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HORSE RACING

Favorites Are Upstaged in Prevue

November 20, 2000|BOB MIESZERSKI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The anticipated showdown between the unbeaten Our Shining Hour and Yonaguska--the $1.95 million purchase--never materialized in the $100,000 Hollywood Prevue Stakes Sunday at Hollywood Park.

Our Shining Hour, who had won three in a row and was the 19-10 second choice in the wagering, struggled to finish seventh in the field of eight 2-year-olds while Yonaguska, the 7-5 favorite, was a non-threatening third in his California debut.

The Grade III race instead was won by 3-1 choice Proud Tower, who showed that his easy win in last month's California Cup Juvenile was no fluke.

Sent to the front along the inside by jockey Victor Espinoza in the opening half-mile, Proud Tower went on to beat 28-1 longshot Chinook Cat by a length in running 1:23 for the seven furlongs.

Proud Tower, owned and bred by Tricar Stable and trained by Jose Silva, won for the third time in five starts, but don't look for him in the $200,000 Hollywood Futurity on Dec. 16.

Silva said after the Prevue win the colt wasn't nominated to the 1 1/16-mile Futurity, which is expected to attract Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up Point Given, and that he still believes Proud Tower is better as a sprinter.

"The reason we ran him here was to see him run from off the pace, but I think Victor did the right thing at the half-mile pole," said Silva. "I don't think we'll go in the Futurity. I want to go step by step with this horse."

Chinook Cat finished two lengths in front of Yonaguska, then came Way To The Top, King La Boo, Cintegrity, Our Shining Hour and Gold Shark.

"He [Yonaguska] lugged in through the stretch with me," said jockey Chris McCarron. "Other than that, he really didn't have any excuse. He was late changing leads and lugging in at the same time. That made it pretty difficult for me to ride him effectively."

*

War Chant, the winner of this year's Breeders' Cup Mile, apparently will make one final start in the $500,000 Early Times Hollywood Derby next Sunday before standing at stud at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky.

War Chant, a 3-year-old son of Danzig, worked seven furlongs over the Hollywood Park turf course in 1:26 2/5 Sunday morning for trainer Neil Drysdale.

War Chant, who won the Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile in his turf debut at Santa Anita last month, could clinch an Eclipse Award as the nation's top male turf horse with a win in the Derby.

"War Chant looked well and handled the course well," said Drysdale. "He's coming up to this race as well as the Breeders' Cup."

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