Updated on 09/17/2011 5:54PM

Rich stallion series begins


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - A major component of New York's breeding program, the stallions standing in the Empire State, will be front and center at Aqueduct on Sunday.

That's when the initial races in a three-part series for foals born in 2002 and sired by New York stallions will be run. The stakes for these 2-year-olds are the $125,000 Great White Way for colts and geldings and the $125,000 Fifth Avenue for fillies.

The winners of the Great White Way and Fifth Avenue will each become eligible to earn a $100,000 bonus for their owners if they follow with victories in two New York Stallion stakes next year. The winner of the Great White Way must win the $150,000 Times Square at Aqueduct in the spring, as well as the $250,000 Cab Calloway in the summer at Saratoga. The Fifth Avenue winner must win the $150,000 Park Avenue at Aqueduct and the $250,000 Statue of Liberty at Saratoga to earn the bonus. The Cab Calloway and Statue of Liberty were added to the Stallion Stakes calendar in 2003.

Also on Sunday, two other stakes for the progeny of New York stallions will be run, the $100,000 Perfect Arc for fillies and mares and the $100,000 Cormorant for colts and geldings. The Perfect Arc and Cormorant are mile grass races for 3-year-olds and up.

For a horse to become eligible to the New York Stallion series, an owner must make a minimum payment of $100 on Dec. 1 of the year his horse is a weanling. Owners have the option of paying $600 on Dec. 1 to fully nominate a horse to the series, therefore eliminating any further payments. If a payment deadline is missed, the horse loses eligibility in the series.

Stallions need to be nominated to the series in order for their progeny to be eligible. The perk for stallion owners who nominate sires to the series is the potential to earn 5 percent of purses earned by the stallions eligible progeny.

Despite the healthy purses and owner's bonus behind the Stallion Stakes, typically the fields are small, particularly for the 2-year-old races.

Dennis Brida, the executive director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, said that may be because the Stallion Stakes races are usually run two weeks after the Sleepy Hollow and Maid of the Mist, races for New York-bred 2-year-olds at Belmont Park. The quick turnaround, especially for a younger horse, isn't always popular with horsemen.

"That is probably a mistake that should be corrected," Brida said. "The series hasn't taken off as good as it could have, but the nominations have started to grow, and with the addition of the races for 3-year-olds, it helps horsemen who don't want to run their 2-year-olds. Look at the size of the fields for the 2-year-old races in the Breeders' Cup. They were small, too."

New York weanlings in Fasig-Tipton sale

A select group of weanlings foaled in New York are scheduled to be sold in Sunday's Fasig-Tipton Sale in Kentucky.

Here's a look at the weanlings, in hip number order:

Hip No. 24 - A filly by Malabar Gold, a graded stakes winner whose first foals are weanlings this year. The filly's dam, West Indian, is unraced and this is her first foal.

Hip No. 74 - A Phone Trick colt whose dam, Lingquoit, won $109,581 and has produced one winner, Bellamente. The colt was born in late May.

Hip. No. 75 - A colt by Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos, out of a stakes winner, Lt'l Mandy A. Lt'l Mandy A is a full sister to Bobbie Cass, a stakes-placed runner. Monarchos's first foals are yearlings this year.

Hip No. 92 - A May foal by All Gone, a stakes winner and a stakes producer. The filly's dam, Rule the Floor, is also a stakes winner and producer.

Pletcher tops in statebred earnings

Through the end of October, trainer Todd Pletcher leads trainers for 2004 in earnings generated from New York-bred runners, with $1,530,502 in purses. Pletcher's leading New York-bred earner is multiple stakes winner West Virginia ($302,345). Javier Castellano tops riders with New York-bred mounts with $2,960,454 won in purse money. Castellano's leading earner is Spite the Devil, the winner of the $250,000 Empire Classic last month at Belmont Park.