04/17/2003 11:00PM

For Sherman, April is right time to sell


Mike Sherman's Farnsworth Farms has been a regular at the 2-year-old sales since 1965. With 60 juveniles cataloged for the annual Ocala Breeders' Sales spring sale of 2-year-olds in training, which runs Tuesday through Friday, Farnsworth has one of the biggest consignments.

Sherman said he used to sell his 2-year-olds earlier in the year, but that many of his juveniles just weren't ready to be put under the sale microscope.

"We put what we thought would be early bloomers in early sales - remember the early sales usually close before you know what you've got - and it turned out that they were not early bloomers," he said. "Nothing wrong with them, but they just were not ready to fly an eighth in 10 and change or a quarter in 21 and change - not in early February, at any rate."

By April, the Sherman homebreds are ready for the track and the ring.

"Selling in April gives me the needed time to get everything right," he said.

Double Honor is Farnsworth Farms' highest-priced stallion, with a fee of $5,000. The average Florida stud fee is below $5,000, and there are only five Florida stallions with fees of $10,000 or more (Montbrook, Notebook, Tour d'Or, Songandaprayer, and Yes It's True).

According to Sherman, Double Honor is Florida's leading second-crop sire. Another Farnsworth sire, Suave Prospect, is Florida's leading third-crop sire, Sherman said.

The Silver Deputy sire Statesmanship, owned in partnership by Farnsworth Farms, will be represented at the OBS spring sale by his first crop of 2-year-olds. There are only six by Statesmanship in the sale because, Sherman said, Statesmanship had early fertility problems.

"So far we like what we see in his 2-year-olds," Sherman said.

There are 1,236 juveniles cataloged to this week's sale, according to Tom Ventura, the OBS sales director and general manager. With the usual attrition rate, he expects to sell about 1,000.

Another chance for Newchance

Ron Chak will be cheering for Peace Rules in the Kentucky Derby. Chak's Newchance Farm in Ocala bred Peace Rules, who failed to bring his reserve as a weanling at the OBS fall mixed sale of 2000. A son of Jules-Hold to Fashion, Peace Rules was bought back for $11,500. Chak tried again at last year's OBS March sale of 2-year-olds in training, and sold Peace Rules for $35,000, about half the sale average, he said.

"My horses usually run better than they sell," Chak said.

Peace Rules is not the first Newchance Farm homebred to figure in pre-Kentucky Derby hoopla. The Newchance-bred Mister Frisky went into the 1990 Kentucky Derby with 16 consecutive wins, including the Santa Anita Derby. He finished eighth.

"I sold the dam of Mister Frisky before I sold him, and I sold the dam of Peace Rules before Peace Rules got good," Chak said. "I have a knack for selling my horses before they hit paydirt."

Chak still has a half-sister to Peace Rules by Silver Buck. She is in foal to his farm stallion Kuetch (Graustark-Hence, by Mr. Prospector), and Chak said he expects her to foal around Derby time. She is booked to Trippi for next year.