05/01/2003 11:00PM

Shalini best filly bred by cousins


Since last summer, Shalini has scored two stakes wins, run close in another big race, and earned more than $250,000.

In the next year, owner-breeder Jim Briere has high expectations for the 4-year-old Shalini.

"It was always in my mind that at the end of this year or next year, she could become a more serious filly," he said.

Shalini certainly displayed that promise when she won the $150,000 Fran's Valentine Stakes at Hollywood Park April 26, one of six stakes on the California Gold Rush program for statebreds.

The Gold Rush program was a successful day for several owner-breeders. Cee's Elegance, the winner of the $150,000 B. Thoughtful Stakes, was bred by the late Cecilia Straub-Rubens and represents Cee's Stable, which includes members of her family.

Golden Eagle Farm is the owner and breeder of Chief Planner, the winner of the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes; Jerry Frankel owns and bred Joey Franco, who won the $150,000 Tiznow Stakes; and Morry Cohen is the owner and breeder of Bartok's Blithe, who won the $200,000 Melair Stakes.

The Fran's Valentine was the richest victory in Shalini's 16-race career. In January, she won the $108,400 Pro or Con Handicap for California-bred fillies and mares at Santa Anita, which came two months after she finished second in the California Cup Distance Handicap.

Trained by Craig Dollase, Shalini is clearly having her best season, which does not surprise Briere, who bred and races Shalini with his cousin, Richard.

"She's starting to grow up," he said. "She's a lot more professional and she's starting to progress."

The Brieres bred Shalini, who is by Urgent Request and out of the Falstaff mare Code It Nikki. Urgent Request stands in Australia. A 13-year-old, Urgent Request stood his final season in California in 2002 at Rancho San Miguel in San Miguel. He is best known for winning the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap in 1995.

Code It Nikki, and her dam, Coded Letters, by Codex, had poor race records. Code It Nikki was winless in two starts, while Coded Letter managed one victory.

As a broodmare, the 9-year-old Code It Nikki has had better success. Her first foal, Broke the Slump, finished second in the California Cup Matron last fall at Santa Anita.

Shalini is her second foal. She has also produced a High Brite yearling colt and a filly by Rhythm who was born in February. Earlier this spring, she was pronounced in foal to Cee's Tizzy, according to Jim Briere.

In the last five years, the Brieres have kept five broodmares at Harris Farms in Coalinga. For now, the cousins are breeding to race.

Aside from Cee's Tizzy, they have sent mares to High Brite, Latin American, and Soft Gold, all of whom are based in California.

Jim Briere, 48, is primarily a realtor and an occasional grip technician for film studios. He lives in Valencia, north of Los Angeles.

"I do camera motion," he said. "When the camera is moving and it's moving on a crane, or a dolly on tracks, I'm the one who does that."

He began breeding Thoroughbreds 23 years ago and was joined by his cousin in the venture a year later.

"Our fathers were brothers and we're like brothers," he said. "We're inseparable."

Jim Briere describes Shalini as "the best filly we've bred," and credited Dollase and Harris Farms for their work.

"We feel we have the combination we've wanted for long time," he said. "We're hoping she wins another quarter-million."