 1/16 miles in the Rebel.

"Great Notion is a beautiful package," said Golden. "He is a medium-size horse with a great head, shoulder, and hip. He toes in a little, which comes from the Danzig in his pedigree."

Great Notion sports a pedigree that combines the highly popular Northern Dancer-Mr. Prospector cross twice. Through Elusive Quality appear Gone West (by Mr. Prospector) and Hero's Honor (Northern Dancer). Great Notion's dam, Evening Primrose, is by European champion sprinter Dayjur (by Danzig out of an Eclipse Award-winning sprinter, Gold Beauty, by Mr. Prospector).

A half-brother to Group 3-placed juvenile Chester Le Street, Great Notion is from the family of an Australian Horse of the Year Jeune, and a Grade 1 winner, Talinum. His second dam was graded stakes winner Water Lily, and his third dam was a French champion juvenile filly, First Bloom.

According to Golden, Great Notion will stand for $3,500 live foal, payable when the foal stands and nurses.

"We will be selling a limited amount of shares in Great Notion for $20,000 each that will be payable over three years," said Golden. "The shareholders will get two seasons each in the first three years. There will be 40 shares in the syndicate."

First winner for freshman sire

First-year sire Crowd Pleaser was represented by his initial winner when his son Assemblyman won a maiden special weight at Timonium on Sept. 1. Trained by Tim Salzman for Great Lake Stable, Assemblyman was bred in Maryland by Northview Stallion Station out of the Kris S. mare Kiffi.

Crowd Pleaser, a strapping 9-year-old son of A.P. Indy, was a stakes winner on the main track at 2, but made his mark as a turf horse over the next three seasons, earning $605,150. Crowd Pleaser's first crop consists of 53 named foals.