07/27/2001 12:00AM

Padua's new stud has the credentials


Exchange Rate, winner of the Grade 2 Tom Fool Handicap on July 4, was retired this week to stand at Padua Stables in Summerfield, Fla.

"We have not determined a fee as yet," said Padua Stables's Bruce Hill, "but you can be sure that it will be commensurate with the going rate in Florida for a horse with his pedigree and racing record."

A 4-year-old, Exchange Rate is by Danzig and out of the graded stakes winner Pound Sterling, by Seeking the Gold, and he joins three other stallions at Padua Stables.

Exchange Rate is a $1.4 million Keeneland July yearling buy - highest priced of 18 yearlings by Danzig sold in 1998. As a 2-year-old he started three times, winning once and placing in two stakes. On the trail to the Triple Crown, he won an allowance at Santa Anita and the Risen Star at Fair Grounds. The Kentucky Derby, however, was beyond his stamina, and he finished 12th, beaten 20 lengths by Fusaichi Pegasus.

Campaigned this year at from 6 1/2 furlongs to a mile, he showed in the seven-furlong Tom Fool that the first mile suits him best.

Hill said, "It was a very good first year" for Padua Stables. Padua received 260 applications to breed to Yes It's True, a multiple graded stakes-winning sprinter who won more than $1 million, Hill said. He said Yes It's True was bred to 105 mares and 96 have been reported in foal.

Yes It's True is by Is It True out of Clever Monique, by Clever Trick, and stands for $7,500 live foal.

Hill said that Sasha's Prospect (Mr. Prospector-Missy's Mirage, by Stop the Music) had 43 mares booked, and Dance Master (Gone West-Nijinsky's Lover, by Nijinsky II), who Hill said got a late start, had a book of 33 mares.

"I think there are changes going on in Florida that are promising for those wanting to stand a stallion here," Hill said. "There's a genuine interest to breed to quality. I am not sure how high that interest goes when it comes to paying a high-priced stud fee, but these are waters worth testing. Tartan Farms proved that you could stand quality stallions in Florida at Kentucky prices."

The Padua team was not conspicuous at the recent Kentucky yearling sales. When asked if this presaged a change in Padua's basic game plan of spending big money for top-of-the-line individuals, Hill said: "Not really. I think more and more the September sales are getting our attention, and you'll see us in action there."

In 1997 Satish Satan, owner of Padua Stables, bought Padua's Pride, a full brother to the European champion Generous, at the Newmarket December sales for a world-record $4.4 million for a weanling. Instead of racing him in Europe, Team Padua elected to race him in America. It was an admitted gamble by all concerned, and so far it hasn't worked out. In seven starts, Padua's Pride has won one race and earned $30,210.

"He's here at Padua," Hill said. "He's in training and we have not given up on him yet. In hindsight, we knew it was not going to be easy to get him up to American speed. Not with his pedigree. With his bloodlines, he will, I am sure, get his opportunity to stand in stud, but I rather doubt he will stand in this part of the world."