10/31/2003 12:00AM

Wake at Noon staying home for new career on the farm


Wake at Noon, Canada's reigning Horse of the Year, enters stud next spring at the farm of his owner and breeder, Bruno Schickedanz, in Kettleby, Ontario.

A 6-year-old son of Cure the Blues out of Sermon Time, Wake at Noon is expected to compete in the Woodbine Slots Cup on Nov. 8 and perhaps once more before he is retired.

"The economics are such that if I wait much longer, his stud shelf life will be shortened," said Schickedanz, who set the horse's fee at $6,000. "Basically, if you wait until a horse is 8 years old, people might get doubts about certain things, like fertility. I think I've stretched him to the limit."

Wake at Noon has certainly been a popular runner in Ontario since he posted his first triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure early in his 2-year-old campaign.

As a 3-year-old, Wake at Noon reeled off three consecutive sprint stakes wins to begin the campaign, then finished fifth in the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate. He completed the year with two stakes victories over older horses: the Grade 3 Highlander Handicap and the Kennedy Road Stakes.

Wake at Noon hung up a Beyer Figure of 113 when he won the Jacques Cartier Stakes in his first race of 2001 and later that year missed winning the Grade 2 True North Handicap at Belmont by a neck to Say Florida Sandy. He was second to Say Florida Sandy again in the Philadelphia Breeders' Cup Handicap and fourth in the Grade 1 Forego Handicap at Saratoga.

His Horse of the Year campaign featured four stakes victories at Woodbine, including a pair of Grade 3 events - the Highlander and Vigil handicaps.

Earlier this year, Wake at Noon won the Vigil Handicap for the second consecutive year and then showed a new dimension by winning the Izvestia Stakes and Seagram Cup, both at 1 1/16 miles.

"He's a fantastic prospect," said Schickedanz. "There's not that many high-profile stallions in Ontario. I'm hoping he breeds 80 to 110 mares."

Schickedanz, who has 130 broodmares of his own, said he expects to breed "upwards of 25" to his new stallion.

Schickedanz said there were discussions to stand Wake at Noon at other farms, but he ultimately decided on his own farm, Select Stud, a 200-plus acre property.

"The name of a farm like a Windfields would have added a little more punch, but I am presenting a fee at a bargain-basement price," said Schickedanz.

"I have stood stallions before, but not commercially. I think I will get into it more now."

Schickedanz said he hopes to acquire more property to expand his breeding operation.

Schickedanz will also stand stakes winner Salty Note, a son of Salt Lake, at the farm. Salty Note won the 1 3/4-mile Valedictory Stakes but also won sprinting.

"He'll be fantastic for anyone who is looking to breed a Queen's Plate winner," said Schickedanz.

* Tethra, one of the leading sires in Canada in 2003, has been moved from T.C. Westmeath Stud in Caledon to Windfields Farm in Oshawa, Ontario. Tethra, owned by Thor Eaton, is a 12-year-old son of Cure the Blues and will stand for a fee of $4,000 in 2004.

* The Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society's winter mixed sale has 268 entries and will be held over two days, Dec. 6-7. The auction includes 141 broodmares, 54 weanlings, 35 yearlings, and 38 horses of racing age.