07/16/2004 12:00AM

Two big feats of Clays


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Medallist and Christine's Outlaw swept last weekend's graded stakes at Belmont Park. A 3-year-old son of Touch Gold, Medallist won the Dwyer, and Christine's Outlaw, a 4-year-old by Wild Again, won the Poker. Both were bred by the late Albert G. Clay in separate partnerships with his sons.

Robert Clay, owner of Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky., where Smarty Jones will retire to stud, co-bred Medallist and owns the colt, but his brother John and their father sold Christine's Outlaw, who races for the RC Hill Stable.

The Clay family are primarily commercial breeders, and Robert Clay noted that he tried to sell Medallist as a yearling.

"I put a reserve on him at the Keeneland sale and didn't get him sold," Clay said. "I bought him back for $95,000. He was an athletic colt, and I didn't want to let him go for less than that. I sent him down to Bill Harrigan, who took his time preparing the colt, and I sent Medallist to [trainer] Allen Jerkens in November."

From that start, Clay's only colt in his racing stable has progressed from a nice racing prospect to a solid racer and now to a very promising sire prospect. From the second crop by a Belmont Stakes winner, Touch Gold, Medallist is among that classic winner's best racers to date, which include Grade 1 winner Composure and graded winner Midas Eyes.

In choosing Touch Gold for the mare Santaria, Clay said: "I've always liked Touch Gold. Before Adena Springs stood stallions, I was interested in recruiting him. So we were interested in breeding to him."

Santaria, said Clay, was the idea of a former matings adviser, Ed Anthony.

In winning the Dwyer, Medallist set very fast fractions in an effort similar to the style of his dam and her sire, champion sprinter Star de Naskra.

A stakes winner at 2, Santaria is a muscular and lengthy mare who ran second in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes at 3, and second in the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss and Beaumont stakes. Clay said: "My dad and I bought Santaria when she was training and raced her just a little bit. She was a pretty good racemare who had placed in a Grade 1, and she looked like a useful race filly who might do even better things. That didn't work out, but Medallist is her second foal."

Medallist has already fulfilled much of the potential his dam promised. And as with most top-quality broodmares, Santaria has begun early to produce high-level stock.

The mare has a February foal of 2004 by the 2001 Horse of the Year, Point Given. Like Medallist, this colt is quite similar in body type to the powerful and lengthy dam and has a good hip. Santaria is back in foal to the Pulpit horse Sky Mesa.

Whereas Santaria is making her first mark as a broodmare with Medallist, the dam of Christine's Outlaw, Marianna's Girl, has produced three other stakes winners, including the graded winners Marastani and Crimson Classic.

A 21-year-old daughter of the Bold Ruler stallion Dewan and the Pago Pago mare Marianna Trench, Marianna's Girl is one of two graded winners out of her dam, who also produced Grade 2 winner Bold Style, winner of the Oaklawn and Inglewood handicaps and second in the Whitney.

The Clays acquired a 75 percent interest in Marianna's Girl in 1986 for $225,000, and then John Clay purchased the remainder of the racemare for $60,000 the next year at a sheriff's sale in Louisville, Ky. As part of the deal, John Clay said: "I took half, and Dad took half. Over the years, she has been one of our best producers."

Although Marianna's Girl is an aged mare, she still possesses the length and scope of a good horse. She has good balance and some quality, with an intelligent head. She has passed on these attributes, along with her athleticism, to her foals. Eight of them are winners, and her oldest daughter, the Dixieland Band mare Smile N Molly, is dam of Don't Tell the Kids, winner of the 1999 Sapling Stakes.

Mike Ryan, as agent, purchase Christine's Outlaw at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2001, and the horse placed in three graded stakes last year. The victory in the Poker was his first stakes success, and he becomes the 83rd stakes winner for Wild Again.

John Clay noted that the family owns two other daughters of Marianna's Girl: Smile N Molly and the 2-year-old Sacred Feather, who is currently in training.

Marianna's Girl has a yearling colt by War Chant who is entered in the Keeneland September sale, and she is in foal Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Silver Charm on a May cover.