09/18/2008 11:00PM

Vineyard Haven gives South American sire some legs

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Stallions with South American connections generally have a tough time making it in the Northern Hemisphere. The last stallion to plant his roots in Florida and do well commercially was the Venezuelan sire Petare.

He stood at Joe LaCroix's Meadowbrook Farm in the 1960s. The late Fred W. Hooper, along with Arnie Winick (Del Ray Training Center), also attempted to catch some hybrid vigor through their South American stallion imports, but each met with limited success at best.

Then along came the Chilean-bred Lido Palace, who had the credentials to overcome the reluctance of Florida's commercial breeders when he retired to stud in 2004.

He had shown that he could hoof it as a 2-year-old, earning the title as the best of his age in Chile. He was Chilean Horse of the Year at 3. At 4 in the U.S. he won the Grade 1 Whitney, and at 5 the Grade 1 Woodward. In 23 starts in Chile, Japan, North America, and the United Arab Emirates, Lido Palace won 9 stakes and placed in 9 stakes, earning $2.7omillion.

As for pedigree familiarity, Lido Palace's grandsire is Forty Niner, and on the dam's side is the outstanding broodmare Moment of Truth II. However, there was no great rush by Florida breeders to embrace him when he retired to Lambholm South. Still, he did get 48 registered foals in his first crop, and it was a start.

Among those who bred to Lido Palace, not the year the Chilean entered stud but the following season, is Lynne Scace. She is a Pittsfield, Mass., native by birth and upbringing who now calls a 60-acre farm in Ocala, Double S Farm, her home. She was originally involved with show horses. Accompanying a friend to Green Mountain Park in Vermont, Scace said recently, she "thoroughly enjoyed the experience." A short time later she was in the game.

"I knew I wanted to be involved in racing," she said. "So, I got a job at Green Mountain walking hots, moved up the backstretch ladder, and eventually got my trainer's license at Pennsylvania's Pocono Downs. Geez, but that was a long time ago."

Double S Farm accommodates 15 mares. Nine of them are owned by Scace. One of them, Princess Aloha, became a commercial gem when her 2-year-old Lido Palace colt Vineyard Haven established himself as one of 2008's leading 2-year-old colts with a victory in Saratoga's Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes.

"I have had this broodmare family for four or five generations," said Scarce. "I almost lost my link at a Timonium December sale, some 20 years ago. I had Princess Aloha's granddam in the sale. I put a $6,500 reserve and she sold for $6,700. Yes, it was me. I just couldn't let her go."

Scace has had success as a trainer. She's familiar with a variety of backstretches from Boston to Tampa and is presently racing at Calder Race Course. It was at Calder on June 28 that she entered her homebred Vineyard Haven for his racing debut.

"I knew this colt could run," she said. "He showed me that in training. So, I jumped into the pickup and headed south from Ocala to saddle him."

The horse proved sounder and maybe faster than her pickup truck, which broke down on the way.

"I didn't get to see him race until the TV reruns the next day," Scace said.

While Scace did not get to see Vineyard Haven win impressively, others sure did. And when the colt's Beyer Speed Figure came back an 81, the phone began ringing. It was not long before a partnership consisting of Bobby Frankel (who trained Lido Palace), Robert Lazzinerro, and Louis and Diamond Pride LLC were the new owners.

"Of course, I was sorry to see him go," said Scace. "But business is business. I don't have any younger siblings. Princess Aloha has not been lucky for me lately, but she is fine and she's ready to be bred back next season."

When asked about why she bred to Lido Palace three years ago, but has not returned since, Scace said: "I picked the stud out of the stallion register. Then I went to see him. He had it all together. I am not sure why I did not go back to him. Certainly, you have to think about going back now. All I can tell you is that there's no bigger thrill in this game than breeding a good horse."

Lido Palace is about to be syndicated. Angela M. Palicios, stallion coordinator for Lambholm South, announced earlier this week that the 11-year-old stallion will be syndicated at $12,000 per share with terms. Each syndicate member will get two seasons per share for 2009. Subsequent bonus seasons will be determined by the size of his book.

"Lido Palace will continue to stand for $5,000 live foal," Palicios said.