02/19/2002 12:00AM

Two factors made for a clever pick


LAS VEGAS - Fans of pedigree handicapping had two reasons to love Clever Louis, who won a maiden race on the turf at Gulfstream Park on Monday. Clever Louis is a combination of two powerful pedigree handicapping tools: the hidden turf factor and the Rasmussen Factor.

Clever Louis, like recent Risen Star Stakes winner and strong Kentucky Derby contender Repent, is from the first crop of Preakness Stakes winner Louis Quatorze. Louis Quatorze is a hidden turf sire, because even though he achieved success on dirt, his sire line (Sovereign Dancer-Northern Dancer) suggested turf.

Indeed, Sovereign Dancer was group-placed in Europe, and although he sired Gate Dancer and Leo Castelli, his best runners were his two turf champions, Priolo (European champion miler) and Itsallgreektome (North American turf champion). As Louis Quatorze is not associated with turf, his runners offer great value when tried on that surface. In fact, the very first winner for Louis Quatorze was Seren Princess, who won a maiden race on the turf at seven furlongs in Ireland last July.

Clever Louis made two uninspiring starts on dirt as a 2-year-old at Saratoga but woke up when switched to the turf in his third start on Oct. 18 at Belmont, finishing third in a troubled trip at 8-1.

Making his first start of the year in Monday's ninth race at Gulfstream, Clever Louis was the second choice at 3-1 and won for fun, paying $8.40, while the 6-5 favorite, Westcliffe, faded to fourth after briefly challenging Clever Louis in the stretch.

The hidden turf factor has proven to be a powerful handicapping tool. Other notable stallions who achieved success on dirt but were well bred for turf and are now established hidden turf sires are Holy Bull, Go for Gin, Thunder Gulch, and Hennessy.

Another powerful pedigree handicapping angle is the Rasmussen Factor (inbreeding to a superior female within five generations through different individuals), and is best exemplified by Clever Louis.

Realizing that this pattern is found in less than 4 percent of the entire Thoroughbred population, the success of this particular inbreeding approach is astounding. Some of the world's greatest horses are inbred to superior females, including Ack Ack, Damascus, Danehill, Forli, Gallant Man, Habitat, Hail to Reason, Intentionally, Lyphard, Mahmoud, Nasrullah, Nearctic, Nijinsky II, Roberto, and Sir Ivor.

As noted in "Inbreeding to Superior Females" by Rommy Faversham and Leon Rasmussen, American classic winners who have this pedigree pattern include Louis Quatorze, Charismatic, Sea Hero, Pine Bluff, Unbridled, Risen Star, and Gato Del Sol. Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, is out of Angel Fever, who also shows the Rasmussen Factor, like her full brother, Pine Bluff.

But Clever Louis is not only inbred to one influential broodmare, he is ingeniously inbred to three great broodmares: Shenanigans, Grey Flight, and Misty Morn. Shenanigans's most famous offspring is Ruffian (Reviewer), but she produced high-quality individuals no matter to whom she was bred.

Clever Louis is inbred to Shenanigans 4x4, meaning Shenanigans shows up in the fourth generation of both his sire (Louis Quatorze) and dam (Clever Tide) through Shenanigans's two sons, On to Glory (Bold Lad) and Icecapade (Nearctic).

Clever Louis is inbred 4x5 to Grey Flight, the legendary broodmare who produced nine stakes winners. Grey Flight shows up in the fourth generation of his sire (Louis Quatorze) and fifth generation of his dam (Clever Tide) through her two daughters, stakes winner Bold Princess (Bold Ruler) and champion Misty Morn (Princequillo).

In an extraordinary pedigree pattern, Misty Morn is the third dam found twice in Clever Louis's pedigree, 5x4, through a son of hers, 1964's 2-year-old champion, Bold Lad (Bold Ruler), and a daughter, Lovely Morning (Swaps).

Clever Louis is out of the Clever Trick mare Clever Tide, and the next dam, Disappear Moon, was an unraced twin, bred by Ogden Mills Phipps. Disappear Moon, a full sister to Resolver (the dam of Time for a Change, Dispute, and Adjudicating) is by Reviewer, who, although not a champion, was one of Bold Ruler's best sons.

Reviewer was brilliant at 2 in 1968, capturing four of five starts, including the Sapling and Saratoga Special Stakes. Injured when he finished second in the Hopeful Stakes, Reviewer returned at 3, winning the Swift and Bay Shore Stakes (the Bay Shore under 130 pounds.). He was injured again finishing third in the Wood Memorial Stakes, requiring surgery a second time.

It seemed impossible, but Reviewer returned at 4 an even better animal. The bionic horse returned off a one-year layoff, scorching six furlongs in 1:08 and change in an allowance race at Belmont Park, followed by a victory in the Roseben Handicap. After finishing second by a nose to Nodouble in the Metropolitan Handicap, he won the Nassau County Stakes, defeating among others, champion Gallant Bloom.

Unfortunately, his unsoundness caught up to him and he was retired, going on to greater glory, siring Ruffian in his first crop.

Clever Louis may have only won a maiden race, but his performance and pedigree suggest he is headed for bigger things.