11/26/2002 12:00AM

The real Sligo Bay finally shows up


LAS VEGAS - It was only a matter of time before the real Sligo Bay showed up. Sligo Bay finally realized his potential last weekend, when he won the Hollywood Turf Cup. It was his first victory since May 2001, when he won the Cinema Handicap in his first United States appearance.

Sligo Bay began his career in Ireland and France. He showed promise as a 2-year-old, finishing third in the Group 1 Criterium de Saint Cloud behind Sagacity and second behind Turnberry Isle in the Group 2 Beresford Stakes. He was imported to the U.S. for the start of his 3-year-old campaign after being purchased by trainer Beau Greely, for Andrea Pollack, from Susan Magnier. Sligo Bay won the Cinema Handicap but was winless in eight susequent starts until the Hollywood Turf Cup on Saturday.

A son of one of the world's great turf stallions, Sadler's Wells (by Northern Dancer), Sligo Bay has an extraordinary pedigree, and his Hollywood Turf Cup victory assures that he will be given an excellent chance at stud. His dam, Angelic Song, is one of many examples of an unraced broodmare with a sparkling pedigree who produces a quality individual.

Sligo Bay is Angelic Song's only stakes winner, which is surprising given her exceptional female family. Angelic Song is out of the Herbager mare Ballade, 1992 Canadian Broodmare of the Year, and is a full sister to champions Devil's Bag and Glorious Song, as well as the recently deceased stakes winner and sire Saint Ballado.

Glorious Song (Halo) was horse of the year in Canada and champion older female in Canada twice, as well as champion older female in the U.S. Her many black-type victories include the Spinster Stakes, Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap, La Canada Stakes, Top Flight Handicap, Michigan Mile and One-Eighth Handicap (against males), and Santa Maria Handicap. She also placed in the Marlboro Cup and Haskell handicaps, also against males.

Her brilliance as a racehorse was equaled and possibly exceeded by her success as a broodmare.

Glorious Song has been an influential broodmare, producing champion Singspiel, as well as stakes winners Rahy, Rakeen, and stakes-placed Song of Freedom and Rivotious. Singspiel is by In the Wings, yet another major group winner by Sadler's Wells, and his many victories include the Dubai World Cup, Japan Cup, Woodbine Canadian International, Juddmonte International Stakes, and Coronation Cup. He also finished second in the 1996 Breeders' Cup Turf behind Pilsudksi, while beating Swain.

Rahy (Blushing Groom) was a group winner in England and achieved additional success in the U.S., winning the Bel Air Handicap and becoming a major stallion, siring Fantastic Light, Serena's Song, Tranquility Lake, Early Pioneer, Exotic Wood, Noverre, Hawksley Hill, Mariah's Storm, Itsarahytune, and Raw Gold.

Rakeen (Northern Dancer) was a winner in England and became a group winner in South Africa, where he stands at stud. Rivotious (Riverman) was stakes-placed and stands in Australia.

By Sadler's Wells and with a family like this behind him, Sligo Bay will be an attractive stallion prospect at the end of his racing career.

'Bertie' takes on Take Charge Lady

While the Cigar Mile and Hollywood Derby take center stage this weekend, the Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs promises to be a corker with favored Take Charge Lady (Dehere) and the up-and-coming Allamerican Bertie (Quiet American).

Take Charge Lady was at her peak in the spring and defeated the lightly raced Allamerican Bertie in the Dogwood Stakes, but since then Allamerican Bertie has captured the Delaware Oaks and finished second to probable Eclipse champion Farda Amiga in the Alabama Stakes.

In a prep for the Falls City, Allamerican Bertie was overpowering in her first effort on turf. She comes up to this race in the best form of her young life and may turn the tables on Take Charge Lady.

Allamerican Bertie has even more potential than her multiple stakes-winning half-sister, Hurricane Bertie. By Storm Boot (by Storm Cat out of a Mr. Prospector mare), Hurricane Bertie was strictly a sprinter, whereas Allamerican Bertie is not limited by distance. Her sire, the underrated Quiet American, has already sired a Kentucky Derby winner (Real Quiet) and his other major winners include champion older mare Hidden Lake, English champion 3-year-old filly Warrior Queen, Cara Rafaela, Fifty Stars, Irving's Bab, and stakes-placed Nanogram.

Empire Maker tops Remsen

Empire Maker (Unbridled), who was so impressive in his one-mile maiden victory, on Saturday heads the Remsen Stakes, which has showcased such late-blooming juveniles as Go for Gin, Thunder Gulch, and Coronado's Quest.

Empire Maker, a half-brother to major stakes winners Chester House, Honest Lady, Decarchy and Chiselling, is one of several promising 2-year-olds in the Remsen, including Champagne Stakes and Laurel Futurity winner Toccet (Awesome Again). Not to be overlooked is Outer Reef (Pulpit), an exquisitely bred colt who may finally be ready to earn his first stakes victory. Others expected to run are Cowdin Stakes winner Boston Bull (Boston Harbor), who is a half-brother to stakes winners Skip a Grade and Majestic Dy, Bham (Boston Harbor), Celtic Memories (Tabasco Cat), One Colony (Dehere), Valenzo (You and I), and Wacky for Love (Gold Fever).