11/23/2005 12:00AM

Remsen an indicator of quality at 3

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Bluegrass Cat, here winning the Nashua, has the toniest pedigree of the Remsen field.

LAS VEGAS - The Remsen Stakes has long been a barometer of class for late-maturing 2-year-olds who blossomed at age 3, and this year's renewal, which will be run on Saturday, features juveniles who should be heard from next year at 3. Those who have shown the ability to win at the nine-furlong distance of the Remsen at 2 often have success at 3.

Recent winners of the Remsen include Rockport Harbor (2004), Read the Footnotes (2003), Toccet (2002), and Saarland (2001), and many winners went on to achieve greater glory at 3, including Pleasant Colony (1980), Java Gold (1986), Pine Bluff (1991), Go for Gin (1993), and Thunder Gulch (1994).

Northern Dancer won the 1963 Remsen, then won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes the following year. A diminutive son of Nearctic, Northern Dancer went on to become the world's most successful stallion.

Successor, Dr. Fager, Bold Hour, and In Reality battled for juvenile honors in 1966, with Successor getting the championship (following in the footsteps of his older full brother Bold Lad, who was 2-year-old champion in 1964). Meanwhile, trainer Frank Whiteley Jr. was developing Damascus, who was just beginning to bloom in late fall of that year. Damascus won 3 of 4 starts at 2, and his Remsen victory was his first major stakes victory.

In addition to the roster of winners, even second- and third-place finishers in the Remsen achieved future success, such as Amberoid (second in 1965), Alydar (second in 1977), Skip Away (second in 1995), and Empire Maker (third in 2002).

Bluegrass Cat field's blueblood

The pedigree prize of this year's field belongs to Bluegrass Cat, a winner of 2 of 3 starts, including the Nashua Stakes. By Storm Cat, Bluegrass Cat is out of the unraced She's a Winner (by A. P. Indy), who was bred by Ogden Mills Phipps. She's a Winner is a full sister to stakes winners Daydreaming and Accelerator and a half-sister to broodmare New Dice (Capote), who sold in foal to Mineshaft for $1.25 million recently at the Keeneland November sale. Accelerator, who finished second in the Wood Memorial and third in the Metropolitan Handicap, finished third in the 1996 Remsen. She's a Winner and her full siblings all have the RF (Rasmussen Factor), as they are inbred 5x5 to the influential matron Glamour. In addition to Daydreaming and Accelerator, inbreeding to Glamour has yielded stakes winners Heritage of Gold and Anguilla.

Bluegrass Cat is a half-brother to Lord of the Game (Saint Ballado), a multiple stakes winner this year who was on the also-eligible list for the Breeders' Cup Classic. Bluegrass Cat's stakes-winning second dam, Get Lucky, was a full sister to a 2-year-old champion and Travers Stakes winner, Rhythm, as well as Not for Love, a leading Maryland-based stallion. Another half-sister, Oscillate (Seattle Slew) is the dam of stakes winners Mutakddim and Smooth Charmer. Bluegrass Cat's third dam is stakes winner Dance Number, and his fourth dam is 1971's 2-year-old filly champion, Numbered Account, who also produced Private Account and Polish Numbers.

Another Remsen contender, Immersed in Gold won a Saratoga maiden race on the turf and also finished third in the With Anticipation Stakes on grass, but he is bred to perform well on dirt at nine furlongs. By Seeking the Gold, Immersed in Gold is a half-brother to Stephen Got Even, the sire of this year's likely 2-year-old champion, Stevie Wonderboy. His dam is by a middle distance sire, Cox's Ridge and his female family also produced a champion 2-year-old, Lord Avie.

Pegasusbystorm, who won the Storm Cat Stakes, is by Fusaichi Pegasus and is out of a Storm Cat mare, Hidden Cat. His second dam is a Canadian Horse of the Year, Alywow, and if a career on dirt does not pan out, he has a sensational pedigree for turf.

Parkhimonbroadway is from the first crop of Ecton Park (Forty Niner) and is out of the Broad Brush mare Miss Broad. He descends from a stakes winner, Sailor Princess, and Adonis, winner of the Wood Memorial, also comes from this female family.

Congo King is by Horse Chestnut, a South African superstar, and while runners by Horse Chestnut win on dirt, they are most effective on turf. Congo King is out of a Mr. Redoy mare, Sweet Nostalgia, and is a half-brother to Added Edge, a Canadian 2-year-old champion and Nashua Stakes winner. Congo King's second dam, Maritza, was a champion at 2 and 3 in Puerto Rico, and she is by Grey Dawn II, yet another strong source of turf.

While Fagan's Legacy is bred to be better at distances over one mile, Achilles of Troy and Park Avenue Prince may prefer distances up to one mile. Fagan's Legacy is from the first crop of a Kentucky Derby winner, Monarchos (the sire of stakes winner Fifth Avenue), and is out of the Kris S. mare Erie Dearie. Achilles of Troy is by the late Notebook and is out of a mare by Relaunch (more speed). His second dam is by a son of speed influence Hilarious. Park Avenue Prince also gets speed from both sides of his pedigree. By Siphon, he is out of a mare by Conquistador Cielo. His dam is a half-sister to a stakes winner, Lea Lucinda, who is from a strong Calumet Farm female family.

Flashy Bull, by Holy Bull, is the wild card at nine furlongs. While most runners by Holy Bull have more speed than stamina, there is reason to believe he may be able to get the distance. His damsire, Mt. Livermore, was a top sprinter, but he has sired middle-distance winners, such as Peaks and Valleys, a Canadian Horse of the Year. Flashy Bull also has Manila and Exclusive Native in his pedigree and his fourth dam, Queen Louie, was a champion 2-year-old filly in Canada and productive broodmare.

Selections: Bluegrass Cat, Immersed in Gold, Congo King.