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Close Second, Injury Keep Frankel Empty-Handed

November 05, 2000|BILL CHRISTINE

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Trainer Bobby Frankel's career-long misery at the Breeders' Cup continued Saturday when his filly Honest Lady ran second in the Sprint and the mare Spanish Fern was seriously injured shortly after the start of the Filly and Mare Turf.

Although he is a member of the Racing Hall of Fame, Frankel is now winless with 36 starters.

With Honest Lady, he came within half a length of beating the record-setting Kona Gold. Honest Lady earned $200,000, but that's little consolation for Frankel and his Breeders' Cup frustrations.

"On the turn for home, if I could have split one more set of horses, we'd have been in good shape," said Kent Desormeaux, who rode Honest Lady. "But I had to go around. Girls aren't supposed to beat the boys, but this girl is a diamond and she was just unlucky today."

The week started ominously when Frankel was forced to scratch two of his other Breeders' Cup hopefuls. Boatman was withdrawn from the Turf because of an ankle injury and Euchre, who was coughing Friday, was scratched Saturday from the Classic.

Spanish Fern, who was 28-1 in her race, was pulled up by jockey Victor Espinoza.

"As soon as the gate opened," Espinoza said, "she wanted to go fast, then I heard something crack in her left hind [leg]."

Wayne McIlwraith, one of the Breeders' Cup-appointed veterinarians on duty Saturday, said that Spanish Fern, the winner of this year's Santa Ana Handicap and last year's Yellow Ribbon at Santa Anita, was taken by horse ambulance to a clinic in Lexington, Ky., for X-rays.

"There was a lot of swelling in her left hind leg," McIlwraith said. "While the injury could be serious, I wouldn't want to speculate on her condition."

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