12/09/2003 12:00AM

No roses for Footnotes just yet


LAS VEGAS - The bandwagon is full. After Read the Footnotes won the Remsen Stakes, he became the flavor of the week for next year's Kentucky Derby.

While there is no doubt that Read the Footnotes is talented, the rush to bet him in the Kentucky Derby future book is premature. John Avello, the director of Bally's and Paris race and sports books, opened Read the Footnotes at 125-1, and after his Remsen victory had to drop him to 50-1.

Much has been made of the fact that Read the Footnotes is by champion sprinter Smoke Glacken and that his pedigree is suspect at 1 1/4 miles. Read the Footnotes is from Smoke Glacken's third crop, and Smoke Glacken demonstrated with his first crop of 2-year-olds in 2001 that he was not just going to be a sire of sprinters.

That first crop yielded six stakes winners, including Smok'n Frolic, who won the 1 1/8-mile Demoiselle Stakes at 2, and Smoked Em, who captured the 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio Stakes at 3. Clearly, offspring by Smoke Glacken can get nine furlongs, especially if they are out of mares by stamina influences.

Smok'n Frolic is out of a mare by a renowned source of stamina, Green Dancer (Nijinsky II); Smoked Em is out of a mare by Irish River (Riverman); and Read the Footnotes is out of a mare by Al Nasr (Lyphard).

It has been suggested that since Read the Footnotes has already won easily at 1 1/8 miles at 2, he has plenty of room for development at 3 to get 1 1/4 miles. A fair assumption, but, the most important thing to remember is that Read the Footnotes was bred to be ahead of his class at 2, while his late-developing contemporaries who are bred to route will undoubtedly catch up to him next year at 3. The water gets much deeper next year, and Read the Footnotes will find Grade 1 victories at 1 1/8 miles - let alone 1 1/4 miles - much more difficult.

Hot female family

While his ability to win at 1 1/4 miles is questionable, there is no question about the class of Read the Footnotes' female family, which is enjoying a banner year.

Read the Footnotes' fourth dam is Kentucky Oaks and Sorority Stakes winner Native Street, who was a member of the extraordinary 1963 foal crop that included the 1965 co-Horse of the Year and champion 2-year-old filly, Moccasin, and the 1966 champion 3-year-old filly, Lady Pitt. Other stakes-winning fillies from that crop who went on to become influential broodmares were Natashka, Priceless Gem, Marking Time, Ole Liz, and Spearfish.

Native Street, her stakes-winning full sister Street Dancer, and their dam, Beaver Street, have all been in the news lately. Native Street was bred numerous times to Mr. Prospector, and one mating resulted in Prospector's Fire, who started only twice without winning. Prospector's Fire produced 13 foals, including multiple stakes and group winner Fire the Groom (Blushing Groom), the dam of Stravinsky - a European champion sprinter at 3 who is now the leading freshman sire based in the United States. Bred to Vaguely Noble, Prospector's Fire produced Vague Prospect, who, like her dam, raced only twice without winning. It is common for class in the dam to skip generations, but the cream always rises to the top. Bred to Al Nasr, Vague Prospect produced Baydon Belle, the dam of Read the Footnotes.

Street Dancer was as prolific as her sister Native Street. Bred to Nijinsky II, Street Dancer produced the high-class Street Ballet, the dam of three stakes winners: Street Rebel, Ponche, and recent Japan Cup Dirt winner Fleetstreet Dancer. Street Ballet also produced two unraced fillies who have contributed mightily to the breed. Bred to Conquistador Cielo, Street Ballet produced Arbela, the dam of Apelia, a champion sprinter in Canada. Bred to Housebuster, Street Ballet produced Street Tappin, the dam of recent Fall Highweight Handicap winner Bossanova.

Victory Gallop may topple Stravinsky

Stravinsky holds a narrow lead of $40,000 over Victory Gallop in the race for the year's leading freshman sire, according to their progeny's earnings, but a win in the upcoming Starlet Stakes at Hollywood Park by Victory U. S. A. could push Victory Gallop into first place.

Thus far, Stravinsky has 25 juvenile winners from 58 starters, and Victory Gallop has 10 winners from 36 starters. Both have two stakes winners.

European superiority

The most impressive stats for freshman sires, however, belong to two European-based stallions - Fasliyev and Cape Cross.

Fasliyev equaled End Sweep's record of 34 2-year-old winners in a single season, and more winners could be on the way before the end of the year. That list could include Triple Fantasy, a Bob Baffert-trained juvenile filly who was scratched last Sunday when a maiden race was taken off the turf.

Like Stravinsky, Fasliyev is by the late Nureyev, and his ratio of starters to number of foals is amazing. Of 70 named foals, a mind-boggling 67 2-year-olds have raced, and seven are stakes winners.

Cape Cross, a son of European champion sprinter Green Desert, also has remarkable stats, with 48 starters from 49 foals. With 24 winners, he is Europe's second-leading freshman stallion and has four stakes winners.