05/07/2003 11:00PM

Rockcide suddenly a hot commodity


LEXINGTON, Ky. - When Funny Cide won the Kentucky Derby on May 3, Marylander Kennard Warfield Jr. got an especially big charge out of it. Warfield hadn't bet a dime on the Derby winner, but he owns the sole sister to Funny Cide, and that means he has a newly valuable property.

Warfield bought Funny Cide's half-sister, a juvenile Personal Flag filly named Rockcide, at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic's September yearling sale. He paid $30,000 for her, and he believed even then that he got a good deal, thanks to Funny Cide's exploits as a juvenile. Since last Saturday, bloodstock agents have been calling Warfield to see if he would sell, but so far none of their offers has tempted him.

"She's training well," said Warfield, 63, who plans to race the filly in New York. "I bought her mostly for breeding purposes, but I hope she does well at racing, too. I just liked the bloodline."

He had more familiarity than most with the bloodline, because his sister, Joan Boniface, bought Rockcide and Funny Cide's dam at a 2001 Fasig-Tipton auction for just $3,500. Boniface and her husband, Bill, own Bonita Farm in Darlington, Md., and stand the young sire Mojave Moon. Warfield's wife, Mary Ellen, owns a share in Mojave Moon, and initially Warfield and his advisor, nephew Billy Boniface, thought Rockcide would be most valuable as a mate for the stallion.

Since Funny Cide's big win, Warfield has gone back to the well.

"I just bought half of the mare's last foal," he said, referring to the chestnut Mojave Moon colt that Belle's Good Cide produced before dying on March 8. Both the foal and Rockcide are at Bonita.

Warfield didn't attend the Derby, but he and the Boniface family watched it on television. For Joan Boniface, the victory was tinged with sadness.

"Back during the time we had all the snow and ice, she just took sick," she said of Belle's Good Cide. "We took her to the New Bolton Center in Pennsylvania. She had a twisted gut. She survived the surgery, but she didn't do well, and we asked that they put her to sleep because she was in pain.

"Now we have the only two horses to carry on her line."

Repent ready to start career as stallion

Louisiana Derby winner Repent, retired in February due to an injured tendon, arrived at Cloverleaf Farms near Ocala, Fla., on Thursday to start his new career as a stallion.

A 4-year-old Louis Quatorze colt, Repent doesn't have a fee yet, and there are no plans to syndicate him.

Ken McPeek trained Repent, a $230,000 Fasig-Tipton July yearling, for Jerry and Feye Bach's Select Stable. In addition to his 2002 Louisiana Derby win, Repent also took the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes and the Grade 3 Risen Star and Kentucky Cup Juvenile stakes. One of the top 3-year-olds of last year, he earned more than $1.2 million.

Repent is out of the Argentine mare Baby Grace, who also produced Canadian champion King Ruckus and Irish stakes winner Johansson.

Pompeii, Proud Birdie die

There were two noteworthy deaths this week in the breeding business, one promising young mare and the other a stalwart old stallion.

In Kentucky, WinStar Farm's Grade 1 winner Pompeii was euthanized after breaking her shoulder in an April 12 paddock accident. Only 6 years old, she was in foal to A. P. Indy. That would have been her first foal.

Pompeii, a daughter of stakes winner Flying Heat (by Private Account), won the 2001 Personal Ensign Handicap, a Grade 1 race, and also finished second in that season's Grade 1 Go for Wand Handicap. She retired from racing with a lifetime record of 22-9-6-1 and $717,288 in earnings.

In Florida, pensioned stallion Proud Birdie was euthanized May 2 at Marablue Farm due to the infirmities of old age. He was 30. A Proud Clarion horse, Proud Birdie won the 1977 Marlboro Handicap for his most important victory. He also captured the Grade 2 Everglades Stakes, the Bahamas Stakes, and the Christmas and Cabrillo handicaps. His other stakes performances included a second-place finish in the 1976 Fountain of Youth and a third in that year's Florida Derby.

In four seasons at the races, Proud Birdie accumulated a record of 35-9-3-3 and $324,842 in earnings. When he retired to stud in 1979, he went to Doug Henderson's new Marablue Farm near Reddick, Fla. He remained there for his entire breeding career.

Proud Birdie sired such runners as Grade 1 winner Birdonthewire; Grade 2 winner Score a Birdie; and Grade 3 victors Hidden Tomahawk, Birdie's Legend, Star's Proud Penny, and Georgia Bird Dog.