04/10/2008 11:00PM

Valente hopeful Bustin Stones has stamina for Met Mile


Bustin Stones took his game to the next level last weekend, remaining unbeaten by winning the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct.

He is now 6 for 6 with earnings of $480,150, and his connections have set their sights on the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park on May 26.

The Carter is a historic event in its own right, having been won by greats such as Roseben, Tom Fool, Bold Ruler, and Forego since its inauguration in 1895.

In defeating a field that included graded stakes winners Spring at Last, King of the Roxy, and City Attraction, Bustin Stones strengthened his credentials as one of the top sprinters in the East.

Bustin Stones is owned by his breeder, Roddy J. Valente. Valente claimed his dam, Shesasurething, for $50,000 at Hollywood Park in 2000. He sent her to City Zip in 2003, when that sire stood at Gus Schoenborn Jr.'s Contemporary Stallions in Coxsackie, N.Y.

"To be truthful, I can't say I put a lot of thought into it," said Valente after the Carter. "I owned a share in City Zip and decided to use it."

The day before the Carter, Shesasurething delivered a colt by popular young state sire Hook and Ladder, whose New York-bred son Big Truck is on the Kentucky Derby trail.

"This is certainly good timing for us, now that Big Truck has shown he can go long," said Valente.

Distance is on Valente's mind, because Bustin Stones will attempt to stretch to one mile in the Metropolitan.

City Zip was a top sprinter, winning four stakes as a 2-year-old, including a dead heat in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga. He won the Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup and Amsterdam Handicap as a 3-year-old, both Grade 3 events at six furlongs.

City Zip's sire, Carson City, was also a sprinter, winning the Grade 2 Fall Highweight and Grade 3 Boojum handicaps.

City Zip has gotten the occasional middle-distance runner, such as Lane's End Stakes winner With a City and the good New York-bred turf runner Red Zipper.

And City Zip is a half-brother to Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, winner of the BC Classic.

Shesasurething's sire, Prospector's Gamble, won the Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate at 1 1/16 miles and the Grade 2 Bel Air Handicap going one mile at Hollywood Park.

Still, the dominant aspect of Bustin Stones's pedigree is speed.

Shesasurething is out of Nona's Moment, by Timeless Moment. She has also produced Ryan's Moment, winner of the Minnesota Sprint Championship.

Third dam No No Nona, by Tom Tulle, won the six-furlong Regret Stakes and finished third in the seven-furlong Dogwood Stakes, both at Churchill Downs.

Farther back, Bustin Stones's sixth dam, Brune, produced two sprint stakes winners in Three Percent and Three Dots.

Three Percent won the six-furlong Autumn Handicap at Washington Park, while Three Dots won the six-furlong Chicago Handicap at Arlington Park.

"I think the heart he brings to the table makes him special, and I think fans are appreciating him for that," said Valente of Bustin Stones. "It makes me happy that people appreciate him for the horse he is, rather than just the betting aspect of it."

N.Y.-sired colts sell for six figures

Colts by state sires Read the Footnotes and Hook and Ladder each hit the six-figure mark at the Keeneland 2-year-olds in training sale last Tuesday and Wednesday.

Consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, agent, the Read the Footnotes colt brought $220,000 from Todd Pletcher, agent. He is out of Structured, a winning daughter of West by West who is a half-sister to stakes winner Marquesa Lana.

His stakes-winning third dam, Kitchen, is a half-sister to stakes winner A Little Lovin, who placed in the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland.

Read the Footnotes, whose first runners are now 2-year-olds, stands at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson for a fee of $8,500.

Sequel Bloodstock (Becky Thomas), agent, consigned the Hook and Ladder colt. Purchased for $100,000 by Vision Racing LLC, he is out of Saint Kaytie, by Captain Bodgit.

Saint Kaytie is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Kip Deville.

Hook and Ladder also stands at Sequel Stallions, for a fee of $10,000.