03/26/2004 1:00AM

Productive winter for Lido Palace


It was a winter of content for Florida's breeding industry. The mild weather was undoubtedly responsible for the breeding sheds being visited early and often. Pregnancy rates are running extremely high, according to reports from several major farms.

"The young stallion prospects who were given the time to make the transition from being racehorse to a working stallion have, for me, at any rate, been getting the job done," says Roy S. Lerman of Lambholm South in Reddick.

Lerman was referring to his first-season stallions Lido Palace and Express Tour.

Lido Palace (fee $8,500) is, said Lerman, "one of the most incredibly fertile horses" he has ever dealt with. A multimillionaire grandson of Forty Niner, Lido Palace has covered 40 mares, and Lerman reports that only two of them were returned for second covers. Lerman originally set Lido Palace's book at 80 mares, but now thinks there is room for more given Lido Palace's in-foal rate.

Standing next to Lido Palace is Express Tour ($2,500), Tour d'Or's leading money-winning son, with earnings of $1.7 million.

"Express Tour sells himself," said Lerman. "Many of those who came by the farm to see what we have signed an Express Tour contract."

Lerman estimates that Express Tour will get 50 to 60 mares, perhaps more. He has already serviced 25 mares and almost all are in foal.

At Frank Stronach's Adena Springs South near Ocala, the man who oversees the stallion program is Jack Brothers. Adena Springs is fielding three first-season stallions: 2000 juvenile champion colt Macho Uno, the impeccably bred Indy King (A.P. Indy-Queena, by Mr. Prospector), and Greatness (Mr. Prospector-Harbour Club, by Danzig).

"We are really delighted with the local breeders' response to Macho Uno," Brothers said. "We have his half-brother Awesome Again in Kentucky, and having Macho Uno in Florida gives us a balance to our breeding program. We closed Macho's book at 100," at a $15,000 fee.

Brothers added that Macho Uno has a good libido and is getting his mares in foal.

Indy King was a late addition to the stallion roster. He went to stud with a $2,000 fee. Brothers says Indy King earned his shot in stud by virtue of his looks and pedigree. Greatness, who stands for $5,000, was a New York-campaigned sprinter who won his maiden in 1:09.59 for six furlongs. Brothers estimates that Greatness, like Indy King, will get 60 to 70 mates.

The headline grabber at Hartley/De Renzo and Walmac South in Ocala is first-season stallion Essence of Dubai (Pulpit-Epitome, by Summing). A graded stakes winner at 2 and 3, Essence of Dubai earned just over $2 million in a campaign that took him around the U.S. and over to the United Arab Emirates.

"Essence's book is set at 140 mares at $7,500 live foal, and we're on schedule," says Dean De Renzo of Hartley/De Renzo.

De Renzo said Essence of Dubai had an injury early in the season that limited him to one cover per day. But Essence of Dubai quickly proved his fertility, and there's no concern about his ability to handle his scheduled full book.

Essence of Dubai has an out-of-state appeal, as well. De Renzo notes that he is getting a good group of mares from Kentucky, many of whom are daughters of Storm Cat.

The Hartley/De Renzo and Walmac South stallion Full Mandate (A.P. Indy-Clear Mandate, by Deputy Minister) is a listed stakes winner and a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Newfoundland. Full Mandate was syndicated last fall for $10,000 per share, and DeRenzo says 28 of the 50 shares were immediately sold out. Overall, Full Mandate's initial book will come in around 125 mares. Full Mandate is advertised for a fee of $5,000 live foal.