06/13/2003 12:00AM

Sons of Langfuhr dominate Plate lineup


Next Sunday's Queen's Plate is the most important race for Canadian-foaled 3-year-olds, and Langfuhr is the sire of the two favorites. His sons Wando and Mobil have dominated the local 3-year-olds in the prep races leading up to the 1 1/4-mile Plate, and one of them figures to win the 144th edition of North America's oldest continuously run race.

The colts, both owned by Langfuhr's owner and breeder, Gus Schickedanz, are from the stallion's second North American crop.

Another Langfuhr 3-year-old, Peef, co-bred by Schickedanz and Glenn Sikura, is also expected to be in the Plate lineup.

Langfuhr, a Grade 1-winning son of Danzig, stands at Vinery Ltd. in Lexington, Ky., as property of Schickedanz. The 11-year-old stallion is getting set to head to Vinery's Australian division for the sixth consecutive year. He breeds to about 150 mares on the Southern Hemisphere schedule (August through December), then returns by New Year's Day to breed to about the same number of mares on this continent.

"He handles the journey well; he gains weight when he goes down there," said Lauri Kenny, the farm manager for Schickedanz's Schonberg Farm in Schomberg, Ontario. "Gus and I always go down to see him before he leaves each summer."

While Wando and Mobil are two very different-looking colts - the former is short-coupled and a mass of glistening chestnut muscle, while Mobile is a long-backed dark bay - their trainer, Mike Keogh, says Langfuhr's offspring have a lot in common.

"He really stamps his foals with the Briartic line," said Keogh, referring to Langfuhr's broodmare sire. "They all seem to have the nice long cannon bones and flat knees. Langfuhr was a very sound horse, too."

Kenny, who said that Schickedanz is breeding about 20 mares to Langfuhr this spring, agrees that the sire's offspring have similar qualities.

"They have great bone and that really big butt," said Kenny. "Many of them look the same, with the two white hind legs and the white star, too."

Langfuhr was the leading second-crop sire in North America last year, thanks to the exploits of Wando, Mobil, and Grade 1 winner Imperial Gesture.

He is among the leading third-crop sires this year, and some industry experts have already compared the stallion to the late, great sire Danehill.

Danehill, also a top miler and a son of Danzig, is inbred 3x3 to Natalma, the dam of Northern Dancer, while Langfuhr is inbred 3x3 to Northern Dancer's sire, Nearctic.

Kenny remembers the chance Schickedanz took in 1991 when he purchased an option to breed Sweet Briar Too, an unassuming, stakes-winning mare, to Danzig for $27,000. Then he had to shell out $150,000 for the stud fee.

"We had originally sold Sweet Briar Too at a yearling sale for just $10,000, and then bought her back after her racing career," said Kenny.

Kenny believes that Langfuhr can sire a Plate winner, even though the sire himself could only finish sixth in the 1995 Plate.

Wando is out of the Monmouth Oaks-winning mare Kathie's Colleen, a daughter of Woodman, and Mobil is out of the Naskra mare Kinetigal.

"It's amazing to have these two colts for the Plate," Kenny said, "and, hey, we'll be cheering for Peef on Plate Day, too."