05/13/2002 11:00PM

A sixteenth here, a sixteenth there...


LAS VEGAS - It looks like only four runners from the Kentucky Derby (1 1/4 miles) will be contesting the Preakness Stakes (1 3/16 miles). None of the new Preakness starters have been beyond 1 1/8 miles. Here is a brief pedigree analysis of the probable Preakness field:

Booklet: Booklet's sire line (Notebook-Well Decorated-Raja Baba-Bold Ruler) is synonymous with speed, and Booklet inherits more speed from damsire, Bob's Dusty, as well as his second and third damsires, Triple Bend and Crafty Admiral. His female family produced Crafty Prospector, one of Mr. Prospector's most successful sons at stud. Booklet has demonstrated speed and class and fits the profile of a horse who will run well at Pimlico, but, unfortunately, meets similar types.

Crimson Hero: Like Booklet, Crimson Hero comes from a sire line associated with speed. Crimson Hero is by Capote, whose runners are precocious 2-year-olds. Capote is the sire of champion 2-year-old Boston Harbor, as well as stakes winners Capote Belle, Matty G, La Spia, She's Tops, Looie Capote, and Hollycombe. Acceptable was able to win two stakes at 1 1/8 miles at age 4. Crimson Hero gets some stamina from his damsire, Fappiano, but it's his female family that takes center stage. Crimson Hero is a half-brother to Albert the Great, and stakes winners Watch the Bird and Sheer Bliss.

Easyfromthegitgo: His sire, Dehere, was a champion at 2, but was underrated as a sire and was exported to Japan before his runners started winning on all surfaces. Under optimum conditions, Easyfromthegitgo should get 1 3/16 miles, but has the same running style as many others in the field. Dehere has sired many middle-distance runners, however, and Easyfromthegitgo's damsire is Easy Goer. His stakes-winning dam, Mochila, is a half-sister to grass champion Cozzene.

Equality: His sire, Mt. Livermore, is associated with speed, but has sired horses who have succeeded at middle distances, such as Canadian Horse of the Year Peaks and Valleys, Mt. Sassafras, and Pyramid Peak. In fact, Equality is closely related to Peaks and Valleys, as his dam, the Gone West mare, Equilibrate, is a half-sister to Peaks and Valleys. The class of this female family is formidable and has produced Broken Vow, Wedded Bliss, Service Stripes, and Alternate, recent winner of the Go for Wand Stakes.

Harlan's Holiday: His late sire, Harlan (Storm Cat), sired Preakness runner-up Menifee, and Harlan's Holiday's damsire is 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed. Harlan's Holiday's third dam, Princessnesian, was a top racemare, defeating males in the Hollywood Gold Cup, and she was a half-sister to Santa Anita Derby winner, Boldnesian, the grandsire of Seattle Slew.

Magic Weisner: His sire, Magic Valay, is a multiple Maryland stakes winner by Carnivalay (Northern Dancer), a half-brother to champion Go for Wand. Magic Valay's second dam is a half-sister to stakes winner, Little Bold John, who won 38 of 105 starts and nearly $2 million. Magic Weisner, however, is from a weak female family, and his dam is by the strong speed influence Bold Forbes.

Medaglia d'Oro: He is by El Prado, the most successful U.S.-based son of Sadler's Wells (Northern Dancer) because his runners are adept on both dirt and turf. Medaglia d'Oro also gets high marks for his female family. His second dam, Dubbed In, is inbred 3x4 to the influential broodmare, Sunday Evening, and is an example of the Rasmussen Factor (inbreeding to a superior female within five generations through different individuals) at its finest.

Menacing Dennis: His sire, Star de Naskra, was a champion sprinter, and most of his successful runners (Sewickley, Dance Floor, Storm and Sunshine, Dumdedumdedum) inherited this speed while having distance limitations. One exception was a Travers Stakes winner, Carr de Naskra. His damsire, Prince Sabo, was a Group 2 winner by successful European sire Young Generation, and Menacing Dennis is from a family of turf runners.

Proud Citizen: Proud Citizen proved, with his second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, that he is more than capable of getting 1 3/16 miles. By speed influence Gone West, he has a second dam who is a full sister to 2-year-old champion filly, La Prevoyante, and his third dam, Arctic Dancer, is a full sister to Northern Dancer. There isn't a 3-year-old with a classier female family.

Straight Gin: By Kentucky Derby winner, Go for Gin, Straight Gin's female family is full of quality. His second dam is the Nijinsky II mare Dancing Detente, a half-sister to Belmont Stakes winner Coastal, champion Slew o' Gold, and the unraced Dokki, dam of Kentucky Derby and Belmont runner-up Aptitude.

Table Limit: By speed influence Conquistador Cielo, Table Limit also has speed influences Delta Judge and Bold Bidder in his pedigree. His damsire, Key to the Mint, adds some stamina, but this is a pedigree strongly suited to races under 1 1/8 miles.

U S S Tinosa: His sire, Foxhound (Danzig), is a half-brother to Weekend Surprise, the dam of A.P. Indy, Summer Squall, and Honor Grades. Foxhound is also a full brother to Deerhound (sire of champion 2-year-old filly Countess Diana) and half-brother to a champion European sprinter, Wolfhound. U S S Tinosa is a half-brother to turf stakes winner Lendell Ray, and this pedigree is full of grass influences (Foxhound, Wolf Power, Exclusive Native, and Cougar).

War Emblem: Before the Derby I wrote: "While War Emblem inherited his speed from sire Our Emblem, he also gets a healthy amount of stamina from Lord at War and The Pruner . . . his Illinois Derby victory proved he can handle middle distances if left alone on the lead, but 1 1/4 miles on a contested pace may be stretching it." Of course, he did get an uncontested lead and easily wired the field, but faces an entirely different scenario in the Preakness.