It's likely that Bill Shoemaker will ride the late-running Alysheba Dec. 14 in the $1-million Hollywood Futurity. But at this stage, the 55-year-old jockey can see little to fault with Exclusive Enough, the 2-year-old colt who gave him a half-length victory Saturday in the $79,650 Hollywood Prevue, a race that probably eliminated a few Futurity hopefuls.
Since Alysheba, the third-place finisher behind Capote and Qualify in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, and Exclusive Enough are both owned by Dorothy Scharbauer of Midland, Tex., and trained by Jack Van Berg, Shoemaker's Futurity decision will be all in the family.
Speaking of families, when Exclusive Enough held on to beat Persevered Saturday before a crowd of 23,865 at Hollywood Park, it was a case of a son of Exclusive Native beating a grandson. Persevered's sire, Affirmed, was an Exclusive Native colt who swept the Triple Crown in 1978.
Exclusive Enough ran the seven-furlong Prevue in an ordinary time of 1:23, which was as slow as last year's winner, Judge Smells, and slower than the first four winners of the stake. The early fractions were good, but through the stretch no one in the eight-horse field had an extra gear left.
Still, Shoemaker passed out a few compliments for Exclusive Enough, who enabled the graying rider to extend his record with a 957th stakes victory.
"He was a little green, but he still won within himself," Shoemaker said. "Through the lane, he was kind of ducking and looking around. He might be all right for the mile (the distance of the Futurity)."
The thing is, Alysheba might be all right for the 1 miles of next year's Kentucky Derby. Shoemaker, after a 21-year drought, won his fourth Derby with Ferdinand last year and has begun to think seriously about those things again.
In the Breeders' Cup, Alysheba trailed by more than 11 lengths, then rallied through the stretch to finish 2 1/2 lengths behind Capote, who is a cinch to be voted the year's champion 2-year-old colt next month. Van Berg thought Alysheba could have won the Juvenile if Shoemaker had placed him closer to the leaders earlier.
Exclusive Enough, who cost $415,000 at auction, and Alysheba are two of five yearlings that Scharbauer and her family bought in 1985. They are former quarter-horse people who are in the thoroughbred business for the first time.
Van Berg's instructions to Shoemaker Saturday were to break Exclusive Enough in about third place.
"But everybody else eased back," Shoemaker said. "This horse has gas, so after a quarter of a mile, we were out by ourselves, and the game plan was out the window."
Shoemaker was riding Exclusive Enough for the first time. The colt ran twice during the Oak Tree season at Santa Anita. He was third in his first start and broke his maiden two weeks ago.
Exclusive Enough, earning $45,900, paid $29, $8.60 and $6.80. Persevered, a stakes winner at Saratoga last summer, paid $6.40 and $6, finishing three lengths ahead of Gold on Green, whose show price was $5.60. Favored Masterful Advocate ran fourth, and Brevito, the second choice and already a three-time stakes winner, finished sixth.
Horse Racing Notes
Bill Shoemaker has a good chance to win the first half of today's split Hollywood Derby, riding Thrill Show. Winner of three of four starts in France, Thrill Show broke from the outside post in a 14-horse field in the Breeders' Cup Mile and finished sixth. "He had a tough trip and still only got beat 3 1/2 lengths," trainer Charlie Whittingham said. . . . The last time Whittingham won the Hollywood Derby was in 1969 with Tell when it was a dirt race. In today's second division, Whittingham saddles two starters, with Shoemaker riding Bruiser and Gary Baze aboard Good Command, who has never run on grass. . . . . Skywalker, winner of the $3-million Breeders' Cup Classic, is likely to run in the $500,000 Hollywood Turf Cup Dec. 7, possibly using next Saturday's Citation Handicap as a prep. . . . Laffit Pincay, with four winners Saturday, moved ahead of Gary Stevens by one in the Hollywood jockey standings.