05/26/2005 11:00PM

Swiss Yodeler first on sire lists

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Stakes wins by Lil' Sister Swiss and Wild Uncle Kurt in recent weekends at Hollywood Park have carried the California stallion Swiss Yodeler to the top of the national 2-year-old sire list and the state's overall sire list.

Through Thursday, foals by Swiss Yodeler had earned $1,360,944 this year, leaving him slightly ahead of In Excess ($1,352,888) on the state's overall sire list. Swiss Yodeler's lead is tenuous, at best. One victory by an In Excess offspring would reverse those standings.

On the national 2-year-old list, though, Swiss Yodeler is off to an excellent start this year. Through Thursday, his 2-year-olds had earned $238,270, well ahead of the pensioned stallion Blind Man's Bluff at $124,790.

Granted, it is very early in the season. Most of the 2-year-olds that have made their debuts have sprint-based pedigrees and in California have run distances ranging from two furlongs to five furlongs. Of course, the racing will get much tougher as the season continues.

But Swiss Yodeler is on track to topple his 2004 2-year-old earnings of $611,810, which left him in 31st place on the national list. He was the second-ranked California-bred, behind In Excess, who ranked eighth overall.

The recent wins by Lil' Sister Swiss and Wild Uncle Kurt gave Swiss Yodeler a sweep of the first two stakes for 2-year-olds at Hollywood Park.

Lil' Sister Swiss, out of the Sharper One mare Nell's Key to the Mint, won the $98,625 Nursery Stakes over five furlongs on May 15. The race marked her second start, following a second in a maiden race over 4 1/2 furlongs on April 23.

Lil' Sister Swiss is owned and trained by Patricia Harrington, who bred the filly with her husband, Mike. Mike Harrington has a stable at Hollywood Park; Patricia works with him and has a few horses on her own.

Mike Harrington trained Swiss Yodeler during his racing career, which included 6 wins in 24 starts and 5 stakes wins.

Mike Harrington trains Wild Uncle Kurt, who won the $94,725 Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes over five furlongs on May 22. The colt is unbeaten in two starts and has earned $86,535.

Wild Uncle Kurt is owned by Heinz Steinmann, who campaigned Swiss Yodeler. Wild Uncle Kurt was bred by Patricia Youngman, who operates Pepper Oaks Farms in Santa Ynez, Calif., where Swiss Yodeler stands.

Wild Uncle Kurt is bound for the $75,000 Haggin Stakes over 5 1/2 furlongs on June 19. Patricia Harrington said Lil' Sister Swiss may pass the $75,000 Cinderella Stakes on June 4 because of concern over her suspensories.

"If she's not perfect, she's not going in," said Patricia Harrington. "She doesn't owe us anything."

The first Swiss Yodeler foals reached the racetrack in 2002. Initially, the Harringtons and Steinmann started many of the stallion's runners. In recent years, other owners and trainers have become more involved.

"We don't have to carry the whole load," Mike Harrington said. "We're hoping they keep going."

Moscow Burning out three months

Moscow Burning, the 2004 California-bred horse of the year, will be sidelined for three months because of a cracked vertebra, trainer Jim Cassidy said.

Owned by a partnership, Moscow Burning has not started since finishing fifth in the Grade 2 Santa Barbara Handicap at Santa Anita on April 17. She was also fifth in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf at Gulfstream Park in January.

The injury was diagnosed shortly after the Santa Barbara and will keep Moscow Burning out of training until late summer.

"They said she should be fine," Cassidy said. "She'll be an end-of-the-year project."

Moscow Burning, 5, has won 8 of 22 starts and $836,535. Her biggest career win came in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay Handicap at Belmont Park in 2004.