THOROUGHBRED RACING : Rearrange a Most Popular Filly
Racing, a sport with endless statistics but without an official record-keeper, doesn’t have a mark for the most times a horse has been claimed. One possible record-holder might be Rearrange, a 4-year-old filly making the rounds at Del Mar this season.
On Aug. 26, Rearrange ran in the first race at Del Mar for a $16,000 price, and 10 trainers put in claims for her. Ten claims for the same horse also sounds as though it could be a record, but Bill Spawr, one of the leading trainers on the Del Mar-Hollywood Park-Santa Anita circuit, remembers being part of an 11-sided claim a few years ago.
When more than one trainer submits a claim, the horsemen shake a box of numbered pills to determine who buys the horse. Spawr won Rearrange.
This was the eighth time that Rearrange had been claimed in her 27-race career. Affirmed once got loose at Santa Anita and found his way back to his barn, but this would be too much to expect from Rearrange, who seldom has been in the same barn for very long.
“This is the second time I’ve had her,” Spawr said. “The owners first sent her to me (at Del Mar last summer) after she had been running up north (at Golden Gate Fields).”
Rearrange was bred in California by Jack Klugman and Bonnie Dominguez. Her sire, Jaklin Klugman, won the California Derby in 1980 and finished third in the Kentucky Derby.
Rearrange’s breeders also raced her in the beginning. She made her debut at Del Mar in August of 1989, winning against $32,000 claiming company. She was moved into the $40,000 ranks but never won there. She had won only three of 14 starts when she was claimed for the first time, for $10,000, just before losing a photo finish at Hollywood Park in November of 1990.
Since then, Rearrange has become a full-time waif, the owners and trainers forming a line outside a revolving door. Last Jan. 11, she won a $10,000 claiming race at Santa Anita for Pete Eurton and was claimed by Humberto Aguilera. “That was a six-way shake,” trainer Sandy Shulman said. “I was one of the guys that didn’t get her.”
The Aguilera claim started a madcap stretch during which Rearrange was claimed six times in seven races over 5 1/2 months. She ran only once for Aguilera and was claimed by Phil Hronec for $12,500 while finishing third Feb. 13. She registered two seconds for Hronec before Willie Washington grabbed her for $12,500 on April 24, opening day at Hollywood Park.
In her only start for Washington, Rearrange ran what was probably her worst race, a last-place finish as the 9-5 favorite. Noble Threewitt claimed her out of the race for $16,000.
Threewitt brought her back at Hollywood five weeks later, stretching her out to the 1 1/16-mile distance at which she had won four times. Rearrange led all the way, but Threewitt lost her for $12,500 to Jack Carava. When Carava ran her back 10 days later, she was on the lead again but this time tired to finish third, and Threewitt claimed her back for $16,000.
Rearrange ran three times at a mile or longer for Threewitt here, finishing second and winning for $20,000 before Spawr got her out of that winning race on Aug. 26.
“My owners (Pete Calvai and Darryl Rader) were looking for a gray filly,” said Spawr, who remembers winning a $20,000 claim from 10 other trainers for a horse called Let’s Drink Dinner. “She wound up making $100,000,” Spawr said.
Why would all the trainers who have claimed Rearrange be so interested in an ordinary horse? “She’s got consistency,” Spawr said. “You look for that every time you think about claiming a horse.”
Rearrange’s overall record is eight victories, five seconds and two thirds in 27 races, with purses of $99,925. Since that last-place finish at Hollywood in May, she has had three wins, a second and a third in five starts.
The next race for dial-a-horse may be on closing day here Wednesday. Spawr has his eye on a starter allowance, meaning this would be only the second race in her career--since Nov. 16, 1989--for Rearrange without a claiming tag. She would be assured of finishing the day in Bill Spawr’s barn.
Trainer Wayne Lukas concedes that there is no No. 1 horse in the country right now. He says the horse that gets hot between now and the running of the Breeders’ Cup races at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2 is the one who will be voted horse of the year.
What Lukas doesn’t concede is that In Excess belongs atop the Thoroughbred Racing Communications’ weekly national poll, which has been the case for several weeks. In this week’s poll, 32 voters ranked Tight Spot and Farma Way, Lukas’ horse, just behind In Excess, who received 23 first-place votes.
“This is like putting Appalachian State first in the NCAA football poll just because the school might have won a few games,” Lukas said. “How can In Excess be No. 1 when the horse hasn’t beaten any of the horses that are ranked in the next nine positions?”
That’s been true most of the summer, but it’s no longer accurate. Black Tie Affair, who has moved into seventh place nationally after his victory in the Iselin Handicap at Monmouth Park, ran ninth while In Excess was winning the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park on May 27.
Lukas will get the chance to put his horse where his mouth is if Farma Way and In Excess meet in the Woodward at Belmont Park a week from Sunday.
Horse Racing Notes
On the final weekend of the Del Mar season, eight fillies and mares will run Saturday in the $75,000 Osunitas Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on grass. The high weights are Agirlfromars and Kostroma at 118 pounds. Kostroma will run as an entry with La Charlatana. Others entered are Cool Rock’a, Bellefan, Gaelic Bird, Re Toss and Flirty. Other stakes left on the track’s schedule are the $200,000 Del Mar Budweiser Breeders’ Cup race Sunday and the $300,000-plus Del Mar Futurity Wednesday, which is closing day.
Through last Sunday, only $8,239 separated Chris McCarron and Gary Stevens in the national jockeys’ standings. Both riders are over the $9.4-million mark on the Daily Racing Form’s list. McCarron is sitting out a five-day stewards’ suspension at Del Mar, which runs through Sunday.
Jockey Chris Antley’s appeal of a five-day suspension stemming from the running of last winter’s Santa Anita Handicap has been denied. The California Horse Racing Board said Antley had served one day when he didn’t ride at Gulfstream Park soon after the Big ‘Cap. His remaining suspension days are Sept. 12, 13, 15 and 16. Antley is based in New York.