05/31/2007 11:00PM

Suit Yourself's breeder gets third-generation thrill


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The boisterous lady watching the sixth race in the turf club restaurant at Hollywood Park on Wednesday had a good excuse for cutting loose.

Judith Carmel admits she was too proud to stay quiet while watching Suit Yourself top a field of California-bred 2-year-old maidens over five furlongs.

"I was the only one yelling in the whole turf club," she said.

Carmel has a right to be a vocal supporter. Suit Yourself traces back to Carmel's start in horse racing in the late 1980s, to her granddam Aurora Winners, one of Carmel's first horses. Carmel bred Suit Yourself's dam, Amawfe, and also bred Suit Yourself, a colt by Tribal Rule.

"Three generations - that's pretty rare in California," she said.

Suit Yourself's victory has left Carmel and trainer Mike Puype with a decision on which stakes to try in coming weeks. The options include the $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship over six furlongs on July 4 or the $125,000 Graduation Stakes for statebreds over 5 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar on July 25, or both.

Puype will make the call. "That why he's paid to be the trainer," Carmel said.

Puype said he will wait a few weeks before deciding.

"You have to be careful with them," Puype said of promising 2-year-olds. "They're young horses."

Having a juvenile such as Suit Yourself in the stable is something of a change for Carmel, who co-owns Suit Yourself with her son Brad. Over the years, Judith Carmel has had numerous claimers and many high-priced runners, and has kept a few broodmares.

Carmel is best known as the owner of Flick, who raced until he was 10. Carmel retired Flick earlier in his life, but she said he was unhappy on a farm and was sent back into training. After winning as a 10-year-old, Flick was retired again.

"I couldn't take a chance that something would happen," Carmel said.

Flick resides at Rancho Cuidar in Santa Ynez, Calif., where he is a riding horse, Carmel said.

A Los Angeles resident, Carmel travels to the major farms in Santa Ynez regularly to check on the progress of her mares and young foals. Amawfe, by Man from Eldorado, is at Magali Farms where she has been bred back to Good Journey after foaling a filly by Atticus earlier this year.

"I go once a month and stay on top of everything in every regard," Carmel said. "I'm very excited about Suit Yourself."

Suit Yourself's granddam, Aurora Winners, is 19. She has a Bertrando filly by her side and was bred back to Tribal Rule, Carmel said. Aurora Winners resides at River Edge Farm in Buellton, Calif.

Tribal Rule is one of the top young stallions in the state. He led the state's freshman stallions in 2006 with progeny earnings of $344,419. Carmel watched Tribal Rule during his career earlier this decade, and wanted to breed her mares to him. "He had heart and talent," Carmel said.

The retirement of Aurora Winners because of a leg injury prompted Carmel to become a breeder.

"I didn't know what to do," she said. "I got into breeding."

Amawfe made only two starts, winning her second time out at Del Mar. She has produced three foals, all winners.

Suit Yourself made his second start in Wednesday's race after running third in his debut on May 2. Suit Yourself drew the rail Wednesday and led throughout, even though Puype and Carmel believe that is not the colt's best style.

"He hasn't trained to be on the lead," Carmel said. "It's nice that he's flexible at his age."