03/15/2007 11:00PM

Two out of three not bad for this broodmare


To sell a $3,000 yearling and watch him score impressively in stakes company at 3 would be discouraging for some people. But not Donald Schmidt.

"It's as much of a thrill winning with the ones I've bred as the ones I own," says Schmidt, who celebrated the first stakes win of his career with Call Me Clash's front-running three-length victory in the Horatius Stakes on March 3 at Laurel Park.

Schmidt takes major consolation in the fact that he still owns Call Me Clash's dam - the 10-year-old Miss Boot Scoot (by Fred Astaire), who now has credit for two stakes performers in her first three foals.

And, as a Maryland-bred, Call Me Clash has earned substantial amounts from the Maryland-bred Fund, in breeder's bonuses as well as the winner's share of a $20,000 Maryland Fund purse enhancement for the Horatius.

Schmidt, who trades under the name of DLS Thoroughbreds, has owned horses since 1998, and in 1999 and 2000 he maintained a sizable claiming operation based in Maryland.

Call Me Clash, owned by New Jersey resident Gerard Artz and trained by Scott Lake, is the product of two horses whom Schmidt acquired through the claim box (both, coincidentally, taken from Lake).

Call Me Clash's sire, Clash by Night (by Conquistador Cielo), was a multiple stakes winner for his Maryland breeder, Robert Meyerhoff. Clash by Night had descended through the ranks, changing hands four different times, before Schmidt claimed him for $25,000 at Laurel in August 2000.

Clash by Night made 13 trips to the post for Schmidt, adding modestly to his career total of 81 starts, 13 wins, and $624,193. Just before the 2002 breeding season, Schmidt sold him to Xanthus Farm, the Gettysburg, Pa., operation of Ron and Barbara Rickline.

Schmidt retained four breeding rights in Clash by Night, but the horse stood only two seasons at Xanthus and then was relocated to South Africa.

Class and durability are words easily applied to Clash by Night - but not to Miss Boot Scoot. In 12 career starts, she won only once, and her lone stakes try was a third-place finish in a minor contest at Charles Town. Her career earnings were $27,589.

Miss Boot Scoot suffered an injury after Schmidt claimed her, for $14,500 at Laurel in August 2000, and she never raced after that.

Her pedigree and race record made her a far-from-ideal candidate as a broodmare, Schmidt admits.

But Miss Boot Scoot was sent as a boarder to St. Omer's Farm, the Forest Hill, Md., establishment of Stephen and Sue Quick, who are experiencing resounding success with their homebred racemares Silmaril and Lexi Star.

Schmidt says Sue Quick was the first to spot Miss Boot Scoot's promise: "She stepped off the van at St. Omer's, and Sue said, 'Now this is what a broodmare is supposed to look like.' "

Miss Boot Scoot produced as her second foal the Clash by Night filly Miss Artic Night (an earner of $63,804 who ran third in the 2006 Foxy J. G. Stakes at Philadelphia Park), whom Schmidt sold as a yearling for $4,500 at the 2004 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December mixed sale.

Call Me Clash, sold at the following year's Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale, did not immediately display his talent, but has blossomed under the care of Lake, who has sent him out in his last two starts.

Lake describes Call Me Clash as a "lovely horse; very professional," and is aiming him for the April 7 Lafayette Stakes at Keeneland. In 8 career starts, Call Me Clash has registered 3 wins, 1 second, and 1 third, for earnings of $84,716.

Schmidt intends to race Miss Boot Scoot's current 2-year-old, Lady Q (by Louis Quatorze), who is in training with Jason McCutchen in South Carolina and expected to join Lake's stable.

Miss Boot Scoot, now boarded at Wyn Oaks Farm in Delta, Pa., under the care of Sue Quick's son Chip Wheeler, has a yearling filly by Louis Quatorze and is due to foal on Aprilo11, also to Louis Quatorze.

Miss Boot Scoot is the only broodmare owned by Schmidt, who stays close to the racing scene with homes in Boynton Beach, Fla., and Millsboro, Del.

A former director of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association and currently a director and secretary of the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, Schmidt became involved in racing after retiring in 1996 from a career with the business information firm Dun and Bradstreet. He served as president of Dun and Bradstreet Japan from 1990 to 1996.