When you grow up on the streets of Corona, New York, and betting the races come as naturally as playing stickball and softball in Linden park, you dont later in life become a breeding weenie.

At the time, it was the night sport that first afforded the opportunity to play the races; you didnt pay much attention to pedigree at Roosevelt Raceway--Where It All Began, Where Its A Shopping Mall Today.

It didnt matter much exactly which Hanover horse or what Adios horse won a harness race. Hell, a sub two-minute mile was the huge deal back then.

So, when we discovered the flats, breeding wasnt all that important. The only crosses you knew about back then were lefts and rights, and the occasional uppercut.

But I did note that everything seemed to be by Bold Ruler. Then later, when I started getting paid to live this life, it was Mr. Prospector winning everything important. To his fans, he was Mr. P.

And there was the great Northern Dancer, too. And Danzig. Finally, Storm Cat. You just couldnt help but notice their influence.

In the last decade, pedigree handicapping has become highly fashionable. And you need to keep up if only to know what the crowd is thinking.

But what happened on the racetrack last weekend, given the totally uncanny influence the 15-year-old stud Smart Strike had on the results, is mind boggling to me. Yes, Im aware of the role of the dam in all this.

Crude or not, you could always hear an old-school racetracker describe a debut winner from a classy mare thusly: Sucked good titty.

But last weekend it was all about the sire. I just cant fathom how one stud on one weekend can dominate three disparate Grade 1 races; one at six furlongs, another at a mile and a quarter, both on dirt, and a third at a mile and a half on grass.

Is this the first time this has happened? Who knows? Theres no real clearing house for racing statistics like this that's easily accessible. Some enterprising computer geek might create an Elias Sports Bureau of racing. Another story for another day.

Its no wonder, then, that Smart Strike is the leading progeny earner in the sport this year. His stud fee has tripled to $75,000 in the last three years. Two things are certain: It will cost much more to breed to Smart Strike in 2008. The other?

Hell be represented on Breeders Cup day by at least three horses which, at this early stage, are unlikely worse than third or fourth choice in the Sprint (Fabulous Strike), Turf (English Channel) and Classic (Curlin).