07/29/2004 11:00PM

Presidentialaffair's dam started it all


"Quite amazing" are words that describe Jeff and Lori Swatsworth's experiences in the Thoroughbred business. That also happens to be the name of the modestly bred mare who started it all - Quite Amazing (by Bear Hunt-Ice Cream Soda, by Creme Dela Creme).

The Swatsworths purchased Quite Amazing privately off the racetrack in 1989 after she injured herself in a low-level claiming race at Penn National. She was their first Thoroughbred. Retired to the Swatsworths' 21-acre Will Run Farm in Littlestown, Pa., Quite Amazing has performed wonders as a broodmare. She is the dam of three stakes horses, including the top Pennsylvania-bred older horse in current competition, Presidentialaffair.

Presidentialaffair, a 5-year-old gelding by Not for Love, came into his own last fall, finishing second to Docent in the Maryland Million Classic and then winning the Grade 3 Stuyvesant Handicap at Aqueduct.

His 2004 campaign has been strong. In five starts, Presidentialaffair has yet to finish worse than second, and his last two starts, both stakes at Monmouth, have been impressive. His front-running one-length score in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile on July 25 was preceded by an eight-length victory in the July 5 Skip Away. He set a track record in the Skip Away of 1:38.85 for the mile and 70 yards.

Presidentialaffair, sold by the Swatsworths for $25,000 at the 2000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale, campaigns for owners Edward Ciresa and Vincent Papandrea and trainer Martin Ciresa. He has earned $340,970 in 18 career starts.

Although the Swatsworths have watched Presidentialaffair's exploits from afar, Quite Amazing - honored as Pennsylvania's broodmare of the year in 2003 - remains the centerpiece of their farm's operation. The Swatsworths raced her two earlier stakes performers in partnership. Her first foal, Hunter's Ridge (1991, by Dover Ridge), won the Big Fred Brodbeck Memorial for Pennsylvania-breds and finished second in the Mario Beneito Memorial, earning $135,306. And her daughter Wood Bear Watchin (1995, Baederwood) was a stakes-placed winner of $95,121.

Quite Amazing's current 2-year-old colt, Quite a Prospect (by Allen's Prospect), and her yearling colt Fear the Reaper (by Louis Quatorze) both have been sold privately. The now 18-year-old mare did not conceive on a late cover by Afternoon Deelites for 2004, but is in foal for next season to Brahms.

The Swatsworths got into Thoroughbred breeding after a brief fling with Standardbreds, which they didn't find "exciting enough," according to Jeff Swatsworth.

"It's a lot of work," he said of the Thoroughbred operation. "But obviously we enjoy it."

Jeff Swatsworth's primary business is his investment and estate planning firm in Gettysburg. "Lori assists me with that, and I help her on the farm, where she is the hands-on manager," Swatsworth said.

Will Run Farm typically has three or four broodmares, and most of the young stock is sold directly off the farm. The farm name came from the kennel name that Jeff Swatsworth has used for the past 40 years in breeding and training registered field trial beagles. "It's a name that really fit well with both the beagles and our hope for the Thoroughbreds we produce," he said.

* The Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association urges all of the state's breeders to make plans to attend the PHBA's free luncheon on Pennsylvania's Day at the Races, Sept. 4 at Philadelphia Park. For reservations call (610) 444-1050.