05/29/2009 12:00AM

New York breeder awards trimmed


The New York State Breeding and Development Fund has announced it will cut in half breeders' awards for second- and third-place finishes for both New York-sired and non-New York-sired runners.

The new awards schedule, as outlined in a memo to New York breeders, still will award a 20-percent payment for first-place finishes by New York-sired statebreds and a 10-percent payment for first-place finishes by statebreds not sired by New York stallions. But New York-sired horses will now earn their breeders a 10-percent award for second- and third-place finishes, down from 20 percent. And second- and third-place finishers not sired by New York stallions will now earn 5 percent in breeders' awards, down from 10 percent.

"The revised awards plan for 2009 retains all the essentials of the existing structure and will enable the fund to pay much closer to the 100 percent of advertised awards," the memo stated.

"I think it's a reflection of the times, and we hope this will only be temporary," said the fund's executive director, Martin Kinsella. He said the fund "has every intention" of restoring the awards to previous levels when economic conditions allow it.

The new awards terms are effective July 1.

The changes were widely expected and are due to the fund's increasing difficulty in maintaining award levels in an era when New York-bred race numbers and purses have climbed, but revenue to the fund has not kept pace.

In 2008, the fund had a $1.6 million shortfall in payouts to breeders. Kinsella has said the fund is hampered by declining revenue, having no share in simulcast revenue, and a decades-old law that prohibits the fund from distributing more than 50 percent of its total revenue as breeders' awards.

"Our country's current economic condition has an impact on the wagering revenue which fuels the incentive program," said New York Thoroughbred Breeders executive director Jeffrey Cannizzo. "But it's just as much the success and growth of our state program as economic challenges that forced change. New York's restricted racing opportunities continue to grow in support of our state's breeding, which in turn creates a stronger market for New York breeders."

Death of Java Gal leaves a void for breeders

When New York-bred Get Serious won the Monmouth Park's May 23 Elkwood Stakes in course-record time, his breeders' celebration was tempered by some regret.

That's because Java Gal, Get Serious's dam, died this spring after foaling a Rahy colt. The colt is on a nurse mare at Wayne and Susie Chatfield-Taylor's Morgan's Ford Farm in Front Royal, Va. But his dam's death at 16 leaves a hole in the broodmare band. Java Gal's six starters to date include five winners and four earners of $100,000 or more. Two of them, Get Serious and Java Warrior, are stakes performers bred by Morgan's Ford.

New York-bred Java Gal was a product of Gallagher's Stud in Ghent, N.Y. Gallagher's founders Marlene Brody and her late husband Jerome bred and raced her, then bred her to Mr. Prospector's son Buddy. She produced a highly useful runner immediately in Spirit of Mike, who raced through age 5 and earned $137,033.

Gallagher's Stud sold Java Gal in 1998 for $75,000 to Glennwood Farm, which got another winner, the Langfuhr colt Gourmet Japan, before selling her on to the Chatfield-Taylors for $25,000.

"She's from the family of Nijinsky II, if you look for it," Wayne Chatfield-Taylor said. "We were very interested in that, obviously, because it's such a great producing family. Java Gal herself was a half-sister to Allez Milord, who was a champion that won graded stakes all over the world.

"She also was a big, good-looking mare, and she threw nice, big foals."

The Chatfield-Taylors bred two New York-breds from Java Gal, winner Dance Til Morn (by Pleasant Tap) in 2003 and Get Serious (by City Zip) in 2004. They also have bred a trio in Virginia: stakes-placed Java Warrior (by Cape Town), Luna Ninya (by Aldebaran), and unraced juvenile Central Perk (by Limehouse).

They sold these for a total of $360,000, with Get Serious bringing the mare's best auction price when he sold for $130,000 as a Fasig-Tipton October yearling four years ago.

"We had a share in City Zip," Chatfield-Taylor said of the mating that yielded Get Serious, "and she crosses so well with Mr. Prospector-line stallions."

Java Gal foaled Get Serious at her birthplace, Gallagher's Stud, where she shared a pasture with her dam Why Me Lord and granddam Tomorrowland.

Unfortunately, the Chatfield-Taylors have no daughters of Java Gal.

"We sold Dance Til Morn in January, and that would have been the filly," Chatfield-Taylor explained. "She's beautifully bred to be a broodmare, and she was in foal to City Zip. You know, the one that gets away is the one you wish you'd kept, but breeders deal with that all the time."

* Equine Advocates will honor actor Burt Reynolds and Pin Oak Stud owner Josephine Abercrombie at its annual awards dinner and charity auction Aug. 6 at the Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs. Reynolds will receive the Safe Home Equine Protection Award for his efforts to protect wild and domestic horses and for opposing horse slaughter. Equine Advocates will present Abercrombie with the Moelis Award for Philanthropy.