03/28/2003 12:00AM

Shock and Awe, coming soon to track near you


ARCADIA, Calif. - Man o' War was foaled in the spring of 1917, while World War I was still raging in Europe.

War Admiral, Man o' War's most famous son, went to stud just in time to inspire a bounty of "war" babies foaled during World War II, including War Watch, War Jeep, and Cable.

Now comes a brand new war with a fresh vocabulary, rife with possibilities.

Coalition, Sandstorm, and Aljazeera already have been taken, according the Online Names Book accessible through the website of The Jockey Club. So has Peace Now, as well as both Tigris and Euphrates.

Not surprisingly, Bush has been claimed, along with Blair, Powell, and Rumsfeld. But don't give up hope. Wolfowitz, Perle, and Cheney are available - along with Michael Moore - and there is still time to reserve Embedded, Smart Bomb, or Fedayeen, if any of those inspire.

As of March 20, the day the bombs began to fall, Michael Ueltzen had yet to seriously consider a name for his newborn filly by Royal Anthem, who hit the ground on March 8 at the Blandford Stud Farm of Padraig and Aveen Campion in Paris, Ky.

But then, after a heavy dose of war news on the radio, Ueltzen was struck with an inspiration so obvious that he moved immediately, claiming the name that his filly would carry for the rest of her days.

He would call her Shock and Awe.

"She is the first foal of Senza Paura, which means 'no fear' in Italian," said Ueltzen. "The timing was irresistible."

Ueltzen, 58, is the grandson of a noted German steeplechase rider who was raised on his parents' horse farm near Munich. In 1968, Ueltzen graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he met not only his future wife, Helen, but also a classmate by the name of Bill Clinton.

Ueltzen prospered, first as head of Global Weather Dynamics Inc. and now with his Virginia-based company, The Republic Group. TRG specializes in both hardware and software used in environmental monitoring, which includes quickly deployable weather radar systems. Among its clients is the U.S. military.

"I travel all over the world - Thailand, Australia, China, Saudi Arabia - and I pick my horse names from those travels," Ueltzen said. "I had Abu Dhabi, and I always thought one of the sheikhs might buy him from me for a million dollars."

The man has a sense of humor. Abu Dhabi was a $1,300 weanling who never panned out. Helen Ueltzen, in her book "The Racing Breed," described Abu Dhabi as a horse who "moved like a dream, ate like a pig, and could have been great" were it not for certain errors in career management.

"Our business as breeders and racing stables is always based on hope," Michael Ueltzen said. "The statistics are that out of a hundred owners, only five make money. It doesn't make sense from a business standpoint. And yet you constantly have new people coming in, and people with an established organization, even if they lose money they don't mind."

Helen Ueltzen dealt with just such contradictions in "The Racing Breed," published in 1984 by the New York house Frederick Fell and illustrated by Daily Racing Form's Peb.

"That racing glory is elusive and ephemeral makes it all the sweeter, and reason enough to learn the tricks of staying in the game," she wrote. "There are some days that success can only be measured in terms of staying alive."

The Ueltzens established Germania Farm in 1977. Over the years they won about 500 races and a number of stakes on the Mid-Atlantic circuit. It was a family business from the start, with their daughter, Lenah, also playing a role.

"Racing is almost like golf," Ueltzen said. "If you're a golfer and your wife is not, that marriage won't last. If you're in Thoroughbreds and your companion is not into it, that won't work. It is so all-encompassing. You dip into it so deeply, even your subconscious works on it constantly."

Helen Ueltzen died this year, at the age of 57, not long before the birth of Shock and Awe.

"She was managing the farm until her untimely death," Ueltzen said. "We'd been married since 1968. And she actually ran the racing, dealing with the trainers. She was heart and soul involved in our horses."

At the end of "The Racing Breed," Helen Ueltzen imagined a three-horse race for all the cosmic marbles, featuring Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Forego.

"It never happened," she wrote, back in 1984, "but the world would have stopped to watch. To own any part of greatness, even a half-sister to a fourth dam, is what keeps you going. And yet who can say why such things are important, and why some creatures will live on in your heart long after you've seen them run."

Losing the heart and soul of a racing operation can be fatal, but Michael Ueltzen is determined to carry on. Shock and Awe, named in the midst of terrible conflict and in the wake of personal tragedy, may someday give new meaning to the term. After all, her fourth dam was champion Silver Spoon.