02/18/2005 12:00AM

Talent flows through revolving door


It has been 10 years since the stallion Judge Smells came to Pennsylvania and shook up the state's breeding industry, leading a charge of established stallions - mostly from Kentucky- who were greeted with a renewed burst of enthusiasm.

Over the past decade, Pennsylvania's leading sire rankings have been in a continual flux. Just when one stallion seems to take control at the top of the list, a new stallion arrives. Now that the vision of slots money has become reality, the recent stallion standings have taken on a completely new look.

Based on progeny earnings in 2004, five of the top 10 stallions standing in Pennsylvania this season stood elsewhere the season before. Only Roanoke, who is ranked 10th, has been in Pennsylvania longer than five years; his first crop of Pennsylvania-sired foals were born in 1999.

Topping the list is Lite the Fuse, who joins Wheaton (third) and Will's Way (fifth) at Dr. William Solomon's Pin Oak Lane Farm in New Freedom for 2005. Pin Oak Lane has a total of six new stallions this year, with the additions of Appealing Skier (seventh) and first-year stallions Certain Storm and Iron Deputy.

Lite the Fuse (Buckaroo-Annie's Dream, by Droll Role) had progeny earnings of $2.2 million in 2004. A 14-year-old stallion, Lite the Fuse had six crops of racing age, counting current 2-year-olds. He stands as the property of Adena Springs.

Wheaton (Alydar-Terlingua, by Secretariat), a half-brother to Storm Cat, was the No. 1 ranked stallion in the nation, based on number of juvenile winners (23) in 2004. Wheaton, now 15, formerly stood in Florida and remains the property of his breeder, Overbrook Farm.

Multiple Grade 1 winner Will's Way (Easy Goer-Willamae, by Tentam), a 12-year-old syndicated stallion, is a half-brother to leading regional sire Citidancer. With three crops of racing age in 2004, he was represented by Cigar Mile winner Lion Tamer and had progeny earnings of nearly $1.8 million.

Appealing Skier (Baldski-Jealous Appeal, by Valid Appeal) moves to Pennsylvania from Maryland. Another top-class sprinter, Appealing Skier, 12, had his best season as a sire in 2004, when his runners earned more than $1.5 million.

The stud fee for each of those four stallions is $3,500 live foal. Susan and John Moore's Iron Deputy (Silver Deputy-Femme de Fer, by Iron Duke), winner of three stakes, including the Brooklyn Handicap, stands for $3,000. Overbrook Farm's Certain Storm is an unraced son of Storm Cat out of La Affirmed (by Affirmed) and thus a full brother to graded stakes winners Caress, Country Cat, and top juvenile sire Bernstein. Certain Storm is offered for $2,500.

Tom Reigle of Reigle Heir Farms has been among the leaders in bringing popular stallions to the state, and the standings reflect that, as six of the top 10 sires stand at his Grantville Farm. Patton, the state's leading sire of 2003, was the only other stallion in the state besides Lite the Fuse to crack the $2 million mark, placing him second. He joined the Reigle Heir roster in 2001.

The farm's newest additions are Mazel Trick, whose oldest foals are now 4, and first-year sire Werblin.

Mazel Trick was fourth on Pennsylvania's top sires list, with just two crops to race. A 10-year-old son of Phone Trick out of the graded-stakes-winning mare Mazatleca, Mazel Trick won three graded stakes from 10 starts and holds Hollywood Park's seven-furlong track record. His half-brother Wild Escapade was a Grade 1 winner at 2. Owned by a syndicate, Mazel Trick stands for $5,500, or $5,000 to Pennsylvania foaling mares.

Werblin (Unbridled's Song-Roll Over Baby, by Rollin on Over) was placed in several graded stakes and is a full brother to last year's Florida Derby runner-up, Value Plus. Werblin is also a half-brother to stakes winners Majorbigtimesheet and Roll Hennessy Roll. He stands for $3,000 live foal.

Reigle Heir also stands top 10 sires Banker's Gold, whose first Pennsylvania foals arrive this year; Cat's Career and Caller I. D., both of whom moved to the state in 2003; and Roanoke.