03/28/2003 1:00AM

N.Y. breeding: Thomas makes mark as a breeder, too


Becky Thomas has made a name for herself as a pinhooker, but she had a different connection to several New York-bred 2-year-olds who sold for six figures at the recent Ocala Breeders' Sales Company auction.

Thomas was the breeder of the New York-bred that brought the highest price at the sale, a son of Subordination who sold for $300,000. The colt also was the highest-priced male sold at the first session of the sale, March 18. A late-May foal, he was born at Lakland North in Hudson, N.Y., a farm owned by Thomas and her partner, Lewis Lakin. Thomas and Lakin also own Lakland Farm in Versailles, Ky.

The Subordination colt, out of a Tricky Creek mare, Tricky Move, was consigned to the OBS sale by Horizon Bloodstock, who purchased the horse as a yearling for $20,000 at Fasig-Tipton's Midlantic fall sale. The buyer was M&M Racing.

Thomas had another strong day at the second session. A New York-bred filly bred by Thomas and Lakin and born at Lakland North sold for $230,000, the highest price for a filly on the final day of the auction. By Indian Charlie, out of the Afleet mare Hustleeta, the filly was consigned by Leprechaun Racing, agent, who bought her from Thomas as a yearling for $40,000 at Fasig-Tipton's

preferred sale of New York-breds last August. Fleetwood Northwest Management, a bloodstock service in Lexington, Ky., was the buyer.

Thomas and Lakin also were the breeders of a New York-bred Storm Boot colt who flaunted his speed at the under-tack shows. A May foal, he was consigned by Thomas and bought for $170,000 by the California-based Fog City Stable, the owner of Kentucky Derby hopeful Ocean Terrace.

A Gilded Time filly, bred by Thomas and Lakin, was purchased for $150,000 by William Heiligbrodt. A New York-bred, the filly was originally bought by trainer Bill Badgett from Thomas for $52,000 at Saratoga's preferred sale last year. Robert Scanlon consigned the filly to the OBS sale. Her dam, Amazing Madeline, is a daughter of Gulch.

Selling homebreds provides Thomas with necessary cash flow for her New York and Kentucky farms and for stud fees. But Thomas said she has found it difficult to be accepted as a breeder because of her high profile as a pinhooker.

"People will say, 'Well, gosh, if they are so good, why is she selling them?' " Thomas said. "It has been the biggest struggle of my career, because there is a negative surrounding the pinhooker image.

"Basically, my New York and Kentucky operations have needed an overall acceptance, so I couldn't be happier [with the OBS sale] because it's hard to get past the pinhooking stigma."

Thomas made the headlines early in March when she sold a 2-year-old colt for a record $2.7 million at the Barretts sale. It was a tremendous score for Thomas and Lakin, who had bought the Kentucky-bred colt for a mere $30,000 at Fasig-Tipton's July yearling sale in Kentucky.

Overall, 27 registered New York-breds sold at the OBS sale for a total of $2,129,000. The average price for the New York-breds was $78,852, an increase of 21 percent for the 13 New York-breds sold at last year's sale.

Seminar at Aqueduct, dinner at Red's

A seminar for prospective owners, hosted by the New York Thoroughbred Breeders and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, will be held at Aqueduct on April 12.

The free seminar begins at 9 a.m. at Aqueduct's film theater.

The NYTB is also sponsoring a breeders' dinner meeting on April 29 at Red's Restaurant in Coxsackie, N.Y. The guest speakers will be Norm Ducharme and Michael Wildenstein from Cornell University Hospital for Animals. The topic of discussion is limb deformities in foals.

To register for either event, contact the NYTB's offices at (518) 587-0777.

* Suzie O'Cain, who manages Highcliff Farm in Delanson, N.Y. with her husband, Doc, was among 17 women honored earlier this month as Pioneering Women of the Capital Region. The women were recognized for their accomplishments by the New York State Division for Women of the Governor's Office.