11/07/2003 12:00AM

Stallion Series richly inspired


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - One of the most important days of the year for New York-breds is New York Showcase Day, which was held this year at Belmont Park on Oct. 18. But an equally significant event on the calendar of New York's breeding and racing program takes place on Sunday.

Four stakes that are part of the New York Stallion Series will be run at Aqueduct: the $125,000 Great White Way for 2-year-old males, the $125,000 Fifth Avenue for 2-year-old fillies, the $100,000 Cormorant on turf for males, and the $100,000 Perfect Arc for female turf runners. These races are restricted to the progeny of New York stallions.

This year's Stallion Series began at Aqueduct in the spring with the $150,000 Times Square for 3-year-old males and the $150,000 Park Avenue for 3-year-old fillies. At Belmont Park in June, two more races for 3-year-olds were run, the $250,000 Cab Calloway and $250,000 Statue of Liberty.

The Stallion Series has grown significantly in the past several years. The Cab Calloway and Statue of Liberty were added to the racing calendar in 2003 and became part of a $100,000 owners bonus. The other races linked to a $100,000 bonus are Sunday's Great White Way and Fifth Avenue, and the Times Square and Park Avenue. If a horse sweeps the three races in its division, the winning owner claims the bonus. The bonus money went untouched this year, but the winners of Sunday's Great White Way and Fifth Avenue automatically would become eligible for the bonus.

Unlike Showcase Day, on which many of the runners are sired by out-of-state stallions, the Stallion Series places the spotlight solely on New York stallions. The timing of Sunday's races is perfect for farm and stallion owners looking to fill the books of their stallions for the 2004 breeding season.

"It's a great opportunity to showcase New York stallions," said Dennis Brida, the executive director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders. "The series gives an added incentive to breed to New York sires. These are big-money races, so it's important that owners, breeders, and stallion owners nominate their horses to the series."

The New York Racing Association handles the administration of the Stallion Series, under the direction of Carmine Shirlaw. Stallion owners and foal owners must pay nomination fees to make a horse eligible. Stallion owners are rewarded with nominator awards if a sire has a runner who wins a Stallion Series race.

"Carmine has done a terrific job because the key to the series is going the extra yard to notify people when payments are due and making them aware of the benefits of the series," Brida said. "The great thing is that you can pay $600 in one payment and a foal is fully nominated to all the races."

Read the Footnotes creates buzz

A year ago, there was buzz about an exciting New York-bred 2-year-old, Funny Cide, who more than lived up to his early promise by winning this year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

Last Sunday at Aqueduct, a promising New York-bred juvenile, Read the Footnotes, became a stakes winner in the Grade 3 Nashua. His 2 1/4-length Nashua victory puts him in the running for a statebred championship for top juvenile male of 2003.

Whether Read the Footnotes turns out to be an exceptional horse like Funny Cide remains to be seen. In the meantime, Read the Footnotes's owner, Seth Klarman of Klaravich Stables, and trainer, Richard Violette Jr., obviously have a very talented runner on their hands.

With his win in the one-mile Nashua, Read the Footnotes has won 3 of 4 starts. In his only loss, the colt finished sixth in the Grade 1 Champagne. Violette said Read the Footnotes displaced his palate in the Champagne and subsequently underwent a myectomy to correct the breathing problem.

The Grade 2 Remsen on Nov. 29 is a possible next start for Read the Footnotes, whose sire, Smoke Glacken, was the 1997 champion sprinter.

Read the Footnotes was bred by Lawrence Goichman and foaled at Henry and Janet Prieger's Prantlack Farm in Stanfordville, N.Y. The colt is the sixth foal and the first winner out of Baydon Belle, a daughter of Al Nasr.

Klarman bought Read the Footnotes, the sale topper at Fasig-Tipton's Midlantic Timonium sale of 2-year-olds in May, for $320,000.