08/12/2003 11:00PM

Sons of Nureyev lead first-crop sires

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LAS VEGAS - It's only the beginning of August, but some first-crop sires have already shown great promise. Leading all freshman sires is the European sire Fasliyev, who already had 20 juvenile winners by the end of July - a remarkable achievement. With 112 2-year-olds in his first crop, Fasliyev has the potential to sire more winners than any freshman sire in history.

Fasliyev's emergence as a sire of 2-year-olds is being compared to that of the legendary Bold Ruler, whose 2-year-olds were dominant in the 1960's. Bold Ruler's reign as racing's greatest stallion started in 1963. He led the general sire list seven straight times, unprecedented in modern times, and once again in 1973 when his greatest offspring, Secretariat, rewrote the record books.

Fasliyev was undefeated in five starts at age 2, and his victories included the prestigious Phoenix Stakes in Ireland and Prix Morny in France, both Group 1 races. He was injured before his 3-year-old season and retired to Coolmore Stud in Ireland.

Fasliyev is by the late Nureyev, a European champion who was one of Northern Dancer's most gifted sons. Nureyev's career as a racehorse was brief but brilliant, and he became one of the world's truly great stallions. Nureyev's best offspring include Theatrical, Miesque, Zilzal, Peintre Celebre, Spinning World, and Sonic Lady.

Fasliyev is out of the unraced Mr. Prospector mare Mr. P's Princess, a daughter of the blue-hen producer Anne Campbell. Anne Campbell was honored as Broodmare of the Year in 1999, when her son Menifee finished second in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness behind Charismatic, and her grandson Fasliyev was champion 2-year-old in England, France, and Ireland. Anne Campbell also produced the multiple Grade 1 stakes winner Desert Wine, who finished second in the Kentucky Derby behind Sunny's Halo. Anne Campbell's other foals include stakes winner Arsaan and stakes-placed Excavate and Dupree. An unraced daughter, Dame Sybil, produced the stakes-winning sprinter Alannan.

Fasliyev may not be a household name in the United States, but it is only a matter of time before his runners appear in this country, most likely as 3-year-olds next year. While Nureyev sired some stakes winners on dirt, his offspring were far superior on turf, and Fasliyev's runners should likewise be played almost exclusively on grass.

Another Nureyev leads the way

Stravinsky, another son of Nureyev, also has gotten off to a blazing start at stud, with 14 winners from 28 starters. The bulk of Stravinsky's winners, like Fasliyev's, have come on turf, but some - such as Korsakoff - have shown high speed on dirt in the United States.

Stravinsky is out of the Blushing Groom mare Fire the Groom, whose stakes victories included the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stravinsky's third dam is Kentucky Oaks winner Native Street, one of the best fillies of her generation, which also included Moccasin, Priceless Gem, Lady Pitt, Natashka, and Marking Time.

Stravinsky was a champion sprinter in England at 3 when he captured the Group 1 July Cup and Nunthorpe Stakes. His runners have inherited his speed. He also has a large crop of 100 juveniles.

Forestry: Unlimited potential as stallion

While he doesn't have as many winners as Fasliyev or Stravinsky, Forestry is also off to a fast start, and his runners are showing the same brilliance Forestry displayed as a racehorse.

Forestry was unraced at 2 but won 7 of 11 starts at 3, and equaled the stakes record set by Holy Bull in winning the Dwyer Stakes. He also finished third behind Menifee and Cat Thief in the Haskell Invitational. But it was his King's Bishop victory at Saratoga that spotlighted his speed - he set a stakes record of 1:21.00 for seven furlongs.

Out of the multiple stakes winner Shared Interest, Forestry is a half-brother to Cash Run, winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Forestry has a good chance to ascend the stallion ranks quickly and stay there. This is because his fourth dam is Sequence, who happens to be the third dam of Mr. Prospector. Breeding Forestry to mares who have Mr. Prospector in their pedigree will create the Rasmussen Factor (inbreeding to a superior female within five generations through different individuals) through exquisite inbreeding to Sequence. In fact, Cash Run, who is by a son of Mr. Prospector (Seeking the Gold) and who traces in tail-female line to Sequence, is a prime example of the power of this specific type of inbreeding.

Other freshman sires who have shown early success are Tactical Cat, Doneraile Court, Family Calling, Time Bandit, Malibu Moon, Lil's Lad, Good and Tough, and Exploit.

Perfect Mandate, a son of Gone West standing in California, is the sire of Military Mandate, who is scheduled to race in this weekend's Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar. Victory Gallop is the sire of recent Del Mar maiden winner Victory U.S.A., Bob Baffert's most impressive juvenile seen this year. Stormin Fever's 2-year-olds are also showing good speed.

Juveniles by Menifee, Sea of Secrets, Mazel Trick, Wild Wonder, Holzmeister, Finest Hour, and Wild Event have also impressed.