01/03/2002 12:00AM

Sires, sires, get your freshman sires!


Because of the pre-holiday break in racing this year, California readers missed part two of Lauren Stich's look at freshman stallions of 2002. The column is reprinted below. The entire series will be available at http://www.drf.com/news/content/8.html

LAS VEGAS - This is the second article in a a series on the freshman stallions of 2002 (sires whose first crop will be 2-year-olds next year), with particular emphasis on how to bet their offspring:

Banker's Gold (Forty Niner). This sire line is well known for its speed. Although Banker's Gold did not race at 2, his juveniles should be quite effective. At 3, Banker's Gold won the Peter Pan Stakes and at 4 won the Tom Fool Handicap and finished a close second to Wild Rush (another 2002 freshman stallion) in both the Metropolitan and Carter Handicaps. Banker's Gold is out of a multiple stakes winner, Banker's Lady (Nijinsky II), a half-sister to stakes winner Idabel, and also to the dam of stakes winner Ecton Park. This female family produced stakes winners Relaxing Rhythm, Malagra (sire of Hallowed Dreams), Regal Gal, and Northern Fling. Other sons of Forty Niner at stud include End Sweep, Twining, Tactical Advantage, Roar, Gold Fever, and Ide, and they are predominantly speed influences whose runners have occasionally stretched out to middle distances.

Cape Town (Seeking the Gold). Cape Town is a three-quarter-brother to champion 2-year-old filly Golden Attraction, as well as stakes winners Cape Canaveral and Red Carnival (all are by Seeking the Gold's sire, Mr. Prospector). Cape Town won the Brown and Williamson Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes over Time Limit and Real Quiet, but his biggest victory came in the Florida Derby. He also won the Holy Bull Stakes and finished third in the Blue Grass Stakes. Cape Town's yearlings sold well this year at various auctions, and his runners should win early at 2 and develop into solid milers at 3.

Confide (Phone Trick). The compactly made Confide was a chip off the old block, a sprinter in the mold of his brilliant sire. Confide won the Swale and Spectacular Bid Stakes, and his runners will be precocious animals who should dominate five-furlong sprints at 2 and mature into solid sprinters.

Coronado's Quest (Forty Niner). One of the most highly anticipated freshman sires, Coronado's Quest had unquestionable ability but was a problem child for trainer Shug McGaughey. Despite his well-documented idiosyncrasies, Coronado's Quest was still able to showcase his considerable talent, winning the Remsen, Cowdin, and Nashua Stakes at 2, and the Haskell Invitational Handicap and Travers, Wood Memorial, Dwyer, and Riva Ridge Stakes at 3. Coronado's Quest had high speed and carried that speed up to 1 1/4 miles. His female family has produced Private Terms, Icecapade, Buckfinder, On to Glory, and Blue Ensign. Most notably, his second dam is a half-sister to Ruffian. Standing at Claiborne Farm, he attracted mares of high quality. His yearlings commanded lofty prices this year, and they should start returning dividends as 2-year-olds. His runners should be blessed with speed, and if they are out of mares by a stamina influence, they may stretch out at 3.

Dance Brightly (Mr. Prospector). Dance Brightly is the sleeper of this freshman crop. Of course, any son of Mr. Prospector must be respected at stud, but Dance Brightly has special appeal. Retired after only two starts at 2, Dance Brightly showed talent, and comes from a female line that has produced stallions (Smart Strike, Sky Classic, Regal Classic). He is out of a champion, Dance Smartly (who was just named Canada's Broodmare of the Year) and is a full brother to two back-to-back Queen's Plate winners, Scatter the Gold and Dancethruthedawn. Expect Dance Brightly's runners to be out in force at 2, as they should possess good speed. If he is bred to mares of quality, his offspring should be able to handle middle distances at 3.

Deputy Commander (Deputy Minister). While runners from this sire line have been exceptional juveniles (Dehere, Salt Lake, Forest Camp, Silver Deputy, Open Mind, Go for Wand), others were late bloomers (Touch Gold, Awesome Again, French Deputy, Flag Down, and Deputy Commander). Deputy Commander won the Travers Stakes, Super Derby, and Affirmed Handicap, and his highly regarded yearlings sold impressively. Expect his runners to develop late in their 2-year-old years and be very effective at longer distances at 3. His multiple stakes-winning dam, Anka Germania, was a turf star, and it would be no surprise to see his runners excel on turf, given the chance.

Diligence (Miswaki). A rare, early maturing 2-year-old for Nick Zito, Diligence had high speed, winning his maiden race at Saratoga by 11 lengths over Gold Fever, and finished second to Maria's Mon in the Champagne Stakes. Diligence is a half-brother to stakes winner Win Crafty Lady, the dam of stakes winners Graeme Hall and Harmony Hall. A sprinter/miler, Diligence won the Tom Fool and Churchill Downs Handicaps, and his runners should be winning many baby races in Florida, where he stands.

Distorted Humor (Forty Niner). Yet another son of Forty Niner who was a tough sprinter/miler, Distorted Humor did not race at 2. He won or placed in such stakes as the Jerome Handicap, King's Bishop Stakes, Philip H. Iselin Handicap, Kentucky Cup Classic Handicap, Commonwealth Breeders' Cup Stakes, Churchill Downs Handicap, and Cigar Mile Handicap. His runners should be effective as juveniles and be best up to 1 1/16 miles.