08/28/2003 11:00PM

Windsharp's success saga continues

Email

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Like a cherry atop the creme brulee, Dessert is a sweet result of the mating of leading sire Storm Cat to the top-class racemare Windsharp. Sweeping to the lead and repelling her challengers, Dessert became yet another Grade 1 winner for The Thoroughbred Corp. with her victory in the Del Mar Oaks last Sunday.

Dessert ran nine furlongs on firm turf in 1:47.04, winning by a neck over the Spinning World filly Solar Echo, bred and raced by Janis Whitham.

Like her dam, Windsharp, Dessert has prospered while racing on the turf courses of California tracks, and there will be numerous opportunities for the filly, both this season and next.

With her victory at Del Mar, Dessert became the 112th stakes winner for her sire, and she is Storm Cat's third winner at the highest level this year. In Europe, both Nebraska Tornado, winner of the Prix de Diane at Chantilly, and One Cool Cat, winner of the Phoenix Stakes at The Curragh, have victories in Group 1 stakes. It is interesting to note that all three successes came on turf.

Although he did his best racing at 2 on dirt, Storm Cat is by European champion Storm Bird (by Northern Dancer), who raced only on turf, and his broodmare sire is Secretariat, a Horse of the Year at 2 and 3 due to his form on dirt but a horse who showed tremendous form in winning his only two starts on the grass, the Man o' War and Canadian International.

Raced by W. T. Young, Storm Cat stands at Overbrook Farm. Starting off near the doldrums of the breeding business in the late 1980's, Storm Cat has risen to the heights of international demand as a sire. The sire of the winner of dozens of major races, Storm Cat produces yearlings that annually sell for millions of dollars. Due to that, he has become the most expensive stallion in the world and stands for $500,000.

Dessert is out of Windsharp, a daughter of Lear Fan who became the Canadian champion turf mare and runner-up for that honor in the Eclipse Awards. Sold for a bargain-basement price of $8,500 as a yearling at the 1992 Keeneland September sale, Windsharp took some time to come around, but when she was sharp, she could run like the wind.

Windsharp's victories at the Grade 1 level came in the San Luis Rey against males and the Beverly Hills, and she was also second against males in the Grade 1 San Juan Capistrano and in the Matriarch.

Windsharp raced initially for Richard and Martha Stephen. The late Ahmed Salman's The Thoroughbred Corp. acquired an interest in the mare during her racing career. After she was retired, The Thoroughbred Corp. bought out the remainder of the Stephens' ownership.

Sent to stud at the Mill Ridge Farm of John and Alice Chandler, Windsharp has continued her immense success story as a broodmare. Her first two foals are both Grade 1 winners. The first was the Gone West colt Johar, who won the Hollywood Derby last season, and returned from a shoulder injury to finish third in the Harry F. Brubaker Handicap last week.

Like Johar and several other good stakes horses this year, Dessert was foaled and raised on the Chandlers' Mill Ridge Farm, as were Horse of the Year Point Given and Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Spain.

Obviously a nice filly, Dessert was sent abroad as part of The Thoroughbred Corp.'s international assault last year that earned it a Group 1 victory in the Prix Morny by Elusive City (a son of the Gone West stallion Elusive Quality).

Raced in England last year at 2, Dessert did not show Elusive City's level of early maturity and ran unplaced in two starts. Returned to the U.S., however, Dessert has won three of five starts this season, with a second and a third. The Del Mar Oaks was her first stakes victory.

Dessert has a 2-year-old full brother named Ancient Art. Like his two siblings, Ancient Art was retained for racing by The Thoroughbred Corp.

Windsharp's foal of 2002 was a colt by Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, but that colt, who would have been one of the most desirable youngsters from his sire's first crop, died last year. Windsharp was barren this year but is in foal to Gone West, carrying a full sibling to Johar on a Feb. 27 cover.