Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

INSIDE TRACK | NOTES ON A SCORECARD

It's the Gold Cup Field That Has Been Bruised

June 26, 1996|ALLAN MALAMUD

Jerry Bailey had just been told that Soul Of The Matter suffered a bruised right front foot and was out of the $1-million Hollywood Gold Cup. . . .

"Year of the bruised foot, isn't it?" said Bailey on the phone from New York. . . .

If not for his bruised right front foot, Cigar, with Bailey aboard, would be trying to tie Citation's record of 16 consecutive wins Sunday at Inglewood. . . .

Instead, Bailey will ride Cigar's stablemate, Geri, in a small, but select field of six. . . .

Jerry on Geri. . . .

The combination clicked from the start last January and reeled off four wins in a row to bring the 4-year-old chestnut's streak to six before he finished a distant third in the Pimlico Special last month. . . .

"I've thought all along that this is a horse that might eventually test Cigar," Bailey said. "I haven't changed my mind, but Geri showed that he was, well, [laughing] human in the Pimlico race. It was a very strange track that day, though. Muddy, not sloppy, not fast, but wet. He never was able to throw in his normal run." . . .

Of course, Cigar has been the picture of consistency during his win streak that should be extended with little trouble on July 13 in a $1-million race that has been created especially for him at Arlington Park in Chicago. . . .

Skeptics thought Cigar's injury was so minor that he would have been able to make it to the gate at Hollywood Park on Sunday, but that his trainer, Billy Mott, and owner, Allen Paulson, purposely chose an easier spot. . . .

"Not so," Bailey said. "Cigar stood still in his stall for 10 days. He's only worked once since his last race. It's unfair to second-guess his connections. Cigar has never ducked any horse." . . .

In the Dubai World Cup last March, Soul Of The Matter closed with a rush and looked like a winner until Cigar accelerated to win by a half-length. . . .

Bailey agrees that it was Cigar's most impressive performance. . . .

"He wasn't close to being 100%," Bailey said. "He had missed a lot of training and was getting fatigued. He'll usually put horses away around the turn, then ease himself up. I wondered what would happen if a horse ran at him fast late in a race. I found out that night." . . .

Bailey, 38, is an articulate goodwill ambassador for his sport. The son of an El Paso dentist, he was inducted into the racing Hall of Fame last year and won his second Kentucky Derby this year aboard Grindstone, but is currently known best to the public as Cigar's passenger. . . .

"What brings a smile to my face more than anything is that the industry is being recognized," he said. "People who had no interest in racing know Cigar. Even kids know Cigar.". . . .

Bailey was asked if he was disappointed that Soul Of The Matter is out of the Gold Cup. . . .

"No," he replied. "I'm disappointed that Cigar is out."

*

If they can draft the tremendous talent that Ray Allen is, the Clippers should forget about trading again for a lower pick and a veteran player. . . .

The Lakers should do everything in their power to make sure there is enough money under the salary cap to sign Shaquille O'Neal as a free agent. . . .

As a rookie, Allen Iverson will become one of the most exciting players in the NBA. . . .

I've heard of Breakfast at Wimbledon, but the HBO midweek live telecasts that begin at 6 a.m. here are ridiculous. . . .

The two Bay Area baseball teams, San Francisco and Oakland, are last in attendance in their leagues. . . .

New York Met center fielder Lance Johnson is literally running away with the National League triples race with 11, but is nowhere close to the record of 36 set by Owen Wilson of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1912. The same year, Shoeless Joe Jackson, then of the Cleveland Indians, set the American League record of 26. . . .

U.S. Olympic diver Becky Ruehl is the niece of Philadelphia Inquirer sportswriter Diane Pucin. . . .

Only the last-place horse in the Hollywood Gold Cup will go unrewarded. First place is worth $600,000, second $200,000, third $120,000, fourth $60,000 and fifth $20,000. The owners get 80%, the trainers 10%, the jockeys 10% and the horses extra carrots. . . .

Curious, but USC lists the NCAA basketball tournament dates in the schedule in its summer prospectus and UCLA doesn't. . . .

The only way to end the raging controversy about the Major League Soccer all-star selections is to take the voting away from the coaches.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|