Northern Dancer dominates his race 10 descended from great sire included in 13-horse field

November 14, 1992|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

Today's hot tip: Bet the horse with the Northern Dancer bloodlines in the Laurel Race Course feature.

The $100,000 stakes at 9 furlongs is named after the great stallion that died two years ago at the Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City.

But, of course, the pick is not that easy.

Ten of the 13 Maryland-bred 3-year-olds in the race are either grandsons or great-grandsons of Northern Dancer, the Cecil County-based stallion that established one of the world's preeminent sire lines.

"The old horse might be gone, but he sure put his stamp on the breed," Joe Hickey, who managed the stud career of the 1964 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, said yesterday.

Four of the starters -- Ameri Valay, My Baby And Me, Ace Eyes and Alexis's David -- are sired by Northern Dancer's son, Carnivalay.

Another entry, Mr. Skylark, is by Imperial Falcon, also a son of Northern Dancer.

Then there are five great-grandsons of the old horse in the race. Two starters -- Assertive Counsel and Neoptolemus -- are sired by Assert, a Northern Dancer grandson. Key To Manhattan is by Corridor Key, another Northern Dancer grandson. Maryland Moon is out of Foufa, a Northern Dancer granddaughter. And Wood Fox, the favorite, is a son of Baederwood, who was out of a Northern Dancer mare.

If the equine genealogy seems a little confusing, it boils down to one simple fact: The Northern Dancer Stakes is laden with Northern Dancer blood.

The three other starters -- Lord Wollaston, Frottage and Dekova -- are devoid of the old horse's genes, so a win by any one of them would certainly be ironic.

Hickey said that Northern Dancer recently sired what is probably going to be his last stakes winner.

One of his sons, Northern Park, now 4, is one of the horse's last two foals.

He is out of the good stakes mare, Mrs. Penny, and was sold for $2.8 million as a yearling.

Northern Park recently won the Gran Prix de Villeurbanne at Lyons in France and became Northern Dancer's 146th stakes winner.

Northern Dancer had been tied at 145 stakes winners with one his sons, Nijinsky II, as the world's leading progenitor of added-money winners.

Now the old horse has a leg up on one of his sons.

* NOTES: At a board meeting of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association on Thursday night, track operator Joe De Francis assured horsemen that he has no desire to reduce live racing at Laurel to four days a week this winter. . . . Circuit Bar, a Maryland-bred son of Mokhieba, is one of the starters tomorrow in the $100,000 Colonial Cup Steeplechase at Camden, S.C.

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