11/14/2006 12:00AM

Sharp 2-year-olds set to battle


LAS VEGAS - Hollywood Park is the place to be for 2-year-olds this weekend. Juvenile colts will run in the Hollywood Prevue Stakes and juvenile fillies will battle in the Moccasin Stakes. Both races are at seven furlongs and feature young runners that were not quite ready to compete in the Breeders' Cup.

The Moccasin Stakes is named after one of racing's greatest 2-year-old fillies. Moccasin was undefeated at age 2 in 1965, when the Amazonian-type filly blitzed all opposition in her eight races, which included easy victories in the Spinaway (by 3 1/2 lengths), Matron (six lengths), Alcibiades (15 lengths), Selima (five lengths), and Gardenia Stakes (2 1/2 lengths). She was voted champion juvenile filly and co-Horse of the Year, along with champion older horse Roman Brother, a unique honor for a 2-year-old filly.

A full sister to major stakes winners Ridan and Lt. Stevens, Moccasin (Nantallah-Rough Shod II, by Gold Bridge) was bred and owned by Claiborne Farm and was bred to an assortment of Claiborne stallions, producing seven stakes winners, including Apalachee (Round Table), a 2-year-old champion colt in England and Ireland; Nantequos (Tom Rolfe); Belted Earl (Damascus), a champion sprinter and older male in Ireland; Brahms (Round Table); Flippers (Coastal); Scuff (Forli); and Indian (Round Table). Moccasin also was a half-sister to stakes winner Gambetta, the dam of Gamely, a co-champion filly at 3 and co-champion older mare at 5.

Moccasin's full sister the stakes-placed Thong was not as imposing as a racehorse but surpassed Moccasin as a broodmare. Her foals included the stakes winners King Pellinore (Round Table), Lisadell (Forli), Espadrille (Damascus), and Thatch (Forli), who was a champion 2-year-old colt in Ireland and a champion miler in England. She also foaled the stakes-placed Marinsky (Northern Dancer), Dusty Boots (Mr. Prospector), and Stratford (Hoist the Flag). But her most important foal, Special, who did not win in her only start, produced champion racehorse and stallion Nureyev, as well as stakes winners Bound and Number. Special also is the dam of Fairy Bridge, the dam of champion racehorse and stallion Sadler's Wells.

Berriestoheaven tops current running

The Moccasin this year features Berriestoheaven, who won the Anoakia Stakes at Santa Anita on Oct. 21, and the return of impressive maiden winner Jump on In, who grabbed a quarter when finishing fifth in the Del Mar Debutante behind Point Ashley.

Berriestoheaven is by champion sprinter Smoke Glacken, but she has some major stamina names up close in her pedigree, such as damsire Strawberry Road (Nijinsky II), Spectacular Bid, and Halo. Her classy female family produced stakes winners Strategic Maneuver, Halory Hunter, Brushed Halory, Prory, Key Lory, and Van Nistelrooy.

Jump on In is from the first crop of the exciting young stallion Jump Start (A.P. Indy), who won the Saratoga Special and finished second in the Champagne Stakes. Injured in the 2001 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, he never raced again and was retired to Overbrook Farm. His female family produced the highly successful stallion Miswaki.

Jump on In is out of the unraced Fire Maker (Fire Dancer) mare Lucky 'n Loved, a half-sister to stakes winner Cassidy. Jump on In's second dam, Hop a Jet, was a half-sister to stakes winner Flitalong and Spring Is Sprung, the second dam of European miler Priolo. Her third dam, Pleasant Flight, was a full sister to What a Pleasure, Bold Princess (the dam of Sovereign Dancer; second dam of Formal Dinner; and third dam of Caller One, Prospect Bay, and Unbridled Sidney), Bold Queen, and Clear Ceiling (the second dam of champion older mare Inside Information and Educated Risk, and third dam of champion sprinter Kona Gold).

Tizthen, second in the Anoakia Stakes, is from the second crop of two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year Tiznow, and her dam, Jera, is a half-sister to Frisson, the second dam of First Samurai. This female line also produced champion sprinter Housebuster.

Dilemma tries to join list

High-quality horses ran in previous runnings of the Hollywood Prevue, including 2-year-old champion Declan's Moon, Lion Heart, Proud Tower, Grey Memo, Premier Property, Commitisize, Cobra King, Afternoon Deelites, King Glorious, and Copelan.

One of this year's contenders, Dilemma, was last seen winning the Sunny Slope Stakes at Santa Anita on Oct. 22. He is by Grand Slam and is a half-brother to stakes winners Capitano and Heavenly Ransom. All three are out of the unraced Tabasco Cat mare Heavenly Cat. Dilemma's second dam, In Excelsis Deo, was a member of Forty Niner's first crop. His third dam, Sabin, was a multiple Grade 1 winner on turf. Champion Miss Oceana and stakes winners Ole Liz and Kittwake descend from this female line.

Dilemma must contend with two newcomers who won recent maiden races. Belgravia, who won a maiden race at Keeneland, and Notional, who won at Santa Anita in his only start, both have the Rasmussen Factor (RF), as they are inbred to influential females within five generations.

Belgravia is by Mr. Greeley, one of Gone West's best sons at stud. His stakes-winning dam Peaks Mill is a half-sister to Demoiselle Stakes winner Qualique, and 3-year-old champion Afleet Alex comes from this family. Like Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Charismatic, Belgravia is inbred to Somethingroyal, the dam of Secretariat and Sir Gaylord.

Notional, a possible Prevue starter, also has the Rasmussen Factor. By speed influence In Excess, Notional is out of the French Deputy mare Truly Blessed. His third dam, Lady Tramp, won the 1967 Alcibiades Stakes, defeating Sweet Tooth, who went on to produce Alydar, Our Mims, and Sugar and Spice. Notional is inbred 4x4 to the superior broodmare La Morlaye, the second dam of Siberian Express (sire of In Excess) and the fourth dam of Truly Blessed.