08/30/2007 11:00PM

Penpont's foals could have big weekend


DEL MAR, Calif. - Penpont left the racetrack in 1999 as something of a dud. There really is no other way to describe a mare that managed only a victory in a $20,000 claiming race for maidens.

Apparently, she saved her brilliance for her offspring. Penpont's five foals, all sired by Unusual Heat, have earned $600,641.

That bankroll could grow considerably this weekend. Penpont's 3-year-old Unusual Suspect, a winner of $196,136, seeks his first stakes win in Sunday's $400,000 Del Mar Derby. On Monday, the 2-year-old Golden Doc A is entered in the I'm Smokin Stakes for California-breds.

It will be the second start in a week for Golden Doc A, who is co-owned by breeders David, Dyan, and Barry Abrams and Madeline Auerbach, the team behind Unusual Heat. Golden Doc A won Wednesday's Generous Portion Stakes for statebred fillies.

Penpont's other foals include the 4-year-old maiden Rushen Heat, a winner of $18,128; the 5-year-old Solid Fuel, a winner of $168,093; and the 6-year-old Master Heat, who has earned $152,084.

Deciding to mate her to Unusual Heat was something of a gamble, said Barry Abrams, who trained the New Zealand-bred Penpont for his brother David.

"We bred everything we had" to Unusual Heat, Barry Abrams said. "We never checked pedigrees."

Barry Abrams said that Golden Doc A is not a certain runner for the I'm Smokin Stakes because of the quick return.

"I'll wait until Monday and decide," he said.

The success of horses such as Golden Doc A and Unusual Suspect has vaulted Unusual Heat to sixth place among California stallions, with progeny earnings of $2,036,732. The leader is Bertrando with $2,926,435.

With a $15,000 stud fee, Unusual Heat is one of the more expensive stallions in the state. There is a possibility that the fee could rise, according to Auerbach, who co-owns Golden Doc A and is a partner in Unusual Heat.

"I think he's having an awesome season," Auerbach said of the stallion. "He was $15,000 last year and he'll probably go up. We've got the rest of the year to go."

Auerbach said that Unusual Heat, who is by Nureyev, was bred to a full book of mares last year.

"He's got all he can handle," Auerbach said. "We don't go begging."

Statebreds shoot for Debutante

There are three California-bred fillies in Monday's $250,000 Del Mar Debutante - Comical Vacation, Spring Awakening, and Treadmill. One of them could become the fifth California-bred to win a Grade 1 this year in the seven-furlong Debutante.

Comical Vacation, by Comic Strip, was a troubled third in the CTBA Stakes on July 20 and returned to win a maiden race for statebreds by an easy 4 1/4 lengths on Aug. 6. Trained by Jeff Mullins, Comical Vacation was purchased for $50,000 at the Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Spring Awakening, by In Excess, is making her stakes debut in the Debutante. Trained by Mike Mitchell for a partnership that includes breeder Jerry Frankel, Spring Awakening has one victory in two starts. She beat statebred maidens by 5 1/2 lengths in a 5 1/2-furlong race on July 23.

Her 3-year-old full-sister, Mary Ellise, won a six-furlong maiden race for statebreds by 2 1/2 lengths in Thursday's first race.

Treadmill leads the group in accomplishments. Owned by breeder Paul Reddam and trained by Craig Dollase, Treadmill has won 2 of 3 starts and $132,000. She beat maidens at Hollywood Park in her debut, finished second to Debutante entrant The Golden Noodle in the Landaluce Stakes, and returned to win the CTBA Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs.

Those fillies are trying to become the first California-bred to win the Debutante since Batroyale in 1995.