08/22/2005 11:00PM

Spinaway is tops, past and present


LAS VEGAS - The best 2-year-old fillies will be on display in Saratoga's Spinaway Stakes, which gets the big Travers Stakes weekend off to a bang on Friday.

First run in 1881, the Spinaway has a roster of winners that is a Who's Who of female stars.

Past winners include Top Flight (1931), Bee Mac (1943), Bellesoeur (1947), Myrtle Charm (1948), Sunday Evening (1949), Alanesian (1956), Sequoia (1957), Irish Jay (1959), Cicada (1961), Affectionately (1962), Moccasin (1965), Queen of the Stage (1967), Numbered Account (1971), La Prevoyante (1972), Ruffian (1974), Buzz My Bell (1983), Meadow Star (1990), Flanders (1994), Golden Attraction (1995), Countess Diana (1997), and Ashado (2003). Many of these winners, as well as second- and third-place runners in the Spinaway, were not only champions, but also among the most influential broodmares in racing.

Top Flight was a champion at 2 and 3. Bee Mac not only won the Spinaway but also defeated males in winning the Hopeful, and was the dam of influential stallion Better Self. Bellesoeur was the dam of Beau Gar, Jabneh, Jolie Deja, and Quillobelle. Myrtle Charm was a champion at 2 and is the third dam of Seattle Slew. Sunday Evening produced Home by Dark (dam of Dark Mirage) and Prayer Bell (dam of Silent Screen). Alanesian produced Boldnesian (tail-male grandsire of Seattle Slew) and Princessnesian. Sequoia was the dam of Sham. Natalma (the dam of Northern Dancer) finished first in the 1959 Spinaway but was disqualified and placed third, making Irish Jay the winner.

Irish Jay produced champion Queen Empress and her full siblings King Emperor and What Luck. Cicada was a champion at 2, 3, and 4. Affectionately was a champion at 2, as well as champion sprinter and older mare at 4. She produced Personality and was a half-sister to Futurity and Frizette Stakes winner Priceless Gem (the dam of Allez France).

Moccasin was not only an undefeated champion at 2 but also co-Horse of the Year as a juvenile, and produced five major stakes winners. Queen of the Stage was a champion at 2 and a full sister to Reviewer (sire of champions Ruffian and Revidere). Numbered Account was a champion at 2 and produced Private Account, Dance Number, and Polish Numbers

La Prevoyante was a champion at 2 when she went undefeated in 12 starts and was also Canada's Horse of the Year. Buzz My Bell went on to produce Kentucky Derby winner Grindstone. Meadow Star, Flanders, Golden Attraction, and Countess Diana were champions at 2, while Ashado was last year's 3-year-old filly champion.

The Spinaway was run one day earlier than the Hopeful in 1974, and Ruffian's tour-de-force victory (a stakes record 1:08.60 clocking) was far more impressive than Foolish Pleasure's life-and-death victory in the Hopeful.

Broodmare stars of the future?

This year's Spinaway is a highly competitive race, featuring four stakes winners: Adieu (El Corredor), Effectual (Carson City), Fifth Avenue (Monarchos), and Folklore (Tiznow), as well as Sensation (Dixie Union), who looks every bit as talented as her more accomplished rivals.

Adieu won the Fashion Stakes and finished fourth in the Adirondack. She is by freshman sire El Corredor (Mr. Greeley), a top-class miler who won the Cigar Mile. El Corredor is a half-brother to Haskell winner Roman Ruler (Fusaichi Pegasus).

Effectual is by the late speed influence Carson City, and is undefeated in two starts, including Churchill Downs's Debutante Stakes. Her female family has extraordinary balance. Her dam is by middle distance specialist Skywalker; her second dam is by stamina influence Greinton; her third dam is by speed influence Full Pocket; and her fourth dam is by the renowned stayer Vaguely Noble.

Fifth Avenue won the Astoria Stakes and finished a troubled second in the Adirondack. She is from the first crop of 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos, and her fourth dam is the Phipps foundation mare Lady Be Good. In fact, Fifth Avenue carries the RF (Rasmussen Factor) as she is inbred 5x4 to Lady Be Good through her two daughters Uncommitted and Impish.

Folklore was second to Adieu in the Fashion and then won the Adirondack. She is from the first crop of two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year Tiznow, and also descends from La Troienne, through the same branch of this family that produced Smarty Jones.

Sensation will be making her stakes debut in the Spinaway. Undefeated in two starts, she is by Dixie Union and out of Ryn (Mr. Prospector), a daughter of the wickedly fast but unsound stakes winner Wisla. Sensation's influential female family produced Drone, Notebook, and El Prado. She looked like stakes material defeating a salty group of fillies in a Saratoga allowance in her last start.

Pedigree pick: Fifth Avenue, Sensation, Folklore.