07/26/2007 11:00PM

Sharp claim led to a stakes winner


DEL MAR, Calif. - George Schwary is making up for lost time this summer.

After decades of following horse racing as a fan, Schwary, 75, had his first stakes winner as an owner and breeder in Wednesday's $140,050 Graduation Stakes for statebred 2-year-olds at Del Mar with Georgie Boy, who entered the race as a maiden.

Schwary, the retired owner of an appliance company, claimed Georgie Boy's dam, Ippodamia, at the insistence of trainer Kathy Walsh at Golden Gate Fields in November 2003. A few months later, Ippodamia was bred to Tribal Rule, a mating that resulted in Georgie Boy.

"I have to thank Kathy," Schwary said. "She's the one reason I claimed Ippodamia.

"I've always loved racing. I went to Cathedral High School in Los Angeles and I used to sneak out of study period to go to Santa Anita. I didn't bet. I just loved watching the horses."

Schwary's interest has expanded to include a small number of broodmares in California and Kentucky, with a growing emphasis on breeding and racing in California. Ippodamia, by Peterhof, was bred to Tribal Rule earlier this year and pronounced in foal, according to Schwary.

An 8-year-old Washington-bred, Ippodamia won 6 of 21 starts and earned $79,593, in a career highlighted by a victory at 2 in the 2001 Northwest Stallion Stakes at Emerald Downs. She was stakes-placed later in her career at Emerald Downs.

Schwary also owns the 13-year-old mare Crimson Redemption, the dam of Too Much George ($41,260), whom Schwary owned in partnership.

"He won a couple of races and then he got hurt," Schwary said.

Crimson Redemption was bred to Vronsky earlier this year and has been pronounced in foal.

"I think breeding is the way to go," Schwary said of acquiring horses.

Schwary said he bought a portion of Crimson Redemption after a friend ran into financial difficulties. His gold and burgundy silks are a tribute to his alma mater, USC, where he graduated in 1954. Since retiring, he said, he has become involved in property management and investing, as well as racehorses.

The Graduation was Georgie Boy's first victory and it was his third start. At Hollywood Park

earlier this year, he finished third and second in maiden races. He wore blinkers for the first time in his second start, and wore them again in the Graduation, which was run at 5 1/2 furlongs.

Georgie Boy won the Graduation by three lengths with a wide rally, but had to survive a stewards' inquiry regarding a bumping incident in the stretch.

"He's a nice horse, but he gave me some headaches," Walsh said after Wednesday's race. "The first time he ran, he was very green. I really don't like to put blinkers on a young horse until they find out what racing's all about, but he ran so green I felt I had to do that.

"He hasn't gotten speed-crazy with the blinkers. I think he'll lay back farther, even than he did" in the Graduation.

Schwary spent the early part of Wednesday playing golf with friends on a local resort course. "I lost $20," he said after leaving the winner's circle, sporting a wide smile. "This makes up for it."

Schwary may not have to wait long for his second stakes win. Georgie Boy is a candidate for the $100,000 I'm Smokin Stakes for statebreds at six furlongs on Sept. 3. He is also nominated to the $250,000 Del Mar Futurity against open company on Sept. 5, the 2-year-old championship of the meeting.