08/28/2009 12:00AM

Unusual Heat rallies past Silic in standings


Unusual Heat led California's stallions in progeny earnings in 2008, and he retook the lead in those rankings for 2009 with Mama Rosa's win in a maiden race on turf at Del Mar on Thursday.

Through Thursday, Unusual Heat has 2009 progeny earnings of $3,533,133, edging in front of Silic ($3,495,108), who led the sire standings since March when Gladiatorus won the $5 million Dubai Duty Free on the Dubai World Cup undercard.

Unusual Heat, who stands at Old English Rancho in Sanger, Calif., has been creeping closer to Silic, and was helped when Unusual Suspect won the $150,000 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar earlier this month.

The two stallions have had widely diverse seasons. Unusual Heat has had 129 runners win 61 races, including eight stakes winners. His leading earner is Hot n' Dusty with $276,056. Silic has had 35 horses win 11 races. Gladiatorus has earned $3,261,499 of the stallion's total.

In 2008, Unusual Heat had progeny earnings of $5,827,517, a record for a California-based stallion. To have any chance of surpassing that mark, Unusual Heat's progeny must thrive in stakes in coming months.

Sunday, Unusual Suspect, a 5-year-old horse by Unusual Heat, starts in the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap over 1 3/8 miles on turf. The race is part of the Breeders' Cup Win and You're In Program for the BC Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 7, but Barry Abrams, who trains and co-owns Unusual Suspect, is more interested in starting Unusual Suspect a day earlier in the $500,000 BC Marathon on the main track.

Abrams said that Unusual Suspect will start in the $200,000 California Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Oct. 3 as a prep race.

Sunday, Abrams is hopeful that Unusual Suspect can hit the board.

"If he gets a good trip, I know he can handle the distance," he said. "I'm hoping to finish in the top three."

Abrams is part of the syndicate that owns Unusual Heat. He thinks the stallion will have a better 2009 than 2008. Abrams said he is hopeful that the stallion's 4-year-old daughter Lethal Heat, who was entered in Saturday's Grade 2 Del Mar Mile on turf, can start in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 6.

"I think we have better horses than last year," he said. "We should close out the year stronger than last year."

Memo headed home

The California stallion career of Memo has ended. The 22-year-old stallion is in the process of being sent to his native Chile where he will continue to stand at stud and eventually be retired, according Pat Thompson, who owns Ridgeley Farm in Hemet, which is where Memo stood in California.

Thompson said on Friday that Memo was sent to Miami to complete quarantine requirements to be shipped to the Southern Hemisphere.

"He's probably still in Miami," she said. "They said they would call when he left and arrived in Chile, and I haven't heard anything.

"They wanted to breed him again down there and they want him to be home when they retire him. He was their champion 2- and 3-year-old."

Memo produced such notable horses as McCann's Mojave, the winner of the Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulstream Park in 2007, and Grey Memo, the winner of the Godolphin Mile in Dubai in 2002.

"It was a sad day when he loaded up to go," Thompson said.

Thompson said Ridgeley plans to add a stallion for 2010.

"We haven't formulated all those plans this year," she said. "We are looking for another stud, but we haven't gotten anything in black and white."