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ALLAN MALAMUD

Notes on a Scorecard

May 19, 1994|ALLAN MALAMUD

When asked if he wasn't getting enough credit for winning the Kentucky Derby, Go For Gin refused comment. . . .

His rider, Chris McCarron, was not so shy. . . .

"I thought Go For Gin was shown a lack of respect when he was sent off at 9-1 in the Derby," McCarron said. "He'd been favored in his last race, the Wood Memorial, and he didn't run badly." . . .

In the aftermath of his two-length victory in the slop at Churchill Downs, more was said about the trouble several of his rivals encountered than about the perfect trip Go For Gin got. . . .

"He did everything right," McCarron said in the jockeys room at Hollywood Park. "He showed speed and then he relaxed. Then he turned it on again. Whatever button I pushed, he responded well." . . .

McCarron will be pushing the buttons again Saturday when Go For Gin attempts to win the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness, at Pimlico in Baltimore. . . .

"I think his chances are excellent," McCarron said. "There is the possibility that he got lucky in the Derby and that it was the best day of his life. But the record shows that he is a quality race horse, and I'm inclined to believe that he has got a lot more left." . . .

At 39, McCarron also appears to have a lot more left. . . .

He is on a tear in stakes races and is only 19 victories away from becoming the 11th jockey to ride 6,000 winners. . . .

The Hall of Fame member says he is still learning. . . .

"I had a terrific chat with Eddie Arcaro when I was down at Oaklawn," he said. "I was able to pick his brain for 2 1/2 hours." . . .

"He said that you'll know it immediately when you sit on somebody special. Well, that's how I felt when I worked Go For Gin for the first time the Sunday before the Derby. I got chills up and down my body." . . .

In the Preakness, McCarron will be meeting up with one of his former mounts, Numerous of the Charlie Whittingham barn. . . .

"Numerous has a legitimate shot," McCarron said. "He'll need to show considerable improvement, but so many of Charlie's horses jump up and run their best races on the right days." . . .

*

Given the choice between keeping Coach Barry Melrose or General Manager Nick Beverley, the new King owners did the right thing. . . .

You would think USC, which has one of the richest athletic traditions in the nation, would have had a Hall of Fame long ago. . . .

But the first induction ceremony won't take place until Saturday night at a black-tie dinner that is expected to attract 600 people to the Forum. . . .

Those most responsible for the establishment of the Hall of Fame are John Hamilton, an Orange County businessman and USC graduate, and Mike Garrett, the Trojans' first Heisman Trophy winner and current athletic director. . . .

Inductees will be Garrett, O.J. Simpson, Jon Arnett, Frank Gifford, John McKay, Howard Jones and Marv Goux (football), Bill Sharman (basketball), Stan Smith (tennis), Al Geiberger (golf), Rod Dedeaux and Fred Lynn (baseball), Buster Crabbe (swimming), Parry O'Brien (track and field), Braven Dyer (sportswriting) and Norman Topping (administration). . . .

A personal favorite is McKay. . . .

He coached USC to its first national football title in 30 years in 1962, only his third year on the job, and was as cooperative with the lowliest Daily Trojan sportswriter as with the most famous newspaper columnist. . . .

*

Angelo Dundee, who trained Muhammad Ali and has managed several world champions, is still as optimistic as ever about his fighters. On Monday at the Forum, he will send 1988 U.S. Olympian Arthur Johnson, whom he calls a "potential menace to members of his weight class," against second-ranked flyweight contender Alberto Jimenez. . . .

Eric (Butterbean) Esch, all 330 pounds of him, will turn pro after participating in the Tough Man competition on pay-per-view from the MGM Grand on Friday. The Tough Man has produced such stalwarts as Tommy Morrison, Greg Haugen and Mr. T. . . .

One reason Dodger Stadium fans are paying more attention to the action this month is that they're not bringing portable TV sets to watch King and Laker playoff games. . . .

The Angels probably would have fired Honest Abe Lincoln.

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