DEL MAR : Paseana Wins the Chula Vista Over Exchange


Sunday’s $200,000 Chula Vista Handicap looked like the closest thing to a match race at Del Mar in a week. When Glass Ceiling was scratched Sunday morning, only Magical Maiden and Golden Klair were left to challenge the entry of Paseana and Exchange.

Not only was show betting off, but now place betting was off as well.

Owner Sidney Craig was not pleased that his mares were running head to head, but their trainers--Ron McAnally for Paseana and Bill Spawr for Exchange--wanted the race and Craig had to live with it. His dream, to be sure, would be a deadheat.

He almost got his wish.


After 1 1/16th mile, Paseana’s nose hit the finish line a nose ahead of Exchange, giving the Craig entry a one-two finish that surprised no one. The win payoff was $2.60.

Paseana was ridden by Chris McCarron and Exchange carried Laffit Pincay Jr.

“Chris tried to catch her at exactly the right time,” Craig said. “It was so close I wasn’t sure Exchange hadn’t won.”

The third and fourth finishers, Magical Maiden and Golden Klair, were both within a length of Paseana at the wire. Paseana was timed in 1:40 2/5, two-fifths of a second off the track record.


Magical Maiden, the defending champion, set the pace under Corey Nakatani. However, Exchange and Paseana started closing on the backstretch. Golden Klair, ridden by Corey Black, was four lengths back, but starting her move as well.

Coming into the stretch, Magical Maiden led by a nose with Exchange on her outside and Black guiding Golden Klair toward an opening on the rail. Paseana was right behind Exchange.

“I wanted to stay the heck away from Exchange,” McCarron said. "(Exchange) gets where she thinks she’s ahead and she kind of idles. I wanted to try to catch her when she was decelerating and blow by her.”

Pincay knew what McCarron had in mind. McCarron put Paseana where Exchange could not see her, but he couldn’t fool Pincay.


“Laffit and I were playing mind games,” McCarron laughed. “He knew what I wanted to do and he wouldn’t let it happen. It was basically a match race from the eighth pole.”

When will Paseana and Exchange meet again?

“Never,” Craig said. “Well, never say never, but I’m not that young. My heart can’t take this.”

Horse Racing Notes


Embroidered, ridden by David Flores, won the $55,000 Generous Portion Stakes for 2-year-old fillies over six furlongs. Embroidered, owned by Katherine Griffiths and trained by Riley Griffiths, rallied in the stretch to beat Regal Ruthie and Spafica. . . . Trainer Charlie Whittingham’s Flawlessly, second to Hatoof in the Beverly D at Arlington International on Saturday, will not make her next start until the Breeders’ Cup, but it might not be at Churchill Downs. She will go either in the Breeders’ Cup or the Yellow Ribbon at Oak Tree a day later.

A lot of questions about the Del Mar Derby, scheduled for a week from today, will be answered when invitations are extended today. The most significant is whether the field will be split into divisions for the third time in its history, the first since 1970. . . . Trainer Jenine Sahadi’s Grand Flotilla, winner of the Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park, will make his first start since then next Sunday in the Del Mar Handicap. . . . Trainer Rodney Rash went zero for four with the horses he sent to Arlington for weekend races.

Wild Escapade, making his first stakes start after losing his previous race by 20 1/2 lengths, defeated previously unbeaten Montreal Red by five lengths in the Hopeful Stakes for 2-year-olds at Saratoga. Wild Escapade, ridden by Jorge Chavez, stalked pacesetting Boone’s Mill until the last eighth of a mile, then took command and won in 1:23 1/5 for the seven furlongs. He paid $66, $9.80 and $2.60. Law Of The Sea finished third, another three-quarters of length back. Completing the order of finish were Bick, Boone’s Mill and Flitch.

Montreal Red, the 3-5 favorite ridden by Jose Santos, paid $2.60 and $2.10. Law Of The Sea, ridden by Julie Krone, returned $2.40. Boone’s Mill, winner of the Sapling at Monmouth Park in his last start, shot out of the gate from the No. 3 post, and was followed by Wild Escapade, who started from the No. 2 post. Boone’s Mill was never able to shake Wild Escapade, although he had a clear lead at the top of the stretch. Wild Escapade passed the tiring leader at midstreatch. Montreal Red was fifth, six lengths back with three-eighths of mile left. While he improved his position, he was able to cut only one length off his deficit. Montreal Red was trying for his fourth victory and also trying to become the fourth horse to sweep Saratoga’s stakes triple for 2-year-olds, the Sanford, Saratoga Special and Hopeful. His trainer, Sandy Schulhofer, won the Whitney Handicap on Saturday with Colonial Affair and will try to win the Spinaway for 2-year-old fillies today with Stormy Blues, unbeaten in two starts.


Gerald Lawrence resigned as executive vice president of the New York Racing Assn., citing differences with other NYRA leaders. As executive vice president, Lawrence oversaw the daily operation of the NYRA’s three tracks: Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga. Lawrence, 55, a native of Pittsburgh, joined the NYRA Jan. 1, 1991, from Churchill Downs, where he had served as executive vice president and chief operating officer since October of 1984.

Thunder Rumble, the beaten favorite in the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga, was injured during the race. Trainer Richie O’Connell said that the 5-year-old horse suffered an injury to the check ligament, located slightly below and behind the knee, in his left foreleg. He said it hadn’t been determined if Thunder Rumble would return to racing or be sent to stud.