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A GOLD(EN) CHANCE.



Byline: KEVIN MODESTI Horse Racing horse racing, trials of speed involving two or more horses. It includes races among harnessed horses with one of two particular gaits, among saddled Thoroughbreds (or, less frequently, quarterhorses) on a flat track, or among saddled horses over a turf course with  

ARCADIA - Among the runners in the Breeders' Cup The Breeders' Cup World Championships is an annual series of Grade I thoroughbred horse races operated by Breeders' Cup Limited, a company formed in 1982 by a consortium of North American racing organizations, led by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.  prep races at Santa Anita Santa Anita may refer to:
  • Santa Anita Park in California, USA
  • Santa Anita, Mexico holy site in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
 this weekend are two horses with remote chances to overtake Point Given in the campaign to be Horse of the Year.

One is Tiznow, whose handlers hope to replicate their 2000 charge to the Horse of the Year title by winning the Goodwood Handicap here Sunday and the Breeders' Cup Classic The Breeders' Cup Classic is a Grade 1 Weight for Age thoroughbred horse race for 3 years old and older run at a distance of 1¼ miles (2012 m) on dirt. It is held annually at a different racetrack in the United States or Canada as part of the Breeders' Cup.  at Belmont Park on Oct. 27.

The other - less obvious - is Kona Gold, who will try to win the Ancient Title Handicap for the second consecutive year Saturday on his way to a repeat attempt in the Breeders' Cup Sprint The Breeders' Cup Sprint is an American Weight for Age Grade I Thoroughbred horse race for three year olds & up. Run on dirt over a distance of 6 Furlongs (3/4 mile), the race has been held annually since 1984 at a different racetrack in the United States or Canada as part of the .

No sprint specialist ever has been voted Horse of the Year. Tom Fool (1953), Dr. Fager (1968), Ack Ack (1971) and Forego (1974) were named champion sprinter and Horse of the Year in the same season, but each also won the handicap-division title that season - and Dr. Fager won the turf-division title as well.

Yet the thought of Kona Gold as a Horse of the Year contender doesn't sound crazy to Bruce Headley, his trainer and part-owner.

``If Lady Luck lets us win these next two races, I think we have a really good chance,'' Headley said Thursday morning at his Santa Anita barn. ``Everybody loves a winner and everybody loves consistency, especially in an older horse.''

Kona Gold can match any other horse on those counts. At age 7, the gelding gelding

castrated male horse.
 purchased as a yearling yearling

an animal in its second year of age, e.g. yearling cattle, yearling filly, yearling colt.


yearling disease
rinderpest in wildebeeste in the Serengheti.
 for $35,000 won his seventh consecutive race and pushed his career earnings over $2 million when he beat Caller One by three-quarters of a length in the Bing Crosby Handicap at Del Mar last time out.

After Point Given, winner of the Preakness and Belmont stakes and three other Grade I stakes this season, was injured and retired in August, Kona Gold took over the No. 1 spot in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's weekly media poll, and he remains there. Kona Gold is the first sprinter, and the oldest horse, ever to top the rankings.

``It seems like it's what you do lately, not what you do early (in the season),'' Headley said, hoping that's the Horse of the Year voters' attitude this time.

Generally, sprinters are seen as one-dimensional equine athletes, and therefore poor Horse of the Year choices. They stick to the 6- to 7-furlong races because they've tried and failed to win the longer races that carry richer purses and prestige. I've written that naming a sprinter the Horse of the Year would be like naming a punter the Heisman Trophy winner.

Headley argues that this argument shouldn't apply to Kona Gold.

``He's a champion sprinter, and (so) I haven't seen a reason to move him beyond that,'' the trainer said, implying Kona Gold could go longer if asked.

Headley, 67, who rode quarterhorse races at Devonshire Downs in Northridge as a teen-ager, has a knack for keeping old sprinters at the top of their games. Softshoe Sure Shot was 9 when he won the 1995 San Carlos Handicap The San Carlos Handicap is a Grade II stakes race for Thoroughbred horses run at California's Santa Anita Park each year. The race is open to horses, aged four and up, willing to race seven furlongs on the dirt and offers a purse of $150,000. . Son of a Pistol was 8 when he won the 2000 San Carlos, making him the last horse to beat Kona Gold.

Headley gives the credit for Kona Gold's long career to good luck and to the gelding's strong bones and cooperative manner. The trainer said he wakes up at 3:30 every morning at his house near Santa Anita so he can gallop Kona Gold at 4:45 on the empty track.

``With his attitude and ability, he can go on for a while - if weight doesn't destroy him,'' he said in his office decorated with photos of winners dating back as far as a $2,200 race at Fairplex Park (then Pomona) on Sept. 29, 1959, when Thorium thorium (thôr`ēəm) [from Thor], radioactive chemical element; symbol Th; at. no. 90; at. wt. 232.0381; m.p. about 1,750°C;; b.p. about 4,790°C;; sp. gr. 11.7 at 20°C;; valence +4.  and jockey Irv Guiney Jr. gave Headley his first victory.

