The Breeders' Cup mails a periodic list of leading horses in the country to reporters but omits a rather important bit of information. It doesn't indicate which horses are eligible for the seven races worth $10 million at Hollywood Park Nov. 21.
Asked about this incompleteness, a Breeders' Cup official recently said: "All of the horses in the world are eligible for our races."
Sure, they are--in theory. But the owners of some, not having nominated them for a $500 payment when they were yearlings, must pay exorbitant supplementary fees that can range from $120,000 to $600,000, depending on the size of the purse they're running for.
As a result, the Breeders' Cup, already faced with an image problem this year because of injuries to several major horses, finds itself dependent on the generosity of several owners who can enhance or dilute the fields.
Super Diamond, one of the favorites for the Breeders' Cup Classic, can't run unless his owners supplement him for $360,000. Joe's Tammie, Zany Tactics and Creme Fraiche are other standouts not currently eligible, and it was discovered Wednesday that Bold Second, one of the best 2-year-olds in the country, wasn't nominated, either.
After Bold Second rallied from seventh place to win the $66,500 Sunny Slope Stakes by a neck at Santa Anita, his trainer and co-owner, Charlie Whittingham, said he wasn't sure whether the colt was eligible for the Breeders' Cup.
The horse's other owner, Dr. William Seabaugh of Cape Girardeau, Mo., also wasn't sure, but a check of a Breeders' Cup list in the Santa Anita racing office indicated that Bold Second was not nominated.
Whittingham talked as though the responsibility rested with the farm--Cardiff Stud--where Bold Second's sire, Bold Tropic, stands. Bold Tropic was nominated, which reduces Bold Second's fee to run in the $1-million Breeders' Cup Juvenile, but it would still cost the owners $120,000.
"If he wasn't nominated, there's nothing we can do about it, is there?" Whittingham said. "There's another race (the Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita Oct. 31), so we'll make the decision (about the Breeders' Cup) when we come to it."
Bold Second improved his record to four wins in six starts, the non-winning performances being a fourth at Hollywood Park last July in his first race, and a second by a nose--after he took a brief lead and lost it in the stretch--to the filly, Lost Kitty, in the Del Mar Futurity in August.
Before a crowd of 17,298, Bold Second was sent off at 2-5 against seven opponents and earned $39,500 by running seven furlongs in 1:23, one of the faster times for the stake in recent years. Word Pirate, making his first California start after an Arlington Park campaign, finished second, 2 lengths ahead of Seeker's Journey, who with Cougarized formed an entry for trainer Wayne Lukas.
Bold Second paid $2.80, $2.40 and $2.20, Word Pirate returned $3.20 and $2.60, and Seeker's Journey's show payoff was $2.60. Mixed Pleasure, a stakes winner at Bay Meadows and Golden Gate Fields, underwent knee surgery for bone chips Wednesday and was scratched from the race.
Gary Baze has ridden Bold Second in all of his races. "The horses bunched up on the turn," Baze said. "Cougarized was crowding the ones inside him and he checked out just as I made my move and kind of flung me out.
"When the other colt (Word Pirate) made a good run at him in the stretch, my horse was still pretty much all out, not waiting like he did in the Futurity."
Seabaugh had saddled horses before he started racing thoroughbreds in 1981. He bought Little Hailey, Bold Second's dam, for $70,000, and through matings with Bold Tropic she has produced the only two horses Seabaugh owns--Hailey's Tropic and Bold Second. Hailey's Tropic was injured after only one race last year and is now being rested at a farm.
Whittingham, who trained both of Bold Second's parents, tells the story of how his representative went to the sale, authorized to bid as much as $100,000 for Little Hailey. Seabaugh was able to get the mare for $30,000 less because Whittingham's man was detained at the bar.
Now Whittingham has Little Hailey's best offspring, and he also has his $100,000. There's something to be said for drink besides medicinal purposes.
Horse Racing Notes
Alysheba, winner of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Super Derby, worked five furlongs at Santa Anita Wednesday in 1:00 3/5 as preparation for the Breeders' Cup Classic. Trainer Jack Van Berg said there's a chance Alysheba might run once before the Breeders' Cup. . . . Eddie Delahoussaye will become the only jockey besides Bill Shoemaker to ride Temperate Sil when he's aboard Sunday in the $75,000 Volante Handicap, the 3-year-old colt's first appearance on grass. Shoemaker will be busy Sunday, riding Swink in the $750,000 Rothmans International at Woodbine in Canada. . . . Of the horses expected to start in the Volante, Temperate Sil will carry top weight of 122 pounds. Baba Karam, a winner in Ireland, will make his first United States start and carry 119 pounds, the same as The Medic. . . . On a day for hefty payoffs--win prices of $19.20, $43.40, $56.40 and $66.40--the longest shot was Rough Passage, who won the fifth race and returned $93.