08/09/2001 11:00PM

As a runner and a broodmare, Springazette produced

Email

Donna Lockard knew she wanted the unraced 4-year-old filly named Springazette when she galloped her for the first time at Bowie in January of 1990. The gray Spring Double filly, however, wasn't for sale.

"But her owners changed their minds after she lost her first start a short time later, and I got a call from her trainer saying if I wanted her, I could buy her," recalled Lockard. Thus began the rewarding relationship between Springazette and Lockard.

Lockard credits Springazette for a number of milestones in her life, the most recent on July 28, when Springazette's daughter Malie's Princess got up in the final strides to win the Mill Race Stakes at Philadelphia Park. Malie's Princess is the first foal bred by Lockard.

An energetic wife, mother, and career horsewoman who has had her trainer's license for nearly 20 years, the 40-year-old Lockard maintains a five-horse stable at Laurel. "But my family always comes first," she said.

All the horses at Laurel are either owned by Lockard fully or in partnership. She prefers not to add clients, because the priority in her life is her daughter Malie, now 8 1/2.

"I'm a hands-on trainer," said Lockard, who gallops, hotwalks, and handles all the chores. "But I drop everything to make time for my daughter, and the clients I have know that."

Lockard has done well with a small stable, topped by a victory in the 1998 Park Heights Stakes at Laurel with Graycious Dancer. But Malie's Princess is all the more special, for she commingles all aspects of Lockard's life.

"My daughter considers the filly her own and wanted to name her," said Lockard, who combined Malie's suggestion of Princess with her nickname (which is derived from the initials M.A.L., for Marie Ann Lockard). "The filly is wonderful with my daughter," said Lockard, "and it's not unusual to see Malie in the stall brushing the filly and picking her feet."

Unraced as a 2-year-old because of an illness, Malie's Princess won her debut at Laurel on July 7, 2000. A daughter of longtime Maryland sire Thirty Eight Paces, Malie's Princess has gone on to compile a record of five victories and three placings from 12 starts, mostly in allowance company. The victory in the Mill Race, her first stakes attempt, pushed the 4-year-old filly's earnings to $85,155.

The story of Springazette took a number of turns to get to Malie's Princess. Lockard immediately had success after she purchased Springazette. The first two times the filly went to the post for her new owner, she won.

"She put a roof over my head, helping to pay for my house before I got married," said Lockard.

Springazette ran in Lockard's name until January 1991, when she was claimed for $7,500 off a win at Laurel. The filly eventually made her way to Charles Town that spring and was retired after winning her final career start.

"About five years later, a friend of mine called to tell me she had a mare on her farm who needed a home," said Lockard, who by then had married Laurel Park veterinarian Adam Lockard, a partner with Maryland Veterinary Group, and had the toddler Malie.

"My husband told me we didn't need a broodmare, but when I found out who it was, I had to take her."

Springazette produced four foals before returning to Lockard, all of whom are winners. Lockard has a 2-year-old filly by Haymaker named I'm Just Me at Laurel and an unnamed yearling by Alster. The mare was barren this year and is currently in foal to Makin.

"I told Adam that Springazette would always have a home with me, since she gave me a home."

She has since given Lockard a whole lot more.