10/06/2003 11:00PM

An Overbrook gelding?


LEXINGTON, Ky. - When discussing W.T. Young's Overbrook Farm, two words often become part of the conversation: Storm Cat. The legendary farm is home to the nation's premier sire. Additionally, the farm is known for its development of such standout homebred runners as Boston Harbor, Flanders, and Surfside.

On Thursday, it may be a gelding that puts the farm back in the headlines. Clock Stopper, a gelded son of Gilded Time, will carry the farm's colors - alongside homebred colt Boston Park - in $100,000 Perryville Stakes at Keeneland.

Racing a gelding is out of the ordinary for Overbrook. Like most farms, one of its primary goals is the development of racehorses who can potentially become valuable sires or broodmares.

"We have a home-run mentality," said Ric Waldman, consultant to Overbrook Farm. "We're looking for sires. Castrating is something we are loath to do."

In Clock Stopper's case, it was a necessity. He had "some issues" as a 2-year-old, according to trainer Dallas Stewart. The colt started just twice, finishing second and fourth at Saratoga.

Gelded and freshened for his 3-year-old season, he became a successful sprinter. He won a pair of races at Churchill Downs in the spring and had a productive summer at Saratoga, where he finished second to eventual Vosburgh winner Ghostzapper and later won an allowance. Recently, he was second to Cajun Beat in the Kentucky Cup Sprint at Turfway Park, his first stakes placing.

Unlike many Overbrook horses, Clock Stopper was not bred and raised at the farm. He was purchased as a yearling at Keeneland's September sale for $110,000. It is in this manner that Overbrook acquired graded-stakes-winning sprinter Day Trader, who was purchased for $130,000 at auction a year earlier.

Supplementing homebreds with auction purchases is "an extension of an old direction we've had for 10 or 12 years," said Waldman. It is the results of the last few years that have brought notice.

Stewart has joined D. Wayne Lukas, Todd Pletcher, Christophe Clement, and Jeffrey Thornbury as one of Overbrook's primary trainers. Clock Stopper is one of 12 horses he trains for the farm.

Churchill shifts training hours

The lights were turned on Monday and Tuesday at Churchill Downs - or so it seemed. Training hours for those days of the week were moved from 5:15 to 9:15 a.m. after being 4:30-6 a.m. for much of the summer to accommodate construction of the new clubhouse.

This meant horses could be seen breezing, instead of being merely moving shadows in the dark. Trainers, more comfortable with the safety of training under daylight, took advantage with their horses.

Trainer Steve Asmussen breezed three of his potential Breeders' Cup starters Monday morning. Posse, a candidate for the Sprint, worked a half-mile 48.80 seconds. Cuvee, who will be one of the favorites for the Juvenile, went six furlongs in 1:15.60. Lady Tak prepped for the Distaff with a six-furlong move in 1:12.60. They are scheduled to ship to Santa Anita the week of the Breeders' Cup.

"We're in great shape," Asmussen said.

Breeders' Cup plans firm up

Spinster winner Take Charge Lady and Shadwell Turf Mile runner-up Honor in War emerged from their races in good condition and are on course for the Breeders' Cup, their trainers said from Churchill Downs on Tuesday.

Ken McPeek, trainer of Take Charge Lady, said his filly came out of her race well and is ready for the Distaff. Honor in War is being pointed for the Mile, trainer Paul McGee said.

Yell slated for Raven Run

Graded-stakes action returns Friday at Keeneland. Yell, Country Romance, Golden Marlin, and Molto Vita are several of the top fillies expected for the Grade 3 Raven Run, said Dan Bork, Keeneland stakes coordinator.

Saturday's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes lost a potential starter this week and is shaping up with a field of nine. Solar Echo, the Del Mar Oaks runner-up, is unlikely to make the trip from California to Kentucky, Bork said. Indy Five Hundred, winner of the Grade 1 Garden City Breeders' Cup, may start as a slight favorite.