04/14/2006 12:00AM

Nothing suspect in these lines


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The victory of Kentucky Derby prospect Bob and John in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial is not the first for the Stonerside Stable of Robert and Janice McNair. In 2001, Congaree won the Wood in the Stonerside colors before racing to a game third in the Kentucky Derby.

If Bob and John compiles a record equal to Congaree's, Stonerside will have plenty more to cheer about, as Congaree won a dozen races and earned more than $3.2 million, with five Grade 1 successes as a measure of the horse's stature over the breadth of his career.

One of the reasons that Congaree campaigned so widely and actively was to establish firmly his athletic credentials as a stallion. His pedigree, while not bad by any means, was not the apex of commercial interest, as he was a son (although a dramatically different sort of son) of the exceptional juvenile champion Arazi.

A dazzling performer at his best, Arazi was not an equal success at stud, and by the time Congaree came to race, his sire was well out of acceptance with the commercial marketplace.

In contrast to Congaree, Bob and John has an impeccable pedigree. He is by the fine Mr. Prospector stallion Seeking the Gold and is out of the Deputy Minister mare Minister's Melody.

A graded stakes winner at 3, Minister's Melody was a $400,000 select September sale yearling.

"We bought Minister's Melody in 1995, and she was one of our first yearling purchases that Stonerside owned 100 percent," said John Adger, the racing and bloodstock manager for Stonerside.

Adger indicated that Minister's Melody showed even better form than her record indicates.

"She was fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, started to develop even more at 3, and became a graded winner," he said.

One of many fine performers and producers by the outstanding broodmare sire Deputy Minister, Minister's Melody is the best performer out of the Seattle Song mare My Song for You.

My Song for You is a stakes-placed winner of $153,575 and is the last foal out of a Broodmare of the Year, Too Bald. A daughter of Washington D.C. International winner Bald Eagle, Too Bald produced five stakes winners from 12 named foals.

The best of these was almost certainly Exceller, who was not a champion but was an exceptional international performer of that caliber, and his challenger for supremacy among the siblings was Capote, who was a juvenile champion in the States but failed to train on as a 3-year-old.

Capote, although he did not prove quite so much on the racetrack as his famous half-brother Exceller, did far more as a stallion.

Capote sired 56 stakes winners, including champion juvenile Boston Harbor, winner of the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile like his sire before him. Among the best performers by Capote were Grade 1 winners Capote Belle (Test), Matty G. (Hollywood Futurity), and Agincourt (Futurity).

Exceller sired some good racehorses, as did his other stakes-winning half-brothers, Baldski and American Standard.

Of Too Bald's five stakes winners, all were colts, and My Song for You was her most accomplished daughter on the racetrack.

Bob and John is the third foal out of Minister's Melody, a 12-year-old mare, following fillies by Gone West (the unraced mare Country Melody) and Storm Cat (the stakes winner Connie Belle). In between those fillies, Minister's Melody had a dead foal in 2001.

The mare has a yearling colt by Grand Slam and was barren for 2006 to Storm Cat from her only cover to the horse. She has been bred to Seeking the Gold.

With Bob and John's depth of family and as the latest Grade 1 winner by Seeking the Gold, Bob and John has assured himself of a place at stud.

Seeking the Gold has sired 73 stakes winners, and the runner-up in the Wood Memorial was another son of Seeking the Gold named Jazil. He is also out of a stakes-winning Deputy Minister mare, Better Than Honour, who won the Demoiselle.

Seeking the Gold has sired champions Heavenly Prize, Flanders, and Seeking the Pearl, as well as additional Breeders' Cup winners Cash Run and Pleasant Home. But before anyone says "filly sire," Seeking the Gold also sired the immensely talented international star Dubai Millennium, as well as a couple of solid sons at stud in Petionville and Mutakkdim.

Seeking the Gold stands at Claiborne Farm for $125,000 live foal.