06/06/2002 11:00PM

These are the days at Seeder's three-broodmare farm


When Magic Smoke sold for $3,500 as a yearling at the Barretts October sale last fall, breeders Steve and Penny Seeder were disappointed. After all, the stud fee to Smokester cost $10,000.

"We were not too happy after letting her go for that," Penny Seeder remembers.

Over the last three months, Magic Smoke has made it up to them. Last weekend at Hollywood Park, Magic Smoke won the Cinderella Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park, providing the Seeders with their first stakes win as breeders.

"It was terribly exciting to see this horse do so well," Penny Seeder said. "We breed three mares a year so we felt very fortunate."

The Seeders own and operate Sunny Ridge Farm in Paso Robles, Calif. The 40-acre farm is home to the couple's three broodmares and six other horses.

Penny Seeder calls their farm a hands-on operation, so much that they were unable to travel to Hollywood Park for the Cinderella Stakes.

"We take care of this place by ourselves," Penny Seeder said. "We always have something to keep us busy."

Steve Seeder is a retired American Airlines pilot and the couple have bred Thoroughbreds since the mid-1990's. Penny Seeder also keeps a show horse.

"He has traded the airplane for a tractor," Penny Seeder said of her husband. "We spend 90 percent of the time here. I have a couple of guys that come in and help. Three mares is about all we can handle. I foal them myself. That's a comfortable number for our place. We upgrade when we feel we need to."

The Seeders no longer own Magic Smoke's dam, Dancing Step. She was sold at auction in late 2000 for $40,000, the same amount the Seeders paid for her at the 1998 Keeneland November sale.

Dancing Step, who was winless in one start on the track, was subsequently sold at the 2002 Barretts January sale to Lathrop Hoffman for $15,000. She was part of the dispersal of Bella Thoroughbreds, which was operated by Bryan Rosenquist and Michele Serrao. (Rosenquist and Serrao were arrested for allegedly embezzling $12.7 million from Bank of America last year. The case has not yet gone to trial.)

The three mares the Seeders currently own - Glamorous Dancer, Isabel Brown, and Sweetannieannie - were acquired at Keeneland and have been bred to California stallions. Bloodstock agent and consignor Kathy Berkey has been their advisor.

"She's not going to let me go back to Kentucky and mess around," Penny said of Kathy Berkey.

None of the three current Seeder broodmares are stakes winners, but they are young mares acquired for reasonable amounts.

The 7-year-old Glamorous Dancer was bought for $57,000 in 1999. She has a yearling filly by Western Fame, a Malek filly at her side and has been bred back to Western Fame.

Isabel Brown, also 7, was bought for $40,000 in 1999. She has a yearling filly by Smokester and has been bred to Globalize.

Penny Seeder is particularly excited about the last two foals produced by Sweetannieannie, a 6-year-old. Sweetannieannie has an Indian Charlie filly in the Del Mar Yearling Sale this August. At her side, Sweetannieannie has a Bartok colt and has been bred back to Illinois Storm.

"The Bartok colt has knocked my socks off," Penny Seeder said. "He's really interesting."

Even though the Seeders have limited ties to Magic Smoke, they have closely followed the filly's career. Racing for Clear Valley Stable, Dobee Pecora, and Carlo and Evelyn Scialanga, Magic Smoke has won 2 of 4 starts and $106,225.

She won a maiden race for California-breds over two furlongs at Santa Anita on April 3 and was second in the Nursery Stakes at Hollywood Park on May 11.

While Magic Smoke was an inexpensive yearling last fall, she will repay the Seeders in breeder awards.

While the awards, which are based on a percentage of mutuel handle dedicated to the state's breeders, will not be paid until next spring, Magic Smoke's account is growing. So far, Magic Smoke has accrued approximately $15,000 for the Seeders, which makes last week's stakes win a profitable milestone.