07/16/2004 12:00AM

Summit a showcase for state breeders


Last week's Summit of Speed at Calder Race Course was a success for the Florida breeding industry. Five of the six stakes winners had a Florida connection.

The quarter-mile $50,000 Rocket Man Stakes was won by Pembroke Hall, a 7-year-old gelding by Pembroke-Eurostar, by Explosive Bid.

"I bred Eurostar in Florida," said David Romanik, currently a Hialeah executive. "She turned out to be a middle-distance turf horse. She is out of a half-sister to the Washington D.C. International winner Caltech, whom I raced. I bred Eurostar to Pembroke to see if I could get another middle-distance runner. Before I could find out, I sold her in foal."

The middle-distance horse that Romanik had in mind was not to be, as Pembroke Hall developed into a speed specialist on the dirt. He has now dashed a quarter-mile 16 times in his career and won 12 of them while finishing second or third in the other four. He has earned $271,713.

Whenthedoveflies and Swift Replica, the winner and the runner-up in the $100,000 Calder Turf Sprint, are Florida-breds whose sires have left the state to stand in Texas. Whenthedoveflies is by Dove Hunt, who stood at Signature Thoroughbreds, and is unbeaten in five tries at the Turf Sprint distance of five furlongs on grass. Swift Replica is by Struggler, who entered stud at Devonia Stud.

Dazzle Me, winner of the Grade 3 Azalea Breeders' Cup Stakes, is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Tactical Cat. The filly races for Satish Sanan's Padua Stables, headquartered south of Ocala, Fla., which no doubt is where Dazzle Me will eventually go when breeding time comes.

The Grade 3, $300,000 Carry Back Stakes was won by Weigelia, the first stakes winner by the impeccably bred sire Safely's Mark, who is by Danzig out of the Eclipse champion sprinter Safely Kept, by Horatius. Safely's Mark stands at Ocala Thoroughbred Farms Inc. for a $3,000 fee, live foal.

Weigelia was bred in Florida by Shelly Huber and is out of Turning North by Obligato. Prior to the victory in the Carry Back, Weigelia had won the Sophomore Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and the Western Borders at Calder. The colt's earnings of $277,680 moved Safely's Mark to second place among Florida's second-crop stallions with $294,718 earned from seven active runners. Safely's Mark trails the Hidden Point Farm stallion Family Calling, who has 53 runners and 18 winners this year with earnings of $448,830.

The Grade 3, $500,000 Smile Sprint Handicap was won by Champali, a Kentucky-bred by Glitterman. Glitterman entered stud in Florida and was later relocated to Kentucky. The Grade 2, $500,000 Princess Rooney Stakes, the filly and mare companion race to the Smile Sprint. had only one Florida-bred in the six-horse field, and she was third-place finisher Lady Tak, bred by the late John Franks.

Strong first-crop sires

Confidence was high among local breeders that this was going to be a good year for Florida's first-crop sires, and so it has been. Successful Appeal, who will stand at Walmac International in Lexington next year for a fee between $15,000 and $20,000, leads a successful group with five winners, including three stakes winners, from nine starters, and his get have earned almost $500,000. A son of Valid Appeal, Successful Appeal stood at Hartley-DeRenzo Thoroughbreds for $5,000 this year.

Padua Stables' Yes It's True (by Is It True) has four winners, including two stakes winners, from 13 starters, and has progeny earnings of $219,247.

A surprise in this category considering his pedigree and classic distance abilities is Running Stag, who stands at Adena Springs South. Running Stag (Cozzene) has four winners from nine starters. Dance Master (Gone West) also at Padua Stables, has one winner, who is stakes winner of $116,000. First-crop sires with three winners include Sweetsouthernsaint, Wised Up, and Straight Man.

* Bonnie Heath III and wife Kim have moved cross-county to Reddick. The new Heath Farm is located on State Road 225A.

"We needed a place to keep our [18] broodmares," said Bonnie Heath. "Our stallion interests are over at Clover Leaf II, and we have no plans to make a change."