03/05/2007 12:00AM

Orientate's first crop keeps on winning


Orientate (by Mt. Livermore) was the 2002 champion sprinter and one of last year's top freshman stallions. Runners from his first crop, now 3, continue to impress on dirt and turf. On Feb. 22, Raven H, a 3-year-old gelding by Orientate, went wire to wire in a one mile and 70-yard maiden race. Raven H inherits a double dose of speed from both his sire and damsire, Premiership.

The following day, Pasqualina, a 3-year-old filly by Orientate out of the Southern Halo (speed) mare La Vie de Sud won a six-furlong maiden claiming race.

Fair Grounds

Mizzen Mast developed into a major stakes winner for trainer Bobby Frankel, and Mizzen Mast's young runners are winning around the country, especially on turf. On Feb. 23, Trimaran, a 3-year-old colt out of the Private Account mare Privity won a maiden race on the turf at about 1 1/16 miles. Mizzen Mast achieved his success on dirt, but because he is a son of grass champion Cozzene, his offspring have every right to relish turf.

* Runners by Distorted Humor just don't seem to have any barriers. They win going short, long, on dirt, off tracks, and on turf. On Feb. 24, Game N Laughin', a 4-year-old filly by Distorted Humor, won an allowance on the turf at about 5 1/2 furlongs at 11-1. Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide is Distorted Humor's most accomplished runner, but his many stakes winners have come at varying distances on all surfaces, and the success of his runners has pushed his stud fee to $225,000 - ranking him as one of the elite stallions standing in this country.


Smart Strike, a stakes-winning son of Mr. Prospector and half-brother to champion Dance Smartly, has become a super sire of turf runners. His top runner is English Channel, who set a course record for nine furlongs (1:44.51) in his 5-year-old debut on Feb. 22.

Two days later, Twilight Meteor, a 3-year-old colt by Smart Strike out of the With Approval mare One Over Prime, won the Hallandale Beach Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the grass. Finishing second was Sedgefield, a full brother to English Channel.


The buzz about Flying First Class - fed in part by trainer D. Wayne Lukas's unabashed admiration for him - has been deafening since the 3-year-old colt romped to an eight-length victory in a six-furlong maiden race and received a Beyer Speed Figure of 107. At first glance his pedigree (Perfect Mandate out of a mare by Flying Sensation) is nothing special, but a closer look reveals he is yet another example of the Rasmussen Factor, as he is inbred 5x5 to Somethingroyal. Inbreeding to Somethingroyal has resulted in many high-class runners - most notably Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Charismatic - usually through her two sons Secretariat (Bold Ruler) and Sir Gaylord (Turn-to). Flying First Class is inbred to Somethingroyal through Secretariat and another son, Somethingfabulous (Northern Dancer).

Santa Anita

The full sisters Double Major and Common Truth both won within a four-day span. Double Major, a 3-year-old filly by Bertrando out of the Storm Cat mare Common Hope, won a 6o1/2-furlong optional claiming allowance on Feb. 19, and Common Truth, her 4-year-old sister, won a six-furlong maiden claiming race on Feb. 23. Their dam, Common Hope, is closely related to Yankee Gentleman (by Storm Cat), who I predict will be a big hit this year as a freshman stallion. The successful sire Pirate's Bounty also descends from this female family.

* Fete, a 4-year-old gelding by Horse Chestnut, won an optional claiming allowance at about 6 1/2 furlongs on turf on Feb. 24, and he has a famous female family. Fete's dam, the Mr. Prospector mare Praise, is a half-sister to Yell, Roar, Blare of Trumpets, and Eastern Echo, and is also the dam of stakes winner Congrats. Fete's second dam, Wild Applause, was one of seven major stakes winners (including 1993 Kentucky Derby winner Sea Hero) from the 1993 Broodmare of the Year, Glowing Tribute. Fete has a hidden turf pedigree, as his sire, Horse Chestnut, is a grandson of Sadler's Wells, and on his dam's side, Wild Applause was by Northern Dancer.