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THE BREEDERS' CUP | NOTES

Drysdale Pulls Sarafan Out of Mile

October 25, 2003|Bill Christine | Times Staff Writer

The Breeders' Cup Mile was reduced to 13 horses Friday when trainer Neil Drysdale scratched Sarafan. The 6-year-old gelding, who ran eighth in the 2001 Mile, had a bad blood count, Drysdale said.

Sarafan had never won in eight starts at Santa Anita, but he was second to Designed For Luck, another entrant in the Mile, in the Oak Tree Mile at the track on Oct. 5.

Sarafan's next race might he the Japan Cup on Nov. 30. He finished second to Falbrav in the Tokyo race last year.

Drysdale, who has saddled six Breeders' Cup winners, has three remaining starters today: Storming Home in the Turf, Touch Of The Blues in the Mile and Musical Chimes in the Filly and Mare Turf.

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Alex Solis rides seven horses in today's Breeders' Cup, but already he has had a memorable weekend at Santa Anita.

Solis rode trainer Jeff Mullins' King Robyn to a narrow win over Medecis on Friday in the $110,800 Morvich Handicap for the 4,000th win of the 39-year-old jockey's career. Solis is the 42nd rider to reach 4,000.

Solis' first win came in his native Panama on Nov. 7, 1981. He has been riding in Southern California since 1985.

King Robyn, who paid $7.20 as the favorite, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on grass in 1:13 1/5. He was a head better than Medecis at the wire.

"This is a neat accomplishment," Solis said. "I hope it carries over. I've been confident all week. All of my horses have been working well."

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In another stake Friday, Runaway Dancer overtook Labirinto near the wire to win by a neck and pay $78.20 for $2 in the $139,250 Carleton F. Burke Handicap.

Runaway Dancer, trained by Dan Hendricks and ridden by Mike Smith, had won four of 12 starts but had never started at Santa Anita and finished sixth at Bay Meadows a month ago. Senor Swinger, the 3-1 favorite, finished third. Time for 1 1/2 miles on grass was 2:28 1/5.

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One of the horses running in today's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies is the Virginia-bred Be Gentle, who along with Renaissance Lady is one of two entries in the race trained by Wayne Lukas.

Be Gentle is the granddaughter of one of the country's leading sires, Storm Cat, who stands at stud at Overbrook Farm in Lexington, Ky.

Storm Cat sired Tabasco Cat, who won the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes for Lukas in 1994, but who is more tragically remembered as the horse that severely injured Lukas' son, Jeff, in a racetrack accident at Santa Anita in December 1993.

Jeff Lukas, trampled by the runaway colt, suffered major head injuries and was left in a coma for almost a month but eventually recovered and now lives with his mother in Wisconsin.

His father continued training Tabasco Cat despite the accident and under him the colt won the last two legs of the 1994 Triple Crown. Tabasco Cat is now at stud in Japan.

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Times staff writer Grahame L. Jones contributed to this report.

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