01/08/2008 12:00AM

Watch for Congaree’s babies, especially on turf


LAS VEGAS – Every December and January, I take a brief, early look at the freshmen sires for the new season, and 2008 will feature many new sires who should have an immediate impact and others whose offspring should be more effective at 3 when they catch up to their more precocious contemporaries. The following is the second part of a seven-part series on what to expect from the new group of first-crop sires, followed by their pedigree:

Canadian Frontier (Gone West-Borodislew, by Seattle Slew). Unraced at 2, and lightly raced at 3 and 4, Canadian Frontier is an example of why Thoroughbreds should stay in training as older runners even if they own a flashy pedigree. Canadian Frontier blossomed at 5, winning three stakes, including the Bold Ruler Handicap where he blazed six furlongs in 1:09.80. While he achieved success as an older runner, his offspring are bred to be quick at 2, and as an HT (hidden turf) sire, they should also be very effective on grass.

Candy Ride (Ride the Rails-Candy Girl, by Candy Stripes). Unraced at 2, he was undefeated in three starts at 3 in his native Argentina and was named champion miler. Imported to the United States at 4, he was dazzling in winning all three of his starts, which included victories in the Pacific Classic on dirt (setting a track record of 1:59.11 for 1 1/4 miles) and the American Handicap on turf. His runners should show high speed on all surfaces, but they should have a preference for turf.

Cashel Castle (Silver Ghost-Desviacion, by Unreal Zeal). He has a pure sprinter’s pedigree, so expect his Florida-bred runners to make good 2-year-olds in all the early spring and summer Calder juvenile sprints.

Cat Dreams (Storm Cat-J?J’sdream, by Glitterman). An eight-length winner of his only career start at Churchill Downs, he has a sprinter/miler pedigree, and his dam was a multiple stakes winner. Female family produced Louis Quatorze, and fifth dam is a full sister to Nashua. Expect his California-bred babies to come out running strongly on dirt and turf.

Certain Storm (Storm Cat-La Affirmed, by Affirmed). Unraced, he is a full brother to stakes winners Caress (dam of Sky Mesa), Country Cat, and Bernstein. His dam is a half-sister to champion Outstandingly, and his third dam is a half-sister to Buckpasser. Since he is based in Pennsylvania and relatively unknown, his runners will offer value, particularly on grass.

Cetewayo (His Majesty-Aletta Maria, by Diesis). Also standing in Pennsylvania, he is one of the last sons of His Majesty at stud and was a force on turf as indicated by his powerful grass pedigree. His runners should be most effective at 3 and older when they have a chance to mature and stretch out on turf.

Champali (Glitterman-Radioactivity, by Dixieland Band). Glitterman equals speed, and Champali had plenty of it, winning 11 of 22 races, including eight stakes. While his offspring are not Kentucky Derby material, he should make an excellent sire of 2-year-olds.

Chapel Royal (Montbrook-Cut Class Leanne, by Cutlass). A precocious and top-class 2-year old who won the Sanford and Flash stakes, he also was second in the Hopeful and Champagne stakes and just held on to finish third in the 1 1/16-mile Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. With the high-speed cross of Montbrook and Cutlass, his runners should have severe distance limitations but will be winning early and often at 2.

City Place (Storm Cat-Glitter Woman, by Glitterman). Possessing a formidable pedigree, he was unraced but should sire precocious babies. He is a half-brother to Suburban Handicap winner Political Force, and his stakes-winning dam is a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Unbridled Elaine.

Congaree (Arazi-Mari’s Sheba, by Mari’s Book). I expect big things from this guy. A 10-time stakes winner who excelled at distances from one mile to 1 1/4 miles, his miler speed makes him a stallion to watch, and his foals should have speed on all surfaces. While his success was achieved on dirt, keep in mind that he has a T2 (turf top and bottom) pedigree, and his offspring will love turf, where they will undoubtedly be overlays. In addition to Arazi (Blushing Groom), Congaree’s female family is rife with grass influences, such as Northern Dancer, Known Fact, and Ribot.

Cuvee (Carson City-Christmas Star, by Star de Naskra). From the same crop as Chapel Royal, Cuvee was also a major 2-year-old, winning 4 of 6 starts, including the Futurity Stakes, Saratoga Special, and Kentucky Breeders’ Cup Stakes. He is by Carson City out of a half-sister to speed influences Olympio and Call Now, and his runners will have distance limitations but should shine at 2.

Domestic Dispute (Unbridled’s Song-Majestical Moment, by Magesterial). A winner of 3 of 21 starts, including two stakes, he fits neatly into Maryland’s breeding program because of the speed of Unbridled’s Song. His babies should win early and may be able to get middle distances if they are out of mares by stamina influences.

During (Cherokee Run-Blading Saddle, by Blade). Unraced at 2, During won the Swaps Stakes and Jerome and Discovery handicaps at 3 and San Fernando Breeders’ Cup Stakes at 4. His offspring should be good at 2 and be effective at 3 up to nine furlongs, especially if they are out of mares by stamina influences.