Updated on 09/17/2011 10:57AM

Northview's bookings up over 2002


The breeding season is off to a promising start at Maryland's largest commercial stud farm, Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City.

"I've been amazed - bookings are way ahead of last year," said Northview's managing partner Richard Golden, who said he was "really pessimistic coming into 2003."

Prospects for slot machines at Maryland tracks and the recent change in track ownership at Laurel and Pimlico have led to renewed optimism. "The future looks brighter," Golden said, "and we hope it keeps getting brighter."

Northview, in its 15th season, stands 10 stallions who are expected to cover a total of approximately 600 mares in 2003.

New for this season is Polish Miner, a regally bred son of Danzig-Miner's Game, by Mr. Prospector. Others run the gamut from well-established sires to young horses whose first crops have yet to hit the track.

Northview horses figured prominently on Maryland's general sires list in 2002, as usual, accounting for three of the top five rankings. Northview's Not for Love, represented last year by 11 stakes winners, ranked second by progeny earnings ($4,413,340) to perennial leader Allen's Prospect, and was the state's leading juvenile sire by money won ($666,932).

Not for Love, a 13-year-old son of Mr. Prospector out of the Northern Dancer mare Dance Number, had his fourth crop come to the races last year, and in it were three 2-year-old stakes winners, including top Maryland-bred juvenile filly performer Coquettish.

Other top-five Maryland sires from Northview were stalwart Two Punch, who had his best season yet with progeny earnings approaching $4 million, and hard-hitting Polish Numbers, whose death last November at age 15 (after fracturing a leg in a paddock accident) left a gap that will be difficult to fill.

Northview also stands Maryland's leading freshman sire of 2002, Partner's Hero, represented by 14 winners, including Maryland Million Lassie winner Object of Virtue and stakes-placed Senor Cielo Two, in his first crop. A graded-stakes-winning half-brother to Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Safely Kept, Partner's Hero (Danzig-Safely Home, by Winning Hit) surprised few people with his strong start.

Notable among new sires at Northview is Polish Miner.

"We have very high hopes for Polish Miner to follow in the tradition of these other horses," Golden said, noting that the farm's stallion showing, rescheduled for March 2, is expected to draw about 300 people, many of them coming specifically for a look at Polish Miner.

Bred and raced by the Phipps family, as were Not for Love and Polish Numbers, Polish Miner offers the potent Danzig-Mr. Prospector bloodlines along with a solid race record. He competed in graded stakes through age 5 last season, and was four times graded stakes placed, earning $344,646.

Polish Miner is booked to approximately 40 mares as of mid-February, and Golden expects that number to rise substantially after the stallion showing. His fee is $3,500 live foal.

Meanwhile, Not for Love (stud fee $15,000) was booked full with 105 mares before Christmas.

"Not for Love is being sought after by many farms in Kentucky," said Golden, who in the early 1990's waged a vigorous campaign to keep Two Punch in Maryland. "We've opted to keep Not for Love here, and keep his stud fee down, and we think we did the right thing. We like to see people make money with our horses."

Northview has set 105 as the maximum book for stallions. "We don't like to have a problem getting mares into the breeding shed," Golden said. "That's the number that seems to work for us. So far, Not for Love is the only one who is booked full for 2003, but Two Punch is very close."

Two Punch, who just turned 20, is Northview's priciest stallion, at $20,000 live foal. By Mr. Prospector out of champion Heavenly Cause (by Grey Dawn II), Two Punch was moderately successful in a racing career cut short by injury, winning 4 of 8 starts, including the Bachelor Stakes. But he has ranked among Maryland's leading sires each year since 1990 when his offspring first hit the track.

Two Punch's all-time stars include Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Smoke Glacken and Grade 1 winner Taking Risks. Among his five stakes winners in 2002 was multiple graded-placed Willa on the Move.

Two Punch's latest standout is Boxer Girl, who won the Feb. 1 Jameela Stakes at Laurel Park in her stakes debut, and helped to further another rare distinction for Northview stallions. Northview horses sired the first three finishers in the Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship Stakes on Dec. 31 - Coquettish (by Not for Love), Grace Bay (Waquoit), and Angel Punch (Two Punch) - and did it again in the Jameela, in which Partner's Hero's daughter Wonderous Woman was second and Coquettish third.

Northview's stallion roster includes two other horses ranked among the top 10 Maryland sires in 2002: multimillionaire Grade 1 winners Waquoit (1983, Relaunch-Grey Parlo, by Grey Dawn II), with total progeny earnings of approximately $20 million, and Concern (1991, Broad Brush-Fara's Team, by Tunerup), who has five stakes winners in four crops to race. Concern's best runner last season was 2-year-old stakes winner Bridge Out Again.

Waiting to make their mark are additional Northview stallions:

* Awad (1990, Caveat-Dancer's Candy, by Noble Dancer), a top-class turf runner whose first crop of current 3-year-olds figure to come into their own this season.

* Diamond (1995, Mr. Prospector-Pure Profit, by Key to the Mint), represented by his first crop of racing age in 2003.

* And two horses whose first crops will race in 2004 - Crowd Pleaser (1995, A.P. Indy-Creaking Board-GB, by Night Shift) and Lion Hearted (1996, Storm Cat-Cadillacing, by Alydar).