04/01/2005 12:00AM

Sale success cause for crowing


There is no count of pinhookers in the Ocala, Fla., sales market who buy weanlings and yearlings for sale as 2-year-olds. And there is no gender bias in this business, for there are likely as many women as men in the business. Two female pinhookers who have made a worldwide mark happen to share the same training facilities: Murray Smith, who pinhooked the 2001 Kentucky Derby winner, Monarchos, and Danzel Brendemuehl, who does business under the banner of Classic Bloodstock.

Brendemuehl pinhooked a Devil His Due yearling in 2002 for $19,000, and named him Rooster Fish. Rooster Fish was shipped to the Eclipse Training Center in Ocala to become part of the Classic Bloodstock consignment to the 2003 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. April sale of 2-year-olds in training. Rooster Fish was purchased at this sale for the account of Ken and Sarah Ramsey for $115,000. The Ramseys were pleased with their purchase but not his name, so Rooster Fish became Roses in May.

Brendemuehl has been around horses since childhood. She is a native of Marblehead, Mass., and later migrated with her parents to the West Coast. She recalls her youth in Massachusetts hunter-jumper society and going with her uncle to the races at Suffolk Downs and Rockingham.

In California, Brendemuehl polished her equine skills. There was a big fire in the 1970's in Malibu and the riding horses she worked with became casualties. Wanting to make some money, she went to Hollywood Park looking for a job and got one as an exercise rider.

"My parents did not like me doing this," she said, "but I was hooked on horses."

Classic Bloodstock is both a pinhooking business and a basic training facility for clients. Brendemuehl will break and school about 80 head this year, take six to the OBS April sale, and 17 more to other 2-year-old auctions.

"My specialty, at least I like to think of it as my specialty, is to look for yearlings who have correctable flaws," Brendemuehl said.

Fleet Street Dancer, says Brendemuehl, is a case in point. She thought the horse would respond to corrective shoeing and bought him as a yearling for $20,000 and resold him as a 2-year-old for $150,000. He went on to win $1.7 million, including the Grade 1 Japan Cup Dirt.

Roses in May was a horse Brendemuehl thought she could work with. "Feisty is a good description," she said. "He was feisty and would climb the stall wall, he was so full of himself."

Brendemuehl, after completing her shopping at the 2002 Keeneland fall sales, went on vacation to Mexico and was introduced to a game fish that had more than its share of feistiness.

"I thought to myself, I've got a horse back in Ocala that reminds me of this fish," she said. "Rooster Fish; why not?"

Devils Disciple training again

Last August, trainer Joe Waunsch shipped the Florida-bred Devils Disciple from Calder Race Course to Saratoga for the Hopeful Stakes. Devils Disciple lost that race to Afleet Alex in the last stride.

"I lost the race and almost lost the horse," said Waunsch. A son of Devil His Due, Devils Disciple suffered a severe leg fracture in that race and the future was uncertain. Waunsch was at the recent OBS sales and was asked about Devils Disciple and what the future held for him.

"He's back in training," said Waunsch, "but it's too soon to tell. So far so good."