Headley refers to the career-high 127 pounds Kona Gold was assigned to carry in the 6-furlong Ancient Title. The $200,000 race drew a field of six in this post-position order: Swept Overboard, Eddie Delahoussaye riding, 116 pounds; Freespool, Isaias Enriquez, 117; Lexicon, Kent Desormeaux, 117; Forest Camp, Mike Smith, 115; I Love Silver, Laffit Pincay, 113, and Kona Gold, Alex Solis.

--The weekend: Tiznow, assigned 124 pounds and ridden by Chris McCarron, is expected to have five challengers in the $500,000 Goodwood: Skimming, Garrett Gomez, 123; Dixie Dot Com, David Flores Flores, town, Guatemala
Flores (flōrəs), town (1990 est. pop. 2,200), capital of Petén department, N Guatemala. Flores was built on an island in the southern part of Lake Petén Itzá and on the site of the
, 118; Freedom Crest, Desormeaux, 115; Tribunal, Corey Nakatani, 115, and Dix for It, Solis, 114.

Out-of-town races with Breeders' Cup implications include four at Belmont Park on Saturday: the Jockey Club Gold Cup The Jockey Club Gold Cup, established in 1919, is a prestigious thoroughbred flat race open to horses of either gender three-years-old and up. It is typically the main event of the fall meeting at Belmont Park, just as the Belmont Stakes is of the spring meeting and the Travers  (Albert the Great Aptitude), Beldame Stakes (Flute, Spain, Beautiful Pleasure), Champagne (Officer) and Frizette fri·zette  
n.
Variant of frisette.
 (You, Cashier's Dream).

--How'd they think of that? Keeneland, which opens a three-week meet in Lexington, Ky., today, will offer not a pick-six but a pick-five.

The $2 wager, challenging fans to link the winners of races 4 to 8, will have no consolation payoff. The entire pool will carry over if nobody hits five.

In its announcement, Keeneland said a $1 pick-four will be held on races 6-9 ``in order to give bettors a chance to recoup if their pick-five goes awry early or press it up if their confidence abounds.'' Sounds like wise betting strategy.

OUT OF THE GATE

SANTA ANITA STANDINGS

Through Wednesday

Jockeys Wins

Alex Solis 10

David Flores 5

Corey Nakatani 5

Jose Valdivia Jr. 5

Laffit Pincay 4

Mike Smith 4

Kent Desormeaux 3

Garrett Gomez 3

Trainers Wins

Richard Mandella 4

10 tied 2

PINCAY WATCH

Laffit Pincay will ride Lazy Lode in Sunday's Oak Tree Mile. It's a race Pincay hasn't won since 1990 with Notorious Pleasure. Richard Mandella is training Lazy Lode and Redattore for the turf race that serves as a steppingstone step·ping·stone  
n.
1. A stone that provides a place to step, as in crossing a stream.

2. An advantageous position for advancement toward a goal.
 to the Breeders' Cup Mile. Pincay's record career-victories total is up to 9,220.

ON THE STAKES SCHEDULE

Santa Anita

Saturday

--$200,000 Ancient Title Handicap, 3-year-olds and up, 6 furlongs

Sunday

--$500,000 Goodwood Handicap, 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles

--$250,000 Oak Tree Mile, 3-year-olds and up, 1 mile on turf

Monday

--$75,000 Henry P. Russell Handicap, 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles on turf

A WEEK AT THE RACES At The Races is a British television channel, originally co-founded with Channel 4, but now owned by a partnership between British Sky Broadcasting, Arena Leisure PLC and 28 (out of the 59) UK racecourses.  

Stats on the Oak Tree meet's first six days show which distances favor early-speed-type horses and which favor come-from-behinders. Speed is best at 5 1/2 and 6 furlongs (7 of 12 winners ran first or second all the way) and 1 1/16 miles (3 of 6 led gate to wire). Stretch kick is best at 6 1/2 and 7 furlongs (6 of 13 winners rallied from fifth or worse) and 1 mile-plus on turf (all 10 rallied from fourth or worse). ... Santa Anita will be open Monday (Columbus Day), first post 12:30 p.m. ... Bobby Frankel's recent big-money victories and Baffert's 0-for-15 start at Oak Tree only have dented Baffert's earnings lead among North American North American

named after North America.


North American blastomycosis
see North American blastomycosis.

North American cattle tick
see boophilusannulatus.
 trainers. It's Baffert $14.3 million, Frankel $10.6 million. ... Baffert broke his slump when Turquoise Bead ($33.20) won Thursday's opener at Santa Anita. ... Jockey Tyler Baze begins a three-day suspension Sunday. ... A bonus pick-four Sunday will combine two stakes at Santa Anita (Goodwood, Oak Tree Mile) and two at Keeneland (Spinster SPINSTER. An addition given, in legal writings, to a woman who never was married. Lovel. on Wills, 269. , Turf Mile), with the associations pledging their commissions from the wagering pool to NTRA NTRA National Thoroughbred Racing Association
NTRA National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (Egypt)
NTRA National Training Reform Agenda
NTRA Nano Technology Research Association (Korea) 
 Charities' New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 Heroes Fund. ``This is just another way of tying the country together and unifying the American spirit,'' Oak Tree vice president Sherwood Chillingworth said.

- Kevin Modesti

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OUT OF THE GATE (see text)
COPYRIGHT 2001 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 5, 2001
Words:1262
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