07/22/2004 11:00PM

Trippi in demand at Fasig-Tipton

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Fasig-Tipton's Kentucky yearling sale this past week worked out well for the Trippi syndicate and for Padua Stable.

Trippi, who stands at Ocala Stud, had six yearlings through the ring and they averaged $131,667, or 17 1/2 times his $7,500 stud fee. Padua Stable's Yes It's True, a leading freshman sire, also had six sell, for an average of $128,333 or almost 13 times his $10,000 fee. Padua Stable's Exchange Rate, a first-crop Danzig stallion, had three sell for a $108,333 average, or about 14 times his $7,500 fee.

Songandaprayer, who stands for $10,000 at Marablue Farm, is one of two graded stakes winners by Unbridled's Song standing in Florida. The other, with first foals, is Unbridled Time at Signature Thoroughbreds. Songandaprayer's first yearlings went to market at Fasig-Tipton, and the stallion was well received, with five yearlings averaging $103,000.

Flame Thrower, another with first yearlings in the market, also had a good response at the Fasig-Tipton sale. The Cloverleaf Farms II stallion, who stands for $6,500, had three sold for an average of $108,000.

A racehorse indeed

Jeff Schwietert, co-owner and manager of Ocala's Four Horsemen's Ranch, does not breed for the 2-year-old market.

"I don't want to sound snobby about this," he said, "but my program is to breed racehorses, and oftentimes to get this done you have to go against the fashionable trends. If you are strictly a market breeder, such a program can be risky."

Four Horsemen's Ranch does not stand stallions. Schwietert books the farm's broodmare band, usually between 20 and 25, to local and Kentucky resident studs.

"It's okay to stand a really super sire who gets the job done and is fashionable," he said. "But otherwise, you can wind up supporting your own stallion, and if he doesn't get the job done, you're in trouble."

The Four Horsemen's homebred label has been on several top-class horses in recent years. Among them is the 6-year-old Star Over the Bay, winner of Hollywood Park's Grade 2 Sunset Handicap last Sunday. Star Over the Bay is by Cozzene and is out of Lituya Bay, by Empery, now a pensioner at Four Horsemen's Ranch.

"Lituya Bay was a one-of-a-kind broodmare," said Schwietert. "She foaled five stakes winners for us. One of her better foals, one that not too many remember, was Dan's Bet. He beat some of the best of his age, including the millionaire Mecke and three-time Grade 1 stakes winner Val's Prince, a millionaire racehorse whom we also bred. Dan's Bet died as a 3-year-old, and that's why most don't remember him."

The pensioned broodmare has two daughters who are carrying on for Schwietert. They are the stakes winner Rajadabadoo, dam of stakes winner Lord Abounding, and Enduring Legacy, a 4-year-old daughter of Saint Ballado. Rajadabadoo is believed in foal to the Florida sire Northern Afleet, and Enduring Legacy is in foal to the Kentucky stallion Jump Start.

Schwietert's business plan is to sell his homebreds, but he often has to race them to determine their value. That's what happened with Star Over the Bay.

"This horse was for sale since he was a 2-year-old," he said. "He'd just about be where we wanted him to be and the weather, or something, would screw it up. That's why I sold him to people from California last December figuring that he'd do better on firm turf."