02/12/2002 12:00AM

Repent's pedigree ideal for Derby distance

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LAS VEGAS - The 3-year-olds take center stage this weekend in the Fountain of Youth and Risen Star stakes. While both races will be contentious with a slew of promising and late-developing runners, all eyes will be on the Risen Star if Repent starts.

Ignored at 42-1 in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile despite an impressive victory in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile, Repent was second to Johannesburg, finishing full of run. Following the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Repent scored a professional victory in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, overcoming much adversity in the race. He is only one of a handful of colts who is bred to appreciate 1 1/4 miles. The Kentucky Derby is only 11 weeks away, and the Risen Star Stakes is the perfect vehicle to get Repent on his way.

Repent is from the first crop of Louis Quatorze, and Repent's early success elevated the status of his young sire. Louis Quatorze was an unusually handsome physical specimen, and he had the talent to match his looks. Louis Quatorze was blessed with speed and the ability to carry his speed classic distances. Second in the Futurity and Hopeful Stakes at 2, he captured the Preakness and Jim Dandy Stakes at 3, finished second in the Travers and Blue Grass Stakes and third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Along with his Preakness victory, his nose defeat by the older Alphabet Soup in the Breeders' Cup Classic stamped him as one of the best colts from the outstanding 1993 foal crop. His contemporaries included Skip Away, Unbridled's Song, Grindstone, Maria's Mon, Hennessy, Honour and Glory, Will's Way, Gold Fever, Editor's Note, Victory Speech, Cavonnier, Prince of Thieves, Allied Forces, Roar, Ide, Diligence, and Cobra King.

Louis Quatorze's success did not happen by accident. His carefully planned mating resulted in inbreeding to Grey Flight (3x5) through her stakes-winning and influential daughters Bold Princess and Misty Morn. Inbreeding to Grey Flight has produced stakes winners Three Peat, Gator Dancer, Tossofthecoin, and European champion miler Priolo (the sire of Sendawar).

The importance of inbreeding to influential broodmares was routinely employed by the world's great breeders, including the Aga Khan, Marcel Boussac, and Federico Tesio, and contributed heavily toward their success. Because Leon Rasmussen strongly advocated this breeding theory for over 30 years as Bloodlines editor in Daily Racing Form, Jack Werk (founder of Owner-Breeder Magazine) dubbed this breeding theory the Rasmussen Factor, or RF.

Expected to face Repent are the first three finishers in the Lecomte Stakes, Easyfromthegitgo, Sky Terrace, and It'sallinthechase, as well as Jeremiah Jack and French Assault.

Easyfromthegitgo (Dehere) is a rising star and may give Repent all he can handle. Dehere is underrated as a sire, and his runners have no problem getting a distance, especially if they are out of mares from stamina influences. Easyfromthe-gitgo's damsire is Belmont winner Easy Goer and his unraced dam, Montera, is out of stakes winner Mochila, a half-sister to grass champion, Cozzene. There are no holes in Easyfromthegitgo's pedigree.

French Assault (French Deputy), who finished second to Repent in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile despite stumbling at the start, is another quality individual with a strong pedigree. By a top miler, his damsire is Wild Again, the sire of Stephentown, who runs in Saturday's Fountain of Youth. French Assault's second dam, Olympic Crown (Well Decorated), is a half-sister to Chief's Crown.

Sky Terrace (Skywalker) ran a big race in the Lecomte and is still a threat in the Risen Star, although he may have distance limitations.

Although It'sallinthechase (Take Me Out) was closing fastest of all in the Lecomte, he also may have distance limitations. His damsire, Red Ryder, is a full brother to Mr. Prospector, and his second damsire is speed influence Hard Work.

Jeremiah Jack (Patton) is by a son of Lord at War, and may eventually be more effective on grass. His damsire, Procida, is a son of Mr. Prospector.

Competitive Fountain of Youth

Harlan's Holiday (Harlan) is primed for a victory in the Fountain of Youth off a strong second in the Holy Bull Stakes. His deceased sire proved with Menifee that he is capable of siring a classic runner. Harlan's Holiday's third dam is stakes winner Princess-nesian, a half-sister to Boldnesian.

While Booklet (Notebook) would find the Kentucky Derby distance well beyond his scope, he won the Holy Bull and is very capable at 1 1/16 miles over this surface.

Maybry's Boy (Broad Brush) was spinning his wheels over the deep surface in the Holy Bull and is bred to route. Political Attack's (Hawk Attack) best races have been on grass and he would be a surprise on dirt at this level.

New faces include Blue Burner (French Deputy), Grey Beard (Unbridled's Song), Speed Hunter (Alydeed), and Stephentown (Wild Again), whose most recent allowance victory made him the most talked about 3-year-old of the young Florida season. Stephentown's dam is a full sister to the dam of Formal Gold, and his presence adds luster and excitement to a very contentious Fountain of Youth.