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TRIPLE CROWN RATINGS

Career Horse S 1 2 3 Earnings

1. Spend a Buck 12 8 2 2 $1,397,509 2. Chief’s Crown 13 9 3 0 $1,279,422 3. Stephan’s Odysse 9 4 2 1 $839,635 4. Proud Truth 9 5 2 0 $453,927 5. Fast Account 13 2 6 1 $169,330 6. Tank’s Prospect 12 4 2 2 $932,445 7. Eternal Prince 9 4 2 0 $389,362 8. Rhoman Rule 9 3 1 2 $193,928 9. Creme Fraiche 11 4 4 0 $173,264 10. Hajji’s Treasure 11 3 4 1 $181,430

REMARKS: Since arriving at Pimlico for Saturday’s $350,000 Preakness Stakes, California Derby winner Hajji’s Treasure has had one adventuresome workout after another.

On Saturday, Hajji’s Treasure worked a mile with an unfamiliar exercise rider and was clocked in 1:49, which was only about nine seconds slower than what trainer Monty Jackson wanted. The rider broke the colt slowly, which is the opposite of his running style.

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Johnson knew that work had been wasted, so Monday he sent Hajji’s Treasure out for a seven-furlong drill in the mud with Ben Feliciano, a veteran jockey, in the saddle. Hajji’s Treasure threw a shoe while running in 1:25 3/5 and at least Jackson seemed satisfied with the time.

“He needed a work like this in order to be competitive Saturday,” Jackson said. “It was a good move. I like the idea that we’re coming into the Preakness with a fresh horse.” Hajji’s Treasure hasn’t run since his win in the California Derby at Golden Gate Fields on April 20.

The Buck stopped at Garden State Park for this Preakness. After winning the Kentucky Derby, Spend a Buck was shipped to the New Jersey track, skipping a chance to win the Triple Crown--the Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes--to run for a possible $2.6 million ($600,000 purse and $2 million bonus) in the Jersey Derby on May 27.

As a result of Spend a Buck’s absence, there could be a field of 10 or more for the Preakness. Besides Hajji’s Treasure, others expected are Chief’s Crown, Eternal Prince, I Am the Game, Tank’s Prospect, Cutlass Reality, Southern Sultan, Skip Trial, Roo Art and Sparrowvon.

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Chief’s Crown, the Kentucky Derby favorite who finished third, will be favored in the Preakness. Several of the others appear to be running only because it’s the thing to do. Southern Sultan is a maiden and Skip Trial, winner of the Preakness Prep last Saturday, has never started in a stakes race.

Meantime, Spend a Buck’s presence in the Jersey Derby has thus far discouraged horsemen from considering the $1 million race. “Nobody’s beating down the door to run,” a spokesman said Monday in the racing secretary’s office at Garden State.

In fact, the only definite starter besides Spend a Buck is Do It Again Dan, who finished third but far behind the Kentucky Derby winner in the Garden State Stakes on April 20. Leonard Fruchtman, Do It Again Dan’s owner, reportedly was shopping for a partner to split $37,000 in Kentucky Derby expenses ($20,000 in fees and $17,000 for shipping and other costs), then stayed home when no investor could be found.

Fruchtman is better off. He’ll be facing Spend a Buck on a track that the Derby winner loves, but second place in the Jersey Derby is worth $200,000.

A minimum of six starters is needed in the Jersey Derby in order for Spend a Buck to be eligible to win the $2 million bonus, which Garden State offered to any horse that won three of its stakes and the Kentucky Derby. Since the bonus is funded by an insurance company (the track’s premium is said to be $100,000), Robert Brennan, Garden State’s president and a horse owner, might raid his barn to assure a six-horse field.

Dennis Diaz, Spend a Buck’s owner, doesn’t seem worried. “One way or the other,” Diaz said with a smile, “we’ll get five other horses in there.”

Advisory panel for The Times’ Triple Crown Ratings: Lenny Hale, racing secretary at Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga; Frank (Jimmy) Kilroe, vice president for racing at Santa Anita; and Tommy Trotter, director of racing at Arlington Park and racing secretary at Gulfstream Park.


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