04/15/2004 11:00PM

Posthumous honor for Prospectors Delite

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Farish family's Lane's End Farm got a bittersweet accolade Thursday afternoon, when the late Prospectors Delite received the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Award as 2003 Broodmare of the Year.

"For a Kentucky breeder, there's no bigger compliment to your program than to have a Broodmare of the Year award," said Bill Farish, who is running the farm while his father serves in England as the United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James. "It's a tough, tough thing to get, because there are so many great broodmares in central Kentucky."

Sadly, Prospectors Delite, whose foals include 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft, died in 2001 at age 12 after developing laminitis.

"Losing that mare was a real blow," Farish said. "We do still have two of her fillies on the farm, but we had hoped she'd give us some more."

Those two daughters are Tomisue's Delight, who is owned by Stephen and Tomisue Hilbert, and Delta Music, who belongs to Will Farish, James Elkins, and W. T. Webber Jr. Tomisue's Delight has one foal in training so far, a promising 3-year-old Belong to Me filly named Possession, whom Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum probably will campaign this year in England. Delta Music has a yearling A.P. Indy colt.

Mineshaft, an A.P. Indy horse who now stands at Lane's End for $100,000, is Prospectors Delite's last and best runner, but even without Mineshaft, her brief produce record would be remarkable. All five of Prospectors Delite's foals are stakes-winners, and three - Mineshaft, Tomisue's Delight, and Monashee Mountain - are graded winners. Mineshaft and Tomisue's Delight are Grade 1 winners.

Mineshaft, Tomisue's Delight, and stakes winner Rock Slide are by the Lane's End stallion A.P. Indy. Monashee Mountain is by Danzig and Delta Music is by Dixieland Band.

"The A. P. Indy-to-Mr. Prospector cross obviously has worked well for a lot of people," Farish said. "Dad always likes to breed proven stallions to young mares, but Prospectors Delite's first mating, the one that produced Tomisue's Delight, was an exception. He sent her to A. P. Indy because he was standing his first year, and Dad wanted to support him.

"It sort of didn't matter who you bred her to," he said. "She produced runners."

Prospectors Delite was the third Lane's End mare to earn Broodmare of the Year honors. The others were Weekend Surprise, dam of A.P. Indy and Summer Squall, in 1992, and Natashka, dam of Group 1 winner Gregorian and multiple graded winner Truly Bound, in 1981.

Johar returns to his home

Breeders' Cup Turf winner Johar came home Friday morning. Johar arrived at his birthplace, Mill Ridge Farm in Lexington, on a Sallee van at 11:37 a.m., much to the delight of farm owner Alice Chandler.

"I think he thinks he's been here before," Chandler said. "We're thrilled to have him back."

A 5-year-old Gone West horse, Johar was born and raised at Mill Ridge. He was originally pointed for the auction ring, but breeder Prince Ahmed Salman bought him back for $180,000.

"He was a little immature then," Chandler said of Johar. "He was a little lacking in the hindquarters, but he sure isn't now."

Despite the farm's long connection to Salman, it wasn't clear that Johar would return to Mill Ridge for his stud career. After the prince's untimely death in 2002 at age 43, his horses have been handled by his estate. Johar was put on the market after injuring a suspensory ligament earlier this year, and he could have ended up at any number of farms. Johar's buyers, Richard Santulli and George Prussin, opted to return him to Mill Ridge, where his sire, Gone West, also stands.

As a Breeders' Cup Turf winner and the son of Canadian grass champion Windsharp, Johar has a pedigree that looks ripe for European interest. But Alice Chandler sees plenty of commercial opportunity for Johar in Kentucky, too.

"Everybody's trying to win the Derby," she said. "That's not a grass race, but it's down to who gets that last eighth of a mile. It doesn't bother me that this horse could go 1 1/2 miles. If you want to win the Derby, you've got to have stamina. He had that, and he had speed. In the Breeders' Cup Turf, he closed like an express train."

* The two-day Tattersalls 2-year-old auction in England, which ended Thursday, set new record prices for a European juvenile colt and filly. The top colt was a 500,000-guinea ($945,000) Fusaichi Pegasus-Lyric Fantasy colt that Fusao Sekiguchi bought, and the top filly was a 240,000-guinea ($453,600) daughter of Danehill and Supamova that Keishiro Kanamori purchased.

* Grade 2 winner Bien Nicole will be bred this year to freshman sire Bernstein, according to Doug Arnold, who stands the stallion at his Buck Pond Farm.

* Joyeux Danseur, who previously stood at Lakeview Thoroughbred Farm in California, has been sold privately to Wattle Brae Stud in Queensland, Australia.