12/14/2007 1:00AM

OBS provides insight on its new Safetrack

EmailThe Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. recently hosted a seminar dealing with all-weather tracks in general and the new OBS all-weather Safetrack in particular. OBS is the second facility in Florida to install Safetrack. Ocala-based Goldmark Farm was the first.

Dave Bowen of Andrews Bowen Inc., the British company that developed and installs Safetrack, gave an overview of the footing.

Mitch Taylor, of the Kentucky Horseshoeing School, followed with a discussion of how synthetic tracks require adaptive training methods, and he detailed some of the pros and cons of training and racing over all weather surfaces. He recommended Queens Plates shoes for all-weather tracks.

Taylor also discussed training with no shoes and training with flat shoes. His video presentation showed in slow motion how horses reduce their slide on synthetic tracks, because the horses do not penetrate the all-weather subsurface as they do on regular dirt footing.

Eddie Woods, of Eddie Woods Training Center, was the first to test the new OBS surface with horses he shipped over from his Ocala facilities, and he gave Safetrack a thumbs up, saying that he had a similar experience training for the 2-year-old sales at Keeneland.

Tod Quast, the farm manager of Goldmark Farm, has had Safetrack for more than a year and said that there is virtually no difference between the Goldmark Farm and the OBS tracks.

Storm Cat sires prolific in state

The Florida Horse has distributed its 2008 register of 173 stallions standing in Florida. The stallion Storm Cat leads in the number of sons standing in Florida with nine. A.P. Indy is next with eight, and the late Unbridled rounds out the top three with five sons standing.

Hartley-DeRenzo Thoroughbreds stands three of the nine stallions by Storm Cat. They are City Place ($5,000), who was unraced and whose first crop will race in 2008; With Distinction ($7,500), a graded stakes winner whose first foals arrive in 2008; and Roar of the Tiger ($6,000) a stakes-placed full brother to Giant's Causeway. Roar of the Tiger's first get will race in 2008.

Lou-Roe Farm stands the Storm Cat stallion Alajwad ($3,500), an allowance winner. His first crop will race in 2008. Lou-Roe Farms is also the residence of Gulf Storm ($3,500), a stakes-placed runner whose bumper first crop, 98 registered foals, has 30 starters to date with 10 winners, including one stakes winner.

El Nino ($5,000) enters stud at Martin Stables South in 2008. El Nino is stakes-placed and from the family of Eclipse champions Boston Harbor and Groovy. Hadrian's Wall ($3,000) stands at Rising Hill Farm and has 12 2-year-olds in his first crop. Five have started and two have won. Incidentally, Bloodstock Research lists Hadrian's Wall as deceased in 2005. Sheila DiMare of Rising Hill Farm, when told of this, said, "Don't think so - I am looking at him right now and he looks great."

Bridlewood Farm is the home of Lightnin N Thunder. He is a graded-stakes-placed campaigner and has 28 registered foals in his first crop. To date, nine have started and three have won.

Three Wonders ($7,500) stands at Hidden Point Farm. A graded stakes winner on the turf as a 3-year-old, Three Wonders has been a versatile sire - he is in the running to become Florida's leading sire with two crops to race. His get are at home sprinting, going middle distances, and can handle dirt and turf.

The Florida Horse list is by no means all-inclusive, as there are 99 stallions registered with the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association who are not listed in the stallion register.

* John McKinnon, 86, onetime stable agent for trainer Jack Van Berg and former farm manager of Ocala's Alice Ann Farm, died in Michigan. He is survived by his sons Alex and Tom, and two daughters. McKinnon's sons operate Macmt Thoughobred Farm in Ocala.