Notes on a Scorecard
Like clockwork, every 18 years a juicy jockey controversy swirls around the running of the Hollywood Gold Cup. . . .
In 1973, owner Mary Jones took a pretty reliable type named Willie Shoemaker off favored Cougar II and replaced him with Laffit Pincay. Shoe rode Kennedy Road instead. Kennedy Road won, to the delight of most of those who didn’t have a win or place ticket on Cougar II, the show horse. . . .
On Saturday, Chris McCarron will board the favorite, Farma Way, instead of Gary Stevens, who got the boot from trainer Wayne Lukas. . . .
Stevens happens to be the leading money-winning jockey in North America this year, but Lukas won’t forgive him for getting Farma Way caught in a speed duel with Jolie’s Halo at Belmont Park a couple of weeks ago. . . .
“Being that Wayne was going to make the change, anyway, I’m certainly happy that he chose me,” says McCarron, who professes to feeling no extra pressure. “I think Farma Way is the best horse in the race, and I’m thrilled to death to have the chance to ride him.” . . .
If Chris poses for pictures after the Gold Cup, it will be a refreshing change. He never has won the race, which is now a $1-million stake, but has finished second in eight of the past 11 Gold Cups. . . .
Stevens will ride longshot Anshan, trained by Charlie Whittingham. It so happens that Charlie also gave a leg up to Shoemaker on Kennedy Road 18 years ago. . . .
Whittingham, 78, will be starting his 53rd horse in the 52-year history of the Gold Cup. Eight of them, from Ack Ack in 1971 to Ferdinand in 1987, have won. . . .
Before the Dodgers arrived from Brooklyn, the Gold Cup was the marquee sports event of the summer in Southern California. Celebrities came from near and far. So did horses. In 1946, third-place finisher Historian was flown in from Chicago, the first time a horse had traveled that far by plane for a race. . . .
When Citation won in 1951, he become the first millionaire thoroughbred and promptly was retired by Calumet Farm. Big Cy’s stablemate, Bewitch, finished second and became the richest mare. . . .
Native Diver, the only multi-winner, didn’t win the first of his three consecutive Cups until he was 6 years old in 1965 and after he had finished fourth in 1963 and third in 1964. . . .
A memorial to the Diver, a crowd pleaser who went wire to wire each time under Jerry Lambert, stands in the center of the new saddling paddock at Hollywood Park. . . .
For the first time, the Gold Cup will be televised nationally Saturday as part of ABC’s “Wide World of Sports.” Post time will be 2:38 p.m., but the telecast will be delayed locally. . . .
Some story that would have been if Jim Abbott had pitched a no-hitter in his home state of Michigan Sunday. Actually, Abbott would have settled for a victory over Detroit. . . .
Vincent (Bo) Jackson, an outfielder drafted by the Dodgers, is the nephew of a Raider running back. But that running back is Roger Craig, not the original Vincent (Bo) Jackson. . . .
This Bo played high school football in Davenport, Iowa, where he was an ambidextrous quarterback. When he rolled out right, he threw right-handed. When he rolled out left, he threw left-handed. Now he is a switch-hitter with the Dodgers’ rookie team in Kissimmee, Fla. . . .
Butch Davis, the outfielder the Dodgers recently called up from Albuquerque, had a role in “Bull Durham.” . . .
Pittsburgh third baseman Joe Redfield, a former UC Santa Barbara star, has played for seven organizations in the past seven years. . . .
Remember Billy Ball in Oakland? What the Detroit Tigers are playing now is Wiffle Ball. . . .
Look-alikes: Zane Smith and Claude Osteen. . . .
Mike Brito, the gentleman with the hat and the cigar who operates the speed gun in the dugout boxes behind home plate, gets more TV exposure than anyone at Dodger Stadium. . . .
The Toronto Blue Jays are looking for another starting pitcher, but isn’t everyone else outside Los Angeles? . . .
Texas has another good prospect in Dean Palmer, a third baseman-outfielder who is leading the minor leagues in home runs. . . .
Tony Gwynn won’t hit .400 this season, but he might next season when the National League expands. . . .
I hope those expansion teams go for fresh faces like, say, Bob Boone and Don Baylor instead of recycled managers. . . .
The Dodgers, who were the worst fielding team in the National League the first month, have had the second best defense since May 8. . . .
The St. Louis Cardinals have hit only 20 home runs this season and probably won’t catch Roger Maris. . . .
I guess Don Zimmer wasn’t good enough to manage the Chicago Cubs to nine consecutive defeats.
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