01/25/2002 1:00AM

Splurging on top-line stallion


ARCADIA, Calif. - Whitewinesipper had such a brief racing career it's hard to determine what she could have accomplished. As a broodmare, it may be a different matter.

Last year at 2, her only season on the track, Whitewinesipper won 2 of 3 starts, but was injured when she finished fifth in the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes last September.

Instead of a lengthy layoff, she was retired by owners Randy Welty and Lynn Ballantyne. This spring, she will be bred to Point Given, the top 3-year-old of 2001.

It is an ambitious breeding for a young filly purchased for $40,000, but one that trainer Clifford Sise fully supports.

"I thought I Point Given was a big, beautiful horse," Sise said. "When the shares were sold, I thought it was a good deal at $1 million each."

Bred in California, Whitewinesipper is by Apollo out of Dear Morgana, who won 6 of 40 starts and $110,555. Despite her modest price tag as a yearling, Sise started Whitewinesipper in a five-furlong maiden race for $40,000 claimers when she debuted at Hollywood Park on June 28. She won by eight and was not claimed, which stunned the trainer. "I can't believe no one claimed her because she worked pretty easy out of the gate," Sise said. "I thought the private clockers would have seen it. We got by with it."

After the race, Sise made plans for a return in the Generous Portion Stakes for California-bred 2-year-old fillies at Del Mar on Aug. 29. He passed the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Stakes in late July with Whitewinesipper, but still won the race Ballantyne and Welty's Asian Adventure.

In the six-furlong Generous Portion, Whitewinesipper was the 9-10 favorite. She fought for the lead in the first half-mile and pulled away to win by a convincing three lengths, finishing in 1:10.80.

"She won the Generous Portion pretty easily," Sise recalled on Friday. "She really could run. She had a beautiful stride."

Whitewinesipper never made the lead in the Oak Leaf Stakes. On the final turn, she faded from contention and finished 12 lengths behind Tali'sluckybusride.

"I don't think we were ambitious in the Oak Tree," Welty said. "We felt we belonged."

After the race, she was diagnosed with slab fractures in both knees. Her racing career was over. "I couldn't believe it," Sise said. "We decided we weren't going to mess with it and we decided to breed her."

Sise said that Whitewinesipper had an impressive stride despite her size. He hopes it will make a good combination with Point Given, who won the San Felipe Stakes, Santa Anita Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, Haskell Invitational, and Travers last year.

Whitewinesipper is currently at Bill and Pam Maley's Dunford Farm in Kentucky. Welty is even considering bringing Whitewinesipper back to California for next year's breeding season, which would make the Point Given offspring a California-bred if she is bred to a stallion in this state in 2003. "I'd love to have a Point Given California-bred," Welty said.

And Sise would love to train it.