10/21/2004 11:00PM

Stallion ranks decline as mare number rises


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Jockey Club has released statistics based on the 2004 Reports of Mares Bred that show fewer stallions are being bred to more mares.

The statistics also show that a record number of stallions - 117, up from 108 in 2003 - were bred to books of 100 mares or more this year.

The Jockey Club reported that 3,239 stallions covered 59,342 mares during the 2004 breeding season. The number of stallions recorded a decline of 3.1 percent from last year, when 3,342 covering horses were reported, while the number of mares rose 1 percent from last year's reported 58,755. The Jockey Club's vice-president of registration services, Matt Iuliano, noted that The Jockey Club still hadn't received Reports of Mares Bred for about a quarter of all stallions. "However, the 2004 mares-bred returns to date are similar to those of 2003," Iuliano said, "which would support our earlier forecast of 37,200 North American registered foals of 2005."

The Reports of Mares Bred were due to The Jockey Club on Aug. 1.

Leading the big-book trend among stallions were Hold That Tiger at Coolmore's Ashford Stud, who led all stallions with 199 mares bred; Fusaichi Pegasus (Coolmore/Ashford, 193); Grand Slam (Coolmore/Ashford, 191); Van Nistelrooy (Coolmore/Ashford, 186); Tale of the Cat (Coolmore/Ashford, 185); Doneraile Court, (Hill 'n' Dale, 184); Stormy Atlantic (Hill 'n' Dale, 183); Buddha (Hill 'n' Dale, 182); Johannesburg (Coolmore/Ashford, 175); and Chief Seattle (Spendthrift, 166).

Sarava to stand at CloverLeaf in Florida

The 2002 Belmont Stakes winner, Sarava, will enter stud at John Sykes's CloverLeaf Farms II in Reddick, Fla., in 2005.

A 5-year-old Wild Again horse, Sarava will stand for $5,000 as the property of Gary Drake and Susan Roy, who raced him.

Sarava is best known for ending War Emblem's Triple Crown bid with a half-length score in the Belmont. War Emblem finished eighth in the race. Sarava also won the 2002 Sir Barton Stakes as part of a record of 3 wins and 3 seconds from 17 career starts. He earned $773,832 during his racing career, which lasted from 2001 until this year. Sarava last ran on Aug. 22 in the Grade 2 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap, in which he finished fifth behind winner Evening Attire. He was retired in September because of a suspensory injury.

A $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Calder select juvenile sale graduate, Sarava raced for New Phoenix Stable and Susan Roy. He began his career in England for Roy but did not win until his arrival at Churchill Downs in late 2001. He was victorious in his American debut, a Churchill allowance race, by which point Drake had bought a half-interest in the colt.

Sarava is out of the unraced Deputy Minister mare Rhythm of Life, a half-sister to Canadian champion Wilderness Song.

Record year for Elusive Quality

Gainsborough-based stallion Elusive Quality has had quite a year, thanks mainly to his illustrious and popular son Smarty Jones, winner of the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Elusive Quality leads all sires by progeny earnings this year with $10,265,433, a total buoyed considerably by Smarty Jones's $7.5 million earnings this season. Those hefty winnings have helped push Elusive Quality to a new single-season earnings record for a sire.

That easily tops the previous record, set in 1999 when Storm Cat's progeny earned $9,657,579.

Elusive Quality is owned by Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum's Darley organization and will stand in 2005 for a $100,000.

Omega Code retired to stud

Another of Elusive Quality's sons has retired to stud. Omega Code, a Grade 3 winner, has retired to Hartley/De Renzo and Walmac South in Ocala, Fla. The 4-year-old colt will stand his first season in 2005 for a $7,500 fee as the property of a syndicate.

Omega Code is from the first crop of Elusive Quality. He won the 2003 San Miguel and the 2002 Ron and Jessman Cloud Memorial Stakes, the latter in track-record time of 1:07.70 for six furlongs. Trained by Wesley Ward, Omega Code won 3 of his 12 lifetime starts, finishing second three times and third once. He leaves the track with earnings of $183,847. In addition to his two stakes victories, Omega Code also finished third in the Gilded Time Stakes in 2002.

Omega Code is out of the Deputy Minister mare Tin Oaks, who also produced multiple stakes winner Tempest Fugit.

* Forestry (Storm Cat-Shared Interest) will stand for a $75,000 fee in 2005, up from $50,000 last year, Taylor Made Farm in Lexington, Ky., has announced. Forestry has sired nine stakes winners, including graded winners Smokey Glacken, Teton Forest, and Forest Danger, from his first two crops to race.

* Littleexpectations, a full brother to successful sire Valid Expectations, will stand in 2005 at Q6 Ranch in Belton, Texas. A 7-year-old Valid Appeal-Mepache horse, Littleexpectations will have a fee of $3,500. Littleexpectations stood his first season in 2004 at Millennium Farms in Kentucky. Millennium Farms owner Ro Parra owns the horse in partnership.