06/18/2009 11:00PM

Plate hopeful has Sackatoga ties


There is a little bit of magic tied up in the history of Rapid Release, the fourth choice on the morning line for Sunday's Queen's Plate at Woodbine.

A flashy chestnut gelding who could become trainer Roger Attfield's record ninth Plate winner, Rapid Release was foaled at the famed Windfields Farm that closed down last year.

His dam, Bail Money, was the stable star for the Sackatoga Stable, the high school buddies who used the money they received when Bail Money was claimed from them to buy their eventual Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide.

His breeder, Stuart Hyman of Toronto, has plowed millions of dollars into the industry in just five years, hoping for that first big horse.

A son of Action This Day, Rapid Release is the second foal of the St. Jovite mare Bail Money, who is a focal point of a middle section of the book "Funny Cide," told by the Sackatoga Stable and Sally Jenkins.

The mare was one of the first horses bought by trainer Barclay Tagg for Sackatoga, headed by Jack Knowlton. Bail Money won more than $200,000 in her career, much of that for Knowlton and friends until she was claimed from them for $62,500.

But Tagg had found the Sackatoga team a Distorted Humor New York-bred that he wanted to buy for them for $75,000 and the $62,500 claim money gave them the funds.

The rest, of course, is history.

Meanwhile, Bail Money wound up at the Keeneland January breeding sale in foal to first-year sire Action This Day, and Hyman plunked down $25,000 to buy her.

"He was a beautiful baby," said Hyman, a 41-year-old real estate developer who recently made headlines when he adopted more than a dozen mares from the New York farm of Ernie Paragallo. "The colt was never sick a day in his life. He was an incredible-looking weanling."

Hyman, who generally breeds to sell and has about 40 mares in foal, put the Action This Day weanling up for sale at Keeneland the following November, but when he didn't meet his $35,000 reserve, Hyman sold the colt privately to Irish interests who later pinhooked the colt for 75,000 euros at the 2007 Gofffs yearling sale.

Last fall, David Mueller's Dolantori Stable bought the horse in training for $127,000.

Hyman sold Bail Money for $30,000 in the fall of 2007 in foal to Leroidesanimaux.

Recently, he tried to buy the mare back but learned she had died in a paddock accident.

Through agent Bernard McCormack, however, he was able to buy the mare's yearling filly by E. Dubai.

Hyman, who boards his horses at Hillsborough Farm in Puslinch, Ontario, will offer 11 yearlings through McCormack's Cara Bloodstock at the September Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society yearling sale.

"I take a lot of time planning out my breedings," said Hyman, a father of five boys. "I read every breeding book that I can get my hands on and I have studied pedigrees and bloodlines for more than 20 years."

Hyman takes pride in the fact he is the breeder of a Plate starter and hopes one day the breeder of the winners of classic races get more recognition.

"When we walk into Woodbine we see the big board displaying Plate winners and the trainers, jockeys, and owners," said Hyman.

"It would be great if the breeder was added to the wall. A puzzle isn't complete without all the pieces."