08/10/2001 11:00PM

Sale filled with first-crop yearlings


The Florida yearling sales get under way in Ocala on Monday,

Aug. 20, with four days of auctions by the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company.

A total of 208 select yearlings have been cataloged for the opening day

of the sale. The remaining 1,156 go on the block Tuesday through Thursday. All four sessions will begin at 11 a.m. Eastern.

Buyers will be treated to a small herd of Florida resident stallions who will be represented by first crops. There are five stallions with five or more youngsters cataloged throughout the sale.

The stallion with the greatest representation is Double Honor of Farnsworth Farm. A 6-year-old by Gone West-Holiday Snow, by Storm Bird, Double Honor has 19 from his first crop cataloged.

"He's a good breeder," said Farnsworth Farm's manager, Bill Allen. "He was bred to a little over 100 mares each of his first three seasons. At last count I think there are roughly 75 yearlings out there."

Double Honor did all of his running at 2 when he won the Grade 3 Sapling Stakes and placed in the Grade 2 Norfolk, the Grade 2 Sanford, and the Grade 3 Bashford Manor stakes. His record and his pedigree suggest that while he had a precocious turn of foot, middle distances were within range.

Hartley-DeRenzo Thoroughbreds stands Diligence. A gray stallion, Diligence has 15 from his first crop going to this auction Diligence is an 8-year-old son of Miswaki-Honeytab, by Al Hattab who was bred and campaigned in the colors of George M. Steinbrenner III. He rarely lets the Boss down.

Second in the Grade 1 Champagne as a 2-year-old to champion Maria's Mon, Diligence's career highlights included victories in the Tom Fool and the Jerome handicaps, both Grade 2 races, and a second in the Grade 1 NYRA Mile. His record shows that he was basically a sprinter-miler and his pedigree suggests the same.

Steinbrenner is also responsible for another first crop stallion, Concerto, who stands at Ocala Stud. Concerto is a 7-year-old chestnut son of Chief's Crown - Undeniably, by In Reality. If this pedigree looks familiar, it should, for Concerto, himself a graded stakes-winning earner of $1.3 million, is also a full brother to the Grade 1 stakes-placed Wondertross and a half-brother to the impressive sophomore Illusioned (by Woodman), winner of 4 of his first 5 starts, including the $250,000 Carry Back Stakes.

Despite having ample "green genes" in his pedigree, Concerto campaigned on the main track and was effective from 1 1/16 miles to

1 1/4 miles. Nine of his 10 wins were stakes. There are eight yearlings by Concerto cataloged.

Double Diamond Farm has two stallions with get going to the sales. They are the 8 year-olds Northern Afleet and Semoran.

Northern Afleet, who has five yearlings cataloged, is by Afleet-Nuryette, by Nureyev. Semoran, with nine cataloged yearlings, is by Phone Trick-Silk Brocade, by The Minstrel.

Northern Afleet, as his pedigree indicates, was quick off the mark as a 2-year-old, placing in the Grade 3 Balboa Stakes at Del Mar. He would later win the Grade 2 San Francisco Breeders' Cup at nine furlongs and place in the Grade 1 Met Mile.

Semoran came into his own as a sophomore, winning the Remington Park Derby. He would later win the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Classic Handicap and placed in four other graded events while earning $860,035.