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Metfield helps change breeding trend

By BERNIE DICKMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 16, 2001


Since Explodent and Mr. Prospector left Florida to stand in Kentucky more than 20 years ago, the trend has been for Florida's breeders to make a stallion popular, and rich Kentucky farms to make Floridians an offer few can refuse.

Since Explodent and Mr. Prospector left Florida to stand in Kentucky more than 20 years ago, the trend has been for Florida's breeders to make a stallion popular, and rich Kentucky farms to make Floridians an offer few can refuse.

Rarely does it happen the other way. When it does, it's usually for a stallion who had promise when he retired but didn't live up to the standards of breeders around Lexington. Metfield may be one of the few who got away.

The son of Seattle Slew began his career at Vinery in Midway, Ky., and his first runners raced in 1995. His best year in his first four was 1996, when his offspring earned $785,930. That's not what Kentuckians pay big bucks for.

So in 2000, Metfield went south and took up stud duties at Leverett and Linda Miller's T-Square Stud, north of Ocala. His first Florida runners won't race until 2003, but Metfield's runners from other states have kept him high on Florida's leading sire list. One is Fort Metfield, a Missouri bred who won Saturday's 7-furlong 11th race at Tampa Bay Downs by 11/4 lengths over Mywayistheonlyway.

Fort Metfield went wire-to-wire in 1:24:87 for his 11th career victory and raised his earnings to more than $286,000.

STILL STREAKING: As the days dwindle at the Tampa meeting, several notable performers have emerged outside the Tampa Bay Derby, Florida Oaks and lesser stakes.

One is Corinas Poise, who went into Tuesday's 11th race with four victories and a second (by a head) at the meeting. The 7-year-old mare finished in a dead heat for the victory with Montjac, her 11th victory in 55 career starts. She boosted her earnings to more than $86,000.

On Saturday, No Spend No Glow kept intact his perfect record at the meeting, making a stretch run around, between, then outside of horses to win the ninth race by a half-length. The 9-year-old gelding, trained by Hall of Fame jockey Jacinto Vasquez, is 4-for-4 and increased his earnings to more than $522,000.

WELCOME BACK: Until it was discontinued in 1996, the Daily Racing Form's American Racing Manual was the encyclopedia of horsemen. It's absence left a huge void for industry people who needed to look up a track record, an address, a phone number of a race track, a jockey's record leaders in North American racing and much more.

Now the manual is back, and though it's not quite as ambitious, it's still a thoroughbred work of art. The 2001 edition is on the way, with all the info about 2000.

Two Daily Racing Form stalwarts are mainly responsible -- Irwin Cohen and former Times racing writer and handicapper Steve Davidowitz.

The rebirth was difficult because when the Daily Racing Form was sold a few years back, all the files that had been updated every year were lost or destroyed.

The Daily Racing Form also has signed an editorial agreement with MSNBCSports.com. The Daily Racing Form is the premier provider of on-line racing content through its Web site, www.DRF.com. "The partnership of MSNBCSports.com and the Daily Racing Form is a natural," said Steven Crist, editor and publisher of the Form, "given the commitment NBC Sports has made to thoroughbred racing with coverage of both the Triple Crown series and Breeders' Cup."

DERBY LANE: More than 4,500 came out Saturday to be part of the ceremony honoring Dominator, BD's Phillip and Greys Free Bird for making the All-America team. It was one of the largest crowds this year. The All-America team consists of the eight best runners in the nation, voted on by the 47 greyhound tracks nationwide. Derby Lane runners made up half the field. Absent was last year's win leader, JB Junior B, who is competing in Iowa. A ceremony is next week at the Greyhound Hall Of Fame in Kansas. ... Derby Lane's System Shug Alow made the first cut in the $75,000 Iowa Countdown Stakes. His third place advances him to the next round Wednesday night. ... Do The Wild Thing left the Bay area to pursue the winning share in the American Greyhound Futurity stakes at the Woodlands in Kansas. First place is worth more than $160,000. The first round is May5, the final on Memorial Day. ... Distance Classic winner BD's Robin won again and posted the fastest time Saturday night. Courageous Nicky and Oneco Sudsy remained tied as the season win leaders. Both have 14, but Sudsy has more second-place finishes. Both greyhounds, along with Reward Green, will be among the beginning field in the first round of the 62nd annual Gold Trophy Juvenile Stakes beginning April 28.

- Correspondent Vera Filipelli contributed to this report.

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