08/17/2006 11:00PM

Second in Command bags rare triple


Few horses go out and set three course records at a single track, let alone at Saratoga. But Second in Command, a classy old Maryland-bred, completed that rare triple when he won Saratoga's Troy Stakes on Aug. 14 by 2 1/4 lengths.

Second in Command, 6, has made three starts in 5 1/2-furlong turf races over Saratoga's Mellon turf course in 2005 and '06, and each time he won - in course-record time.

His latest victory, recorded in 1:01.11, shaded the record (1:01.17) set 11 days earlier by another runner. Last year, Second in Command lowered the mark to 1:01.52 and then to 1:01.46, the second time recording a 100 Beyer Speed Figure. The first two record-busting clockings came in a $35,000 claimer and a $100,000 optional claimer, respectively.

Second in Command won the Troy in his first start for owner Michael Dubb and trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., who claimed him for $50,000 on July 12 at Belmont Park.

Victory was never in doubt in the Troy as Second in Command, under jockey Edgar Prado, surged toward the wire and won going away. But Second in Command's performance did not completely overshadow that of the runner-up, Maryland-bred Bingobear. A 5-year-old gelding by deceased Maryland sire Polish Numbers, Bingobear campaigns as a homebred for Jack M. Queen.

Leaving odds-on favorite Weigelia to settle for third, the two Maryland-breds combined for an exacta worth $121.50.

Second in Command (by Silver Deputy) was bred by Richard Golden, a former mogul in the New York garment industry who is a major figure in the Maryland horse community, both as managing partner of Northview Stallion Station and with his own Sycamore Hall Farm in Chesapeake City.

Golden raced Second in Command for four seasons, with Linda Rice as the trainer, before selling him privately in June 2005 to another of Rice's clients, Team Power Play Racing.

As a 3-year-old, Second in Command made his mark in stakes company in New York, New Jersey, and Maryland, winning Aqueduct's Best Turn Stakes (at six furlongs on the dirt) and placing in three other stakes. But his three course-record performances have come for his two subsequent owners. His victories on the Saratoga turf netted $100,500 - constituting well over a third of his lifetime earnings of $268,022.

Golden still owns Second in Command's dam, Stormeor (by Lypheor), whom he purchased for $100,000, in foal to Afleet, at the 1994 Keeneland November sale. Also the dam of graded winner Shrike, a 1993 son of Afleet, Stormeor, who was herself stakes-placed, comes from a strong family. She is a half-sister to multiple graded winner Storm on the Loose (a son of Lypheor's sire Lyphard) as well as to Lyphard's stakes-placed daughter Steal the Thunder, all produced by the Kennedy Road mare That's a Kennedy.

Stormeor and Steal the Thunder were offered at the same edition of the Keeneland sale. And both were considered appealing prospects for the Sycamore Hall broodmare band, says farm manager David Wade.

"We bid on Steal the Thunder, but she went for more than we were willing to pay," Wade said of her $195,000 price tag. Steal the Thunder has produced two stakes horses, but Stormeor's record in the breeding shed has exceeded that of her sibling.

Stormeor produced an Elusive Quality filly who sold for $200,000 at the 2005 Saratoga yearling sale. Her current yearling filly by Not for Love will hopefully carry on her dam's legacy as a broodmare at Sycamore Hall - after racing for Golden. Stormeor also has a Not for Love weanling colt, slated for auction next year, and she is in foal to Strong Hope.

Although a portion of Sycamore Hall may soon become an upscale housing development, Golden indicates a continuing commitment to breeding horses in Maryland.

"Right now that portion has nothing to do with my breeding operation," he says. "I have no plans to sell Sycamore Hall Farm at the moment. My wife and I spend nine months [each year] in Florida, two months traveling, and one month in Chesapeake City."

PAC fundraiser on Sept. 5

The Maryland Horse Breeders Association has announced plans for a political action committee fundraiser on Sept. 5 at Gramercy Mansion, on Koinonia Farm in Stevenson.

Tickets are $250 per person and include a premium bar and dinner catered by Linwood's. For more information, contact Alissa Norman at (410) 252-2100.