10/31/2003 12:00AM

You don't see many mares like these


LEXINGTON, Ky. - A victory in one of the Breeders' Cup races annually means a boost in price for someone at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale. Last year, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, Starine, sold out of the Mill Ridge Sales consignment at the November sale for $1 million to Newsells Park Stud.

When Johar and High Chaparral created the first dead heat in Breeders' Cup history in last weekend's Turf, Windsharp, Johar's dam, became perhaps the hottest producer in the Keeneland sale. Windsharp will go through the ring Tuesday as Hip No. 508.

Windsharp's 3-year-old daughter, Dessert (by Storm Cat), won the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks after the sales catalog pages were completed, meaning both of Windsharp's foals to race are Grade 1 winners this year.

A multiple Grade 1 winner herself and a champion in Canada, Windsharp will sell as part of a major reduction in breeding stock from The Thoroughbred Corp. of the late Ahmed Salman.

John and Alice Chandler's Mill Ridge Sales will consign a significant selection of The Thoroughbred Corp. mares, including Windsharp, Sharp Cat, Turko's Turn, Habibti, Drina, and Auriette.

Alice Chandler said, "These are mares of the first importance in terms of their racing performances, and those with foals old enough are getting some excellent racehorses."

In this respect, Windsharp is clearly the leader among The Thoroughbred Corp. mares.

"The timing, in having Johar run that huge race in the Breeders' Cup, could not be any more beneficial for maximizing Windsharp's potential for The Thoroughbred Corp," said Bayne Welker, manager of sales for Mill Ridge.

Among the top racers bred by The Thoroughbred Corp. and raised by Mill Ridge are Horse of the Year Point Given, Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Spain, as well as Johar and Dessert.

Although it is not technically a dispersal, this reduction is going to dramatically change one of the most successful operations of the past decade.

"All their holdings with us, 27 mares and 11 weanlings, are in this sale," said Welker.

Having handled some of these horses from the time they were born, those selling them realize a sense of loss.

"Consigning these mares is a sort of bitter-sweet thing for us," said Welker. "This is an important group of horses, and at the same time that we are very proud to offer such an outstanding group for sale, we are also aware that we are going to miss them."

Any breeding operation would miss them because The Thoroughbred Corp. mares constitute as strong a group of high-class racemares and potentially major producers as has come on the market.

"These are the fruits of some prolific breeding operations, the mares that put them on the map," said Welker. "They will become parts of other programs and become a foundation for them also."

Not all The Thoroughbred Corp. mares are boarded at Mill Ridge, and other farms, including Three Chimneys, Hopewell, and Taylor Made, will be consigning the stock they board.

Regarding The Thoroughbred Corp. bloodstock they will consign, Dan Rosenberg, general manager of Three Chimneys, said: "As a group, they are very attractive physically. The Thoroughbred Corp. and [racing manager Richard] Mulhall clearly had a type that worked for them, and these mares have good conformation, good race records, and strong pedigrees.

"I'm expecting a very strong market and positive response for them. Also, some of these families are not often in the market, and that would play a significant part too. Both Spain and Saudi Poetry are in our consignment."

The 6-year-old Spain (by Thunder Gulch) won the Breeders' Cup Distaff and is carrying her second foal from a May 20 cover to Storm Cat. Spain's first foal, a weanling colt by Storm Cat, will follow Spain through the ring at Keeneland. Spain and the weanling will sell in the opening session of the auction on Monday.

About a half-hour earlier, Saudi Poetry, a Grade 2 winner by Storm Cat, will enter the ring as Hip No. 142. The type of Storm Cat The Thoroughbred Corp. preferred, with quality and scope, Saudi Poetry brought $1.7 million when he topped the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale of select yearlings in 1998.

In addition to consigning a selection of The Thoroughbred Corp. mares, Three Chimneys also stands Point Given. A couple of his most promising offspring will also be offered among the weanlings sold in The Thoroughbred Corp. reduction.

Chandler said Mill Ridge will consign a filly out of Sharp Cat (winner of seven Grade 1 stakes) by Point Given, and also Sharp Cat herself, in foal to Gone West. The Mill Ridge consignment also will include a full brother to Point Given. The dam of Point Given (Turko's Turn) and the dam of Spain (Drina) are back in foal to Thunder Gulch.