07/26/2002 12:00AM

'Tactical' 2-year-olds top charts


Crowned Dancer and Farno are two freshmen colts who made headlines this past week. Crowned Dancer is presently the West's leading freshman, evidenced by his victory in the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Stakes, and Farno, winner of the Tyro Stakes at Monmouth, is a comer in the East. Both are Florida-bred sons of Tactical Advantage, who stands the Northern Hemisphere season at Doug Henderson's Marablue Farm.

Tactical Advantage, the syndicated 12 year-old son of Forty Niner -Twitchet, by Roberto, is currently participating in the Argentine breeding season at Sam Lieberman's Haras de La Pomme. "He's a 20 percent shareholder," said Henderson, "and part of the deal when he bought into the stallion was that Tactical Advantage would stand in Argen-tina for their breeding season from 2001 through 2004. Of course, he comes back to the States for our breeding season."

Tactical Advantage was a promising 2 year-old who won the Grade 2 Saratoga Special before going awry. He entered stud in 1995 at Marablue Farm as the property of a syndicate. "We bred him to 48 mares his first year," continued Henderson. "He didn't generate too much excitement at the time, so his book was pretty much made up of mares the syndicate owned."

Tactical Advantage's first crop went to the races in 1998 and thus far the 32 of the 34 who made the races have won and have earned roughly $4 million. Chief among the four stakes winners from this first crop is Forty One Carats, a Grade 2 stakes winner with earnings well over $800,000.

His second crop had 34 winners including at least three stakes winners and earnings of $2.6 million to date. "He made quite a ripple," said Henderson, "and Ben Taylor of Taylor Made Farm took notice of him for himself and his clientele. Ben planned to relocate him to Kentucky. It looked like that's where the horse was going, but then the horse cooled off. Minds changed, and he stayed here. I have 51 percent of the horse, but the deal says that Taylor Made calls the shots as to where he stands and for how much."

During this cooling off period, Henderson, who has connections in Argentina, was approached by Lieberman. The stallion was resyndicated from 40 to 50 shares. Lieberman bought 10 shares with the proviso that he could stand Tactical Advantage at his ranch. "His deal says that after the 2004 breeding season down there," said Henderson, "that we readdress the situation and see where we are going after that. One of the ironies is that this year we only got 48 mares to Tactical Advan-tage, and now he's come to life again. I imagine that Ben is sitting up there in Kentucky wondering what to do. If Crowned Dancer is a super horse or if Farno wins some big races, Tactical Advantage could be getting a new home when he gets back from Argentina."

Crowned Dancer, bred by Val and William. Hunter, was a $16,000 yearling pinhook from last year's Ocala Breeders' August Yearling Sale. At that same sale Total Advantage (by Tactical Advantage), bred by Arlene Powell, sold for $40,000. Both were resold at this year's OBS March 2-year-old sale with Crowned Dancer going for $225,000 and Total Advantage selling for $140,000. One race after Crowned Dancer won his second career stakes, Total Advantage cruised to victory in a maiden special event.