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HORSE RACING / BILL CHRISTINE : Scharbauer Finds a New Brand of Fun

In the paddock at Santa Anita Thursday, Clarence Scharbauer ran into Jack Whitaker, the broadcaster. They hadn’t seen each other since Alysheba’s racing days, when Whitaker went to Texas to do a story on the Scharbauer family.

“We’re private people, you know,” Scharbauer was saying Thursday. “We wouldn’t have let anybody in. But we trusted you.”

Alysheba, winner of the Kentucky Derby in 1987 and horse of the year in 1988, stands at stud for the Scharbauers in Kentucky.

Scharbauer’s diamond-studded tie pin was a conversation piece. It looked like a “5,” and Scharbauer’s horse in the Malibu Stakes, Multiengine, had the No. 5 post. Could it be that. . . ?

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“No,” Scharbauer said, “I don’t have a different one for every post position. This is the number that we brand on our cattle. We’ve been branding them that way since about 1895. But I was in the men’s room someplace where Alysheba was running, and he was No. 5 this day, and a guy asked me the same thing. I had a little fun and told him I had a different pin for every post position.”

For a while, it looked as if Scharbauer’s pin might stand for the position where Multiengine would finish in the Malibu. But his colt wound up sixth, missing fifth by a head.

Allen Paulson, who owns 50% of Arazi and manages the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes winner’s racing career, says he will be under a lot of pressure from England to shoot for the English Derby instead of the Kentucky Derby in 1992. Before his Breeders’ Cup victory at Churchill Downs last month, Arazi had raced exclusively in France.

“If they want me that bad, let the Queen put up $5 million,” Paulson said. He was referring to the $5-million payoff that a horse gets by sweeping the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.

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Although many of Paulson’s horses run in California, it’s unlikely that Arazi will be headed this way in preparation for the Kentucky Derby. He probably will run once in France, then run a couple of times in the eastern United States before going to Churchill Downs.

“We don’t want to over-race him,” Paulson said. “It’s a long haul, the Triple Crown races and then the Breeders’ Cup at the end of the year.”

Cliff Goodrich, president of Santa Anita, said Thursday that jockeys who ride at the track starting next Wednesday will be insured, even if the Thoroughbred Racing Assn. tracks don’t have a national agreement on insurance with the Jockeys’ Guild.

“One item we want to make clear is that on Jan. 1, we will insure all jockeys, regardless, who compete,” Goodrich said. “Santa Anita will not allow the insurance benefits to lapse.”

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Santa Anita hopes to hear from the TRA negotiating committee today regarding an insurance proposal. The TRA’s insurance policy for jockeys runs out next Tuesday.

The guild has filed a suit, in Los Angeles Superior Court, against all North American tracks, asking for $15 million in damages.

The TRA represents about half of the country’s tracks, including most of the major ones.

The guild, which represents about 95% of the jockeys nationally, doesn’t want to lose its broadcasting rights at the expense of settling on an insurance program.

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The guild claims that it has been exchanging those rights for insurance coverage for about 20 years.

Verne Winchell has been in racing long enough as a breeder and owner to know that the name of the game is futures. So even though Winchell’s three stars--Tight Spot, Olympio and Sea Cadet--will continue running in 1992, he is always looking for other stakes winners.

“We might have a good one in Old Master,” Winchell said Thursday, not long after Olympio won the Malibu Stakes. “He ran fourth in the (Hollywood) Futurity (last Sunday) and had a wide trip. There were six horses supplemented into the race (for $25,000), and he was the only one who won anything.”

Old Master earned $44,970. Olympio finished fourth in the same race in 1990.

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Golden Pheasant, winner of the Japan Cup last month, will remain with trainer Charlie Whittingham at Santa Anita instead of being sent to stud.

After his victory in Tokyo, owners Bruce McNall and Wayne Gretzky announced that they had sold Golden Pheasant to Zenya Yoshida for a price reported to be $2.5 million.

“He’s sound,” Whittingham said of Golden Pheasant. “He came out of shipping over and back real good.”

Whittingham didn’t travel to Tokyo for Golden Pheasant’s run. He was more concerned about his shipping than the horse’s. “Fifteen hours on the plane over there, and 15 back,” Whittingham said. “I don’t think I would have been able to handle that.”

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With Golden Pheasant remaining in his barn, Whittingham will be well-prepared for the grass races at Santa Anita this season.

Whittingham also trains Miss Alleged and Flawlessly, who are the leading candidates for the Eclipse Award for best female on grass in 1991.

Frank Alvarado, whose mount, Actor, was disqualified from first to third at Hollywood Park on Tuesday, received a five-day stewards’ suspension, starting Sunday.

At the bottom of the stewards’ ruling, as usual, was the notation: “Term of suspension shall not prohibit participating in designated races.”

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The designated races at Santa Anita this season are the 12 stakes ranked as Grade I by a national committee.

“We just decided to take the Grade I’s as the designated races,” said Tom Ward, a Santa Anita steward. “Some of the others might deserve to be included, too, such as the San Antonio Handicap, but they won’t be.”

At one time, the Jockeys’ Guild was opposed to designated races, but now, Ward said, there’s been a suggestion that there be a national list of designated races, which would enable a penalized jockey to ride anywhere during a suspension.

Not many states have the designated-race rule besides California.

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Six 2-year-olds are entered, including the Wayne Lukas entry of Salt Lake and Richard of England, in Saturday’s $75,000 San Miguel Stakes at Santa Anita.

Others in the field are Bossanova, Zafiro Delmar, Fabulous Champ and Prince Wild.

The third running of the California Cup races will be at Santa Anita next Nov. 7.

Trainer Bill Spawr plans to enter Exchange in Sunday’s seven-furlong La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies but may not run the horse because she is better around two turns.

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A new secretary in the Santa Anita publicity office is named Sandy Claus.


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