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Those in the Barn Were in the Know


DEL MAR, Calif. — The horsemen behind the scenes in trainer Richard Mandella's barn suspected that Dare And Go was going to run a big race Saturday.

They were the least surprised when the 5-year-old son of Alydar upset Cigar in the $1-million Pacific Classic at Del Mar.

Francisco Alvarado, Dare And Go's exercise rider, told the horse's jockey, Alex Solis, that his mount would be on his game. And Jon Turner, Soul Of The Matter's exercise rider, started paying attention to Dare And Go after Soul Of The Matter suffered a career-ending injury three days before the Pacific Classic.

"Dare And Go was the now horse," said Turner, who once galloped Best Pal. "He woke up in his last race, and in the days leading up to this race, he was doing extremely well."

Turner tipped off another Del Mar trainer, who made a $200 exacta bet out of Dare And Go and Cigar.

Trouble was, he put Cigar on top, and didn't reverse the exacta. That was a $12,340 mistake, because a $2 Dare And Go/Cigar exacta was worth $123.40. Dare And Go's win price was $81.20. In 19 previous races, Mandella's horse had never gone off higher than 17-1.

"When I saw him make that move [on the far turn], I thought he had a great chance," Mandella said.

Cigar, his attempt to surpass Citation's 16-race winning streak thwarted, left as scheduled at an early hour Sunday morning and was expected to be back at his barn at Saratoga by nightfall. Trainer Bill Mott said the 1995 horse of the year checked out fine after the race.

Mandella may have beaten Cigar once, but he's not about to ship Dare And Go across the country to tackle him again.

At least not right away.

The next likely place for a Dare And Go-Cigar rematch is the $4- million Breeders' Cup Classic at Woodbine on Oct. 26. If the race were run today, Cigar would still be heavily favored, but Dare And Go wouldn't be close to 39-1.

For Dare And Go's Breeders' Cup prep, Mandella is considering the $300,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile race, at Santa Anita on Oct. 5.

The options are fewer for Mandella's Siphon, who finished third Saturday after helping cook Cigar with rapid early fractions. Siphon, the Hollywood Gold Cup winner who had a four-race victory streak snapped Saturday, is not eligible for the Breeders' Cup. His owner, Linneo Eduardo de Paula Machado of Brazil, is not expected to supplement him into the Woodbine race.

Cigar's schedule will lead him back to Belmont Park, a track where he regularly trains but seldom competes. Only six of Cigar's 30 races have been at Belmont, and he hasn't run there since winning the Breeders' Cup Classic last October.

Mott said that two options for Cigar are races he won last year, the $500,000 Woodward Stakes on Sept. 14 and the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup on Oct. 5. On Sunday night, Allen Paulson, the owner of Cigar, said that another possibility is a race that might be scheduled for Cigar at Laurel Park in Maryland. The two races before the Pacific Classic, at Suffolk Downs and Arlington International, were geared for Cigar by those tracks.

In rehashing the race, Mott said:

"Maybe we gave Siphon too much respect. But he beat [the Mott-trained Geri] in the Hollywood Gold Cup, and he appeared to be a genuine speed horse."

Tinners Way, the winner of the two previous Pacific Classics, was pulled up by Eddie Delahoussaye on the turn for home and vanned off the track.

"We don't know what's wrong," trainer Bobby Frankel said.

X-rays of a right front ankle were negative. Frankel raced Tinners Way in an aluminum shoe for that foot to protect an old abscess.

"I've run hundreds of horses in that kind of plate and it hasn't been a problem before," Frankel said.

Bill Mott's weekend woes continued Sunday, this time at Saratoga, while Richard Mandella was unable to compound his success when he saddled Roar, for the first time, in the $132,850 La Jolla Handicap.

Apolda, who races for Paulson, the owner of Cigar, was ridden by Jerry Bailey, Cigar's jockey, in the $200,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap, and he bled in the race while finishing second as the heavy favorite. Danish won the race by two lengths.

Roar, considered a Kentucky Derby prospect when he won the Jim Beam for trainer Shug McGaughey at Turfway Park in March, made his Del Mar debut and finished sixth as the 2-1 favorite running on grass for the first time.

The winner of the 1-1/16-mile La Jolla, at 14-1, was Ambivalent, who had won a division of the one-mile Oceanside Stakes here on opening day.

Ambivalent was in fourth place, 4 1/2 lengths back, at the eighth pole when he rallied under Rene Douglas to beat The Barking Shark by a neck at the wire.

Caribbean Pirate, winner of the other division of the Oceanside, finished third, 1 1/4 lengths behind The Barking Shark.

Mike Orman, Ambivalent's trainer, said he plans to run the California-bred in the $300,000 Del Mar Derby on Sept. 2.

Horse Racing Notes

Not Too Shamme, a maiden 3-year-old filly, suffered a broken neck and was destroyed after a spill in the fourth race. Her jockey, Kent Desormeaux, complained of soreness and took off his last two mounts, including Benton Creek in the La Jolla. . . . Corey Black suffered a broken hand, reportedly in a jockeys' room accident last week, and is out indefinitely.

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