05/31/2002 12:00AM

When grandma raises junior


Family bonding has been the theme recently at John Hettinger's Akindale Farm in Pawling, N.Y.

Likean Angel Looks, Hettinger's 14-year-old Foolish Pleasure mare, gave birth to a colt by New York sire Millions on Valentine's Day this year. The mare died on May 20 from what is believed to be an allergic reaction, leaving her foal without a mother.

The Millions colt, who is receiving milk replacement pills as he is being weaned, needed a companion because he is too young to be on his own. So Likean Angel Looks's dam, 24-year-old Avichi, stepped in as a surrogate mom to her grandson. Avichi was available for the job because she didn't have a foal this year.

Kate Feron, the farm manger for 16 years at Akindale, said Avichi, New York's broodmare of the year in 1994, and her grandson became instant buddies.

"It brought tears to my eyes to see them together," Feron said. "They are so cute; scratching on each other. Avichi treats him like he is her son. They are a little mare and foal team."

Avichi, a daughter of Damascus and a full sister to graded stakes winners, Honorable Miss, Bailjumper, and Syrianna, has been an outstanding broodmare for Hettinger. Among Avichi's progeny are stakes winners, Missymooiloveyou and Lady D'Accord. Missymooiloveyou, a graded winner of $187,109, is the dam of Ommadon, the winner of the 2000 Grade 3 Nashua Stakes. Lady D'Accord raced for Hettinger and was a graded winner and earned $590,138.

Avichi's Artax yearling colt will be sold in August at Fasig-Tipton's select sale at Saratoga. Avichi was covered this year by Phone Trick, a former Kentucky sire who is standing his first season in New York at Milfer Farm for a $25,000 stud fee, the highest in the state.

Avichi's daughter, Likean Angel Looks, was unraced and didn't enjoy the success her mother has had in the breeding shed. Since 1993, Likean Angel Looks's produce record from Bloodstock Research Information Services shows three named foals, with only one to race - Glacier Point, a winner of $100,480.

"Likean Angel Looks was a beautiful mare," Feron said. "Her foal is very handsome."

Perhaps this feel-good story will go one step further and Likean Angel Looks's last foal will turn out to be a runner.

Phone Trick leads N.Y. sires

Phone Trick leads New York sires in progeny earnings through the end of May with more than $2.4 million. Caller One, who won the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen for the second year in a row in March, is Phone Trick's leading money earner this year with $1.2 million.

Nationally, Phone Trick ranks third in 2002 progeny earnings behind Our Emblem and Gulch.

Fraternal glory

Our Emblem, the sire of Triple Crown hopeful War Emblem, has a connection to one of New York's leading sires, Personal Flag. Our Emblem, who was sold last week for a reported $10 to $12 million to stand in Kentucky for Taylor Made and WinStar Farm, is a son of Personal Ensign, a full brother to Personal Flag.

Personal Flag, who stands for $8,500 at Joe and Anne McMahon's McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, is the sire of Say Florida Sandy, the all-time leading New York-bred in money won.

Personal Flag, a 19-year-old son of Private Account and the Hoist the Flag mare Grecian Banner, is also the sire of New York-bred champions, Ave's Flag, Identity, Prospector's Flag, and Silky Feather.

Sole N.Y.-bred yearling

The online catalogue for Keeneland's two-day selected sale of yearlings on July 15 and 16 lists only one horse foaled in New York among 200 yearlings offered for sale.

Hip No. 87 is a filly by Peintre Celebre, a Horse of the Year in Europe and the winner of the 1997 Prix de l'Arc Triomphe. Peintre Celebre, who stands in Ireland at Coolmore, is represented by his first crop of 2-year-olds this year.

The filly's dam, Southern Tradition, a graded stakes winner, is by Family Doctor. This is Southern Tradition's third registered foal. The filly was born at Frank Stella's Delehanty Stock Farm in Millbrook, N.Y.

Hip No. 87 is consigned by Eaton Sales, agent.