08/22/2002 11:00PM

Polish Numbers tops for grass


Steadily ascending the ranks of the nation's leading turf sires, Polish Numbers is following the path of illustrious Maryland stallions before him. A handsome bay son of Danzig, 15-year-old Polish Numbers stands at Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City, once the home to Caveat, who ranked among the top turf sires in the nation for much of the early 1990's.

The very stall in which Polish Numbers now resides was home to the immortal Northern Dancer, who spent the majority of his illustrious career at Windfields Farm, now known as Northview.

That's pretty heady company to keep up with, but Polish Numbers has done quite well. Only last weekend, he was the sire of both winners of Laurel Park's turf stakes.

On Saturday, the 3-year-old filly Supposedly drew off to take the Pearl Necklace Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths. On Sunday, 4-year-old Ghostly Numbers ran his record to six wins in 14 starts when he staved off Access Agenda in the Mister Diz Stakes to win by a neck.

Both Supposedly and Ghostly Numbers were winning their first stakes and boosted Polish Numbers's total number of stakes winners this year to six and his lifetime total to 33 (from seven crops, through foals of 1999). The stallion's percentage of stakes horses per foals (66 from 370 foals) is nearly 18 percent. With 2002 progeny earnings on the turf approaching $800,000, Polish Numbers ranks among the top 50 stallions who have had at least one turf starter in North America this year, a list that includes such foreign-based stalwarts as Sadler's Wells and Danehill.

In the mid-Atlantic region, Polish Numbers is this year's number-one turf sire. But he also has had notable winners on the dirt, including 3-year-old Roman Dancer, who won the Bay Shore Stakes, a Grade 3, and San Pedro Stakes, and was second in the San Miguel Stakes, also a Grade 3, in four outings before injury halted his season.

With progeny earnings adding up to more than $2 million, Polish Numbers ranks fourth in Maryland, behind only Allen's Prospect, Not For Love and Two Punch.

When Polish Numbers entered stud in 1992, a mare could be sent to the beautifully bred, but lightly raced, stallion for $3,500. The fee was a reflection of his modest race record. Stakes-placed at 2, Polish Numbers set a track record at Belmont Park for 6 1/2 furlongs at 4. A son of Danzig out of champion Numbered Account, he retired after winning four of his 11 starts over three seasons and earning $80,493.

The bargain stud fees were gone when Polish Numbers's first foals reached the races. Topping Maryland's 2-year-old sires list his first season, Polish Numbers has maintained a high position ever since and was the state's leading sire in 1998. Polish Numbers most recently commanded a stud fee of $20,000. He has also had a strong presence at the sales, including his most recent two sales horses, who brought $175,000 and $100,000 earlier this month at the Saratoga select yearlings sale.

Although Polish Numbers's newest stakes winners have taken to the turf, they are totally different types of runners. Supposedly has been competing successfully at distances over a mile and entered the Pearl Necklace after placing in her last two starts in New York, 1 1/4-mile allowance. In the Pearl Necklace, Supposedly had no trouble with the 1 1/16 miles and justified having been sent off as favorite. The goal for Supposedly is the Maryland Million Ladies on Sept. 21 at Pimlico, where she would take on older fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles.

Supposedly is bred for the distance - her dam is Allegedly, a full sister to two-time Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Alleged. Allegedly, by Sir Ivor, has produced graded/group stakes winners Suspect Terrain and Per Quod and is the granddam of Grade 1 winner Taking Risks.

Ghostly Numbers is out of the speedy mare Overdue Ghost, a minor stakes winner of $96,510 by Silver Ghost. Ghostly Numbers has speed in abundance and has won three of his last four starts, all at 5 1/2 furlongs or less. In the Mister Diz, his first stakes appearance in more than a year and a half, Ghostly Numbers burst from the gate, opened up on the field setting every fraction, and held off the charge of four others in deep stretch for the win.