07/18/2005 11:00PM

Talent that has spanned generations


LAS VEGAS - A.P. Warrior was doing so well that trainer Eoin Harty did not wait for Del Mar. Unveiled in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race last Sunday at Hollywood Park, A.P. Warrior drew off to an impressive victory, looking like future stakes material.

A.P. Warrior is one of four pricey babies that Harty has for owner Stan Fulton. Bought for $1.3 million at last September's boutique Keeneland sale, A.P. Warrior is a colt by A.P. Indy out of the Quiet American mare Warrior Queen, a champion 3-year-old filly in England and Ireland.

While A.P. Indy won the Belmont Stakes and Breeders' Cup Classic and is a solid source of stamina, many of his runners have as much speed as any horse by hot speed influences Carson City, Storm Cat, or Unbridled's Song.

The late Old Trieste, from A.P. Indy's second crop and winner of the Swaps and Californian stakes, had dazzling speed, as did the brilliant filly A. P. Assay, who won the A Gleam and Desert Stormer handicaps. With Ability was a precocious stakes-winning filly at 2, and Handpainted (out of a full sister to Touch Gold) was a top 2-year-old filly in Canada. Pulpit burst on the racing scene in the winter of 1997, using high speed to win the Fountain of Youth and Blue Grass stakes. Sons of A.P. Indy who are siring quick, win-early runners are Golden Missile, Old Trieste, and Pulpit.

A.P. Warrior gets speed from his female family. In addition to his dam, who was undefeated in two starts at age 2, his second dam, the unraced Call Me Afleet, was by the top sprinter-miler Afleet (Mr. Prospector). But this pedigree really gets interesting in the third generation, as A.P. Warrior's third dam is Ocean's Answer, a three-quarter sister to Storm Bird and Northernette.

Ocean's Answer (by Northern Dancer's son Northern Answer) won the Natalma Stakes at 2 in Canada, and while she did not produce any stakes winners, seven of her daughters were stakes-placed or produced a stakes winner, most notably Soundings (Mr. Prospector), who was the dam of four stakes winners.

Soundings was an important broodmare, producing Pas de Reponse (Danzig), the 1996 champion 2-year-old filly in France. She is also the dam of Green Tune (Green Dancer), the highweight at 4 in Europe and France. Among Green Tune's notable wins were the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) and the Prix d'Ispahan, both Group 1 events. Soundings is also the dam of Ecoute (Manila), a listed group winner in France who later won the Reloy Handicap and was stakes-placed in the U.S. Bred to A.P. Indy, Ecoute produced Listen Indy, third in the 2002 Norfolk Stakes. Soundings's fourth stakes winner was Didyme (Dixieland Band), winner of the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin. Brought back to the U.S., Didyme finished second in the Reb's Policy Stakes. Another foal, Ne Coupez Pas (Nureyev), was stakes-placed, finishing second in the Prix Yacowlef.

Ocean's Answer also produced Tiramisu (Roberto), a winner at 3 in France who is the dam of stakes winner Lac Dessert (Lac Ouimet); stakes-placed Devil's Oceanette (Devil's Bag), the dam of Miss Oceanette; Macquarie Ridge (Cox's Ridge), the dam of stakes-placed Blue Ridge; Crafty Siren (Crafty Prospector), the dam of stakes-placed Dolly Dynamite; and two unraced fillies, Speak Softly to Me (Ogygian) and Tidal Treasure (Crafty Prospector). Speak Softly to Me produced High Maintenance, a daughter of Danehill who won four races in the U.S., including the Denise Rhudy Memorial Stakes. Tidal Treasure produced Igman, winner of the Prix de Tourgeville.

The matriarch of this family was Ocean's Answer's dam, South Ocean, winner of the 1970 Canadian Oaks and whose legacy as a broodmare was cemented with Storm Bird (Northern Dancer), a winner of 5 of 6 starts and 1980 champion 2-year-old in England and Ireland. Storm Bird was among Northern Dancer's best sons at stud, and his most important contribution to the breed was Storm Cat. Storm Cat won the Young America Stakes and finished a heartbreaking second to Tasso in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in 1985, missing by a nose after leading by 2 1/2 lengths in the stretch. Of course, Storm Cat went on to greater fame as one of the world's most important stallions.

But Storm Bird was not the only significant offspring produced by South Ocean. Four years before Storm Bird was born, South Ocean produced Northernette (Northern Dancer), a winner of 13 races, including the Apple Blossom and Top Flight handicaps, and who placed in the Queen's Plate, Firenze Handicap, and Spinster and Test stakes. Northernette was the dam of Scoot, who won the 1986 Flower Bowl Handicap in a dead heat with Dismasted, and stakes-placed Groomed to Win.

South Ocean's other foals include South Sea Dancer, Oceana, West Indies, Stormette, Ballydoyle, and Sevastopol.

South Sea Dancer (Northern Dancer) is the dam of Signal Tap; unraced Oceana (Northern Dancer) is the second dam of stakes winner Lindsay Jean; and the unraced West Indies (Gone West) is the second dam of Indian Ocean, winner of this year's Affirmed Stakes and third in the Swaps Stakes.

Based on his maiden victory and pedigree, A.P. Warrior should be the next stakes winner descending from South Ocean.