10/05/2001 12:00AM

Which way is market headed?

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Fall mixed sales have been compared to Wall Street futures markets.

When confidence is high, the bloodstock sales boom; when there is uncertainty around, these markets often reflect this mood.

"I don't expect much change in buying habits," said Tom Ventura, vice president and general manager of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company, whose annual four-day mixed sale begins 10 a.m. Eastern on Monday. "The yearling sales, both before and after Sept. 11, reflect a continuous demand for the better product, and I think this is what's going to happen here. And we should get a boost from Florida's many new-to-the-market young stallions as well."

The young stallions with first crops arriving in 2002 include graded stakes winner Adcat (Storm Cat), who stands at Farnsworth Farms. There are 17 mares (cataloged) believed in foal to his cover. Sixteen of them sell with a free return service.

Greenwood Lake (Meadowlake) of Stoneriggs Farm, winner of the 1999 Champagne Stakes, has seven in the consignors' preferred session and one more in the open section of the sale.

Meadowbrook Farm resident Kelly Kip (Kipper Kelly) was a millionaire sprinter. Kelly Kip was a late arrival to the breeding shed. Still, there are five mares in foal to him.

Adena Springs Farms stands Running Stag Cozzene). This multiple graded stakes winning millionaire lists 11 mares cataloged.

Another Grade 1 stakes-winning world traveler is Worldly Manner

(Riverman) of Wycombehouse Stud with six mares.

Straight Man (Saint Ballado) of Dunhill Stud was a sprinter-miler type who won the Grade 2 Winnercomm Handicap at Churchill and was second in the Grade 1 Mailibu Stakes at Santa Anita. There are 14 mares to his cover.

Rounding out the group are Successful Appeal (Valid Appeal) of Walmac South and Yes It's True (Is It True) of Padua Stables.

Successful Appeal was a multiple Grade 2-caliber sprinter in the same year as millionaire sprinter Yes It's True. They traveled different paths, however, until they arrived in Ocala. Successful Appeal lists seven mares while Yes It's True has nine.

Tour d'Or leads the pack

Through the first nine months of 2001, Florida's leading stallion is Tour d'Or of Irish Acres Farm with four stakes winners and progeny earnings of $3.2 million Also on the general sire list is Montbrook of Ocala Stud with nine stakes winners and progeny earnings of $2.6 million.

In a close race for third are Robyn Dancer of Farnsworth Farms with four stakes winners and $2.4 million and Notebook of Ocala Stud with six stakes winners and $2.4 million.

Second-crop leading stallions with connections to the OBS mixed sale are Storm Creek, ninth overall on the national roster, followed by Friendly Lover and Valid Wager. All three stallions have relocated out of the state.

Among third-crop sires on the national roster is Rizzi of Sez Who Thoroughbreds. A son of Afleet, Rizzi has 58 winners, nine of whom are stakes winners, and his cumulative progeny earnings add up to $4.4 million - good for ninth on the national top 10 list.

Both Valid Expectations and Open Forum, who entered stud at Mockingbird Farm, have relocated. This makes South's Lost Soldier (Danzig) of Franks Farms the state's current leading resident freshman stallion with six winners and near $300,000 in earnings. He is also the sire of the graded stakes winner Lush Soldier.