03/21/2003 12:00AM

Sea Salute boosts owner


Sea Salute had the pedigree to be a brilliant runner, but his racing career turned out to be unremarkable. The 11-year-old Sea Salute, however, has proved to be a useful sire for his owner, Roger L. Toffolon.

Much of the success that Toffolon enjoyed last year as a New York breeder is connected to Sea Salute, a son of Danzig who stands for $5,000 at Liberty Stud in Ghent, N.Y.

Toffolon is among six breeders nominated by the New York Thoroughbred Breeders for top breeder in the state last year. The winning breeder, who will be decided by a vote from the organization's board of directors, will be announced at an awards dinner in Albany on April 1.

Toffolon, 83, had the highest earnings of the nominees with $157,295. Last year, horses bred by Toffolon accounted for 30 wins out of 46 starters. Maddie May and We'll Sea Ya, stakes winners in 2002, were bred by Toffolon. He also bred Multiple Wins, who finished second in a division of the New York Stallion Stakes.

Sea Salute was bred by the late Paul Mellon, whose legendary Rokeby Stable produced many Grade 1 winners, and was bought by Toffolon when Mellon dispersed much of his racing stock in 1995. Sea Salute's dam, Glowing Honor, is a daughter of Glowing Tribute, the dam of 1993 Kentucky Derby and Travers winner, Sea Hero.

Toffolon said when he came across the unraced Sea Salute in the sale he was intrigued, but was warned by some horsemen that the 3-year-old colt was a bit rambunctious.

"I was told there was nothing wrong with [Sea Salute] that a sharp knife wouldn't cure," Toffolon said.

Toffolon ignored the advice to geld Sea Salute, a Virginia-bred, because he wished to stand the horse at stud at the conclusion of his racing career. As it turned out, Sea Salute's time at the track was limited, and he was retired with a bowed tendon after winning one race in five starts as a 4-year-old.

In the breeding shed, Sea Salute has had a brighter career. His progeny earnings from three crops to reach the races are $2,459,636. Through Thursday, 40 of Sea Salute's 70 lifetime starters are winners. His stakes runners include We'll Sea Ya, Barnabus, Multiple Wins, Davy Jones, Sea o' Love, and Marine Salute.

Last year, Sea Salute ranked 16th among New York stallions in progeny earnings with $1,232,797.

Toffolon is still actively involved in three heavy construction companies that he owns in Connecticut, but occasionally visits Sea Salute and the 20 broodmares he boards at Liberty Stud.

"New York has a wonderful program," Toffolon said. "It has been my impression over the years that the grade of New York-breds have improved so much. I predict that one day horses in open company will have difficulty competing with New York-breds."

Sans Supplement dead at 29

Sugar Maple Farm in Poughquag lost a longtime resident at the farm when Sans Supplement, the dam of champion Itsallgreektome, died last Monday. Sans Supplement was 29.

Dan Hayden, Sugar Maple's farm manager, said the mare died of heart failure.

Itsallgreektome, a Florida-bred, was Sans Supplement's seventh foal and was the champion turf horse of 1990.

Sans Supplement was owned by Sugar Maple's owner, Howard Kaskel. Her last foal, a Cryptoclearance filly, Cryptocari, was born in 1995.

* Thursday is the deadline to make reservations for the NYTB's annual awards dinner on April 1 at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Albany. Tickets are $75 for members and $100 for non-members and can be purchased by calling (518) 587-0777.