07/14/2005 11:00PM

Southern Cal possibly BC Mile-bound

Jim Linscott
Southern Cal has won 5 of 9 starts on turf, including the Calder Turf Sprint.

David S. Romanik has worn many hats in the Thoroughbred world. Professionally, he succeeded his father, Lennie, as general counsel for Gulfstream Park under the Donn family regime. Later, when Magna Entertainment took over Gulfstream, he was appointed president and CEO of the track, succeeding Doug Donn.

Until recently, Romanik was the CEO for Hialeah Park, working with the Brunetti family to regain Hialeah's revoked parimutuel permit. He has also enjoyed success as an owner, having raced Caltech, one of the top turf 3- year-olds of 1989.

While there have been some black-type success stories since the heady days of Caltech, Romanik is the first to admit that the going has not been easy, both as a breeder and an owner. All this may be changing as Southern Cal, a 3-year-old gelding by Halo's Image out of the Caltech broodmare Biotech, is prompting Romanik to give serious thought to running him in the Breeders' Cup Mile.

Southern Cal has won 5 of 9 starts on turf. His forte, like his maternal grandsire Caltech, is making opponents catch him. As his front-running victory in last Sunday's $100,000 Calder Turf Sprint Handicap attests, that can take some doing.

"It's a big move up," said Romanik of the Breeders' Cup Mile, just prior to embarking for a business trip to the Orient. "But, who ever heard of Caltech before he won the Lawrence Realization? It wasn't until he won the Washington, D.C. International that he got his recognition."

There were only six daughters of Caltech, a son of Explosive Bid, when he died in 1991. Romanik owned two of them. Biotech, dam of Southern Cal, was the one he kept. She is deceased, as is the younger full sister to Southern Cal.

"I thought breeding Biotech to Halo's Image would give me the crosses to Alibhai and My Babu that have worked so well with the Explosive Bid line," Romanik said.

Romanik plans to stand Cosmic Train, a half-brother to Caltech by Elusive Quality, in Florida for the 2006 season. Cosmic Train was injured early in his career and was unable, according to Romanik, to realize his potential.

Breeding, said Romanik, is an educated guess. As an example, he cites the 8-year-old Pembroke Hall, who attempted to repeat his 2004 win in the Rocket Man Stakes on the same Summit of Speed card as the Calder Turf Sprint.

Romanik bred and owned the dam of Pembroke Hall at the time she was bred to Pembroke. The goal was to get a middle-distance turf campaigner. The dam of Pembroke Hall is a half-sister to Caltech.

What the breeder of record, Cobra Farm Inc., got was a quarter-mile specialist. Pembroke Hall, after finishing fourth in last week's Rocket Man, has run 20 times at the quarter-mile distance with 13 wins, 5 seconds, and 1 third.

Farnsworth Farms II sold

Farnsworth Farms II, a 203-acre property about seven miles from the principal farm near Ocala, has been sold to Richard Shultz, a real estate developer and horseman who plans to develop part of the property into a training center. The rest of the acreage will be sectioned into mini-farms. Shultz is partnering with Dr. David Menard in this project. Bob Prater, former manager of Bob Brennan's Due Process South, will be the manager of the training center.

As for the main Farnsworth Farms property, owner Mike Sherman said there are ongoing negotiations to sell it.

Farnsworth Farms will disperse its yearlings in the Ocala Breeders' Sales yearling sales scheduled for Aug. 22-26. There are 104 in the consignment with 42 of these selling at the end of the selected yearling segment of the sale. The remaining 62 will be placed in the open days of the OBS auction.