10/16/2003 11:00PM

Supplementing usually a mistake

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PHOENIX - Anyone can see Falbrav is a major threat regardless of whether he runs in the Breeders' Cup Turf or Classic. A case can be made that Bluesthestandard has a shot in the Sprint. But in order to run on Saturday, these two horses have to be supplemented, Falbrav for either $360,000 (Classic) or $180,000 (Turf), Bluesthestandard for ($120,000).

Is putting up that kind of money really worth it? Check out what happened to horses who were supplemented in previous Breeders' Cups.

1984: The inaugural year and horsemen seemed to be taking a wait-and-see approach. Nonetheless, four were supplemented: Pac Mania finished ninth in the Sprint on a $200,000 supplement and Night Mover ($120,000) ran eighth in the Mile. Spend a Buck almost broke even in his third-place Juvenile finish, earning $114,000 (including foal nominator awards) after having been supplemented for $120,000. Wild Again was the day's big winner, taking the Classic and banking $1,425,000 on a $360,000 investment.

1985: Eight were supplemented. Committed (Sprint), Rousillon (Mile), Vanlandingham (Classic), and Greinton (Turf) all came away empty handed. Dontstop Themusic was supplemented for $120,000 to the Distaff and earned $114,00 for a third-place finish, and Isayso ran sixth in the Distaff, earning $10,000 and cutting her losses to $110,000. There were two big winners: Tasso, supplemented to the Juvenile for $120,000, won and earned $475,000, and Pebbles ($240,000) won the Turf and earned $950,000.

1986: Hatim (Mile) and Truce Maker (Mile) got nothing. Classy Cathy, supplemented to the Distaff for $120,000, ran fourth and earned $70,000, while Estrapade won $228,000 on a $240,000 supplement for her third-place Turf finish.

1987: An alphabetical anomaly. Zany Tactics got nothing in the Sprint, while Zabaleta (supplemented for $120,000) finished fourth and earned $70,000.

1988: Cutlass Reality and Waquoit each were supplemented to the Classic for $360,000. Cutlass Reality finished seventh, and Waquoit got third and earned $342,000. A nice day's work, but still $18,000 in arrears.

1989: Sewickley ($120,000) was fifth in the Sprint and earned $50,000. Bayakoa, however, won the Distaff, banking $500,000 on a $200,000 supplement.

1990: Best Pal ($120,000) was sixth in the Juvenile and earned $10,000. Bayakoa's owner forked up $200,000 again, and she earned the $500,000 winner's share in the Distaff in a race remembered for Go for Wand's breakdown.

1991: Bertrando and Agincourt ran second and fifth in the Juvenile. Both were supplemented for $120,000; Bertrando earned $210,000, Agincourt earned $20,000. Star of Cozzene ran third in the Mile and took home $126,000 - $6,000 more than the supplement.

1992: Bistro Garden and Caponostro got nothing for their respective $120,000 supplements in the Mile and Juvenile. Things went much better for Paseana. She was supplemented for $200,000 for the Distaff, and won and earned $572,000.

1993: Bertrando's owner paid $360,000 to run him in the Classic, and he finished second and earned $630,000. Paseana's owner paid $200,000 again, a year after winning the Distaff, but she couldn't beat Hollywood Wildcat. Still, second got her $220,000. Best Pal, meanwhile, was supplemented a second time - for $360,000 to the Classic - and finished 10th.

1994: The owners of Bertrando and Best Pal both handed over $360,000 again for the Classic. Bertrando got nothing for finishing sixth, and Best Pal earned $60,000 for running fifth. Exclusive Praline (Sprint) and Post It (Juvenile) each got nothing, but Cherokee Run and Soviet Problem finished one-two in the Sprint, each off a $120,000 supplement. Cherokee Run earned $546,000, Soviet Problem $210,000.

1995: Tipically Irish ran sixth in the Juvenile and got back nothing on a $120,000 investment.

1996: Criollito got nothing for his $200,000 try in the Sprint running 12th, while Different, also supplemented for $200,000, finished third in the Distaff and earned $132,000.

1997: Lucky Coin finished fourth in the Mile, getting $56,000 back from a $120,000 investment. Men's Exclusive was supplemented to the Sprint for $120,000, and finished sixth as the favorite. The owner of Skip Away, however, put up $480,000 to go in the Classic. He romped and won $2,325,600.

1998: Reraise ran in the Sprint and won, banking $600,600 on a $120,000 supplement. In the Classic, Silver Charm ($480,00), ran second and took home $1,075,200; Skip Away ($480,000) earned nothing for a sixth-place finish; and Gentlemen ($800,000) finished 10th.

1999: Caffe Latte was fourth in the Filly and Mare Turf, earning $59,920 on a $90,000 supplement. Captain Steve, supplemented to the Juvenile for $90,000, finished 11th. Enjoy the Moment and Son of a Pistol, each supplemented for $120,000, finished last and next-to-last in the Sprint.

2000: The owners of Tiznow, Captain Steve, and Gander each pay $360,000 to enter their horse in the Classic. Tiznow won and earned $2,604,420; Captain Steve ran third and got $601,020; and Gander finished ninth. Riboletta finished seventh at 2-5 in the Distaff, losing all of a $400,000 supplement. In the Filly and Mare Turf, which required a $90,000 supplement, Catella earned $152,460 for finishing third and favored Petrushka got $24,200 for running fifth. Colstar (7th) and Caffe Latte (9th) were blanked. Arabian Light, fifth in the Juvenile, got back $21,400 of a $90,000 supplement. Cindy's Hero banked $63,840 for a fourth-place finish in the Juvenile Fillies and Out of Sync finished ninth. Both were supplemented for $90,000. Ladies Din ($120,000) and Indian Lodge ($90,000) received nothing for finishing eighth and 13th in the Mile. In the Turf, John's Call finished third and turned a profit, earning $312,480 on a $240,000 supplement. The owners of Montjeu (7th) and Subtle Power (10th) each lost $180,000.

2001: Val Royal won the Mile, earning $622,440 on a $90,000 supplement. Express Tour, also a $90,000 supplement, finished ninth. In the Filly and Mare Turf, Spook Express turned a profit on her second-place finish, earning $305,000 on a $200,000 supplement. Kalypso Katie (6th), Starine (10th), and England's Legend (11th) were all supplemented to the Filly and Mare Turf for $90,000. Timboroa, a $180,000 supplement in the Turf, ran third and earned $269,640.

2002: Starine, who had been supplemented to the 2001 Filly and Mare Turf, won this year and earned $698,880. Islington and Golden Apples were each supplemented for $90,000, finishing third and fourth. Islington earned $161,280 and Golden Apples banked $71,680. Kazzia finished sixth and got nothing back on her $90,000 supplement. Whywhywhy ($90,000) could do no better than 10th in the Juvenile. Landseer ($90,000) broke down in the Mile. Disturbingthepeace (7th) and Bonapaw (10th) each were supplemented for $90,000 to the Sprint. High Chaparral got the money in the Turf, earning $1,321,320 on a $180,000 investment. Falcon Flight earned $304,920 on his $180,000 supplement for finishing third in the Turf, while Golan ran sixth and got none of his $180,000 back.

In 88 instances of a horse being supplemented, 26 came away with a profit. That's a hit rate of about 30 percent. Will Falbrav or Bluesthestandard prove their owners wise for shelling out the money? The odds are against it.