10/16/2008 11:00PM

'No bid' filly heading to Breeders' Cup


Van Lear Rose did not attract a bid at last year's Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society's annual yearling sale at Woodbine.

Her owner and breeder, Richard Day, and his sister, trainer Catherine Day Phillips, could not understand it, but the result was very good fortune for the family.

Van Lear Rose, a leggy 2-year-old by freshman sire Stroll out of Richard Day's mare Devaluation, by Conquistador Cielo, is on her way to California for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on Oct. 24 thanks to her strong win in the Grade 3 Mazarine Stakes earlier this month.

Named for a Loretta Lynn recording, Van Lear Rose is yet another success story for Devaluation, whom Day purchased for $25,000 in foal to Cherokee Run at the 1997 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

The one-time winner was no stranger to sales - she had been sold once as a yearling and twice as a 2-year-old in training.

Incredibly, the first foal for the mare, the Cherokee Run colt, sold for a whopping $270,000 to top the 1999 Woodbine yearling sale, putting Day on the map of top breeders in Ontario.

While that colt never won a race while competing in Japan, his dam continued to produce some useful horses for Day's Kingview Farm.

Day raced the mare's second foal, Simply Precious, who earned $215,000, and then sold a 2005 filly by Gilded Time out of Devaluation, named Third Time Lucky, for $60,000.

But there have been some offspring of the mare that prospective buyers have simply snubbed.

A With Approval filly foaled in 2004 was bought back for $10,000, and then, of course, was Van Lear Rose, who did not reach the sale's $5,000 bid minimum.

The filly was the only offspring of the former Claiborne stallion Stroll in the sale. A Grade 1 winner by Pulpit, Stroll had already been sent overseas to Italy for stud duty by the time Van Lear Rose debuted this summer.

Stroll's half-brother Patrol currently stands in Ontario at John Carey's T.C. Westmeath Stud in Shelburne.

Richard Day is the breeder of the 2001 Breeders' Stakes winner, Sweetest Thing (Candy Stripes-Escape Reality), and Carotene stakes winner Invitational, also a buy-back, whom he bred with Rob Cudney.

Cup contender from Kinghaven

David Willmot's Kinghaven Farms has never bred a Breeders' Cup winner - it came close in 1990 with Turf runner-up With Approval - but its graduate Square Eddie could be favored in the Juvenile on Oct. 25.

A flashy chestnut son of Smart Strike, Square Eddie is out of the El Gran Senor mare Forty Gran, a stakes-placed winner who now appears to be worth every penny of the $245,000 Willmot spent on her as a broodmare prospect in 2001.

The mare's first two foals were claimers who raced for Kinghaven, but the third foal, a Pulpit filly, is Kinghaven's stakes-placed Reverently.

Square Eddie, a $200,000 yearling purchase, likely helped boost the auction price for his yearling half-sister by Songandaprayer, who sold last month at the Keeneland September sale for $250,000.

On Nov. 4, Willmot has entered Forty Gran in the second session of the Keeneland November sale, as well as the mare's weanling filly by Successful Appeal. A win by Square Eddie would certainly be perfect timing for the Kinghaven offerings, which will be sold by Anderson Farms, agent.