12/23/2007 1:00AM

Not for Love outdoes himself in 2007

EmailRaising the bar when you've been on top for four consecutive years would seem a monumental task. Not for Love, Maryland's leading sire since 2003, has accomplished just that feat.

Not for Love, a 17-year-old son of Mr. Prospector who has made his career at Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City, is wrapping up his best year ever.

The first Maryland stallion to surpass the $5 million mark in progeny earnings for a single season, a level he reached in 2004 when his runners earned $5,440,860, Not for Love has exceeded that amount in 2007. With $5.7 million to date, he ranks 18th in the nation among North American-based sires, and maintains the distinction of being the highest-ranked stallion standing outside of Kentucky, which he has been (based on North American earnings) since that 2003 season.

Not for Love got his 11th stakes winner of the year when his 4-year-old daughter For Kisses barreled down the stretch to win Laurel Park's Squan Song Stakes for Maryland-bred fillies and mares on Dec. 15. A Buckingham Farm homebred, For Kisses caught pacesetter Now It Begins in the final strides to win by a neck. Trained by Richard Small, For Kisses is the second stakes winner by Not for Love produced by Eddie and Binnie Houghton's superb mare Palliser Bay.

A graded stakes winner of $248,623, Palliser Bay (by Frosty the Snowman) produced her first live foal in 2001, the Not for Love filly He Loves Me. Raced by the Houghtons before she was sold early in her 4-year-old season, the Small-trained He Loves Me was named Maryland-bred champion 3-year-old filly after winning five stakes, including the Grade 3 Iowa Derby, and finishing third in the Grade 1 Gazelle. She earned $343,250.

For Kisses has won or placed in 10 of her 18 starts, including three stakes placings, and has earned $207,506.

"She's had lots of little things to overcome," said Binnie Houghton.

For Kisses will remain in training for 2008.

Palliser Bay remains in production at the Houghtons' picturesque farm on Maryland's Eastern Shore in Chestertown. She has a weanling colt by Not for Love and is back in foal to the same stallion. Unfortunately, her 2006 colt by Not for Love died as a foal. The Houghtons also have the young unraced mare Running Creek (2004, by Cape Town), a half-sister to For Kisses, in their broodmare band. She is in foal to Honour and Glory.

Taking the lead among freshman sires

Seeking Daylight, a 9-year-old son of Seeking the Gold who stands at Maryland Stallion Station in Glyndon, has inched past his barnmate Rock Slide to rank as the top Maryland freshman sire. With progeny earnings of slightly more than $142,000, Seeking Daylight is about $1,000 ahead of Rock Slide.

From Nov. 28 to Dec. 8, Seeking Daylight had four new winners, to push his total number of winners for the year to six. His runners have won at four different tracks.

Out of the graded-stakes-winning mare Play All Day (by Steady Growth), Seeking Daylight is from the family of Canadian Horses of the Year With Approval and Izvestia, classic winner Touch Gold, and millionaire Healthy Addiction. A half-brother to Grade 1 winner Hedonist, Seeking Daylight was also a graded stakes winner, scoring by more than eight lengths in the 2002 Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap. He stands for $3,500 live foal as the property of a partnership.

Maryland Million deadline fast approaching

The deadline to nominate foals and stallions to make them eligible for the Maryland Million program is Dec. 31. There are no supplemental nominations to the $1 million-plus race day, but there are three options to nominate foals. Once nominated, they are eligible for the program for their entire career.

Foals of 2007 can be fully nominated for a fee of $250, payable by Dec. 31, while a fee of $600 is due by that date for foals of 2006 who have yet to be nominated. The final eligibility period is July 31 of the 2-year-old year, when the fee rises to $1,500.

All stallions standing in Maryland in 2008 need to be nominated to make their foals of 2009 eligible.

For forms and a list of nominated stallions, contact the Maryland Million office at (410) 252-2100.