Elmhurst Lost Out, Unlike Cardmania


What worked for Cardmania in 1993 didn’t work for Elmhurst last year.

Victories weeks apart in the Ancient Title Handicap and Breeders’ Cup Sprint were enough to win Cardmania the Eclipse Award that year as the nation’s top sprinter.

The Ancient Title-Breeders’ Cup Sprint parlay did not lead to the same result for Elmhurst.

A gelding owned by C.N. and Carol Ray’s Evergreen Farm and trainer Jenine Sahadi, the son of Wild Again finished second in the voting to Smoke Glacken, whose connections will be honored at the Eclipse Awards dinner Feb. 10 in Rancho Mirage.


The balloting wasn’t close despite the fact Smoke Glacken, whose career was ended by injury, last raced on July 19 and no Grade I’s were included among his four stakes victories in 1997.

Two consecutive Eclipse Awards would have been nice for the Rays and Sahadi--who campaigned 1996 champion and Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Lit De Justice--but there was little disappointment.

“Lit De Justice was a stallion and he was going to stud for the first time, so [the Eclipse] was significant,” Sahadi said. “For my [8-year-old] gelding, it’s not going to make that much of a difference.

“I didn’t lose any sleep over it, and C.N. said it saved him from having to rent a tuxedo. [Smoke Glacken] won four stakes races and we won more money in one race [the Breeders’ Cup Sprint] than he did all year. We’ll take the cash any time.”

Sahadi and the Rays will be hoping to add some more money Saturday, specifically, the winner’s share of the purse in the $200,000 Palos Verdes Handicap at Santa Anita.

A Grade III sprint that was won by Lit De Justice during his championship year, the six-furlong Palos Verdes will be the first 1998 start for Elmhurst and his first race since his 16-1 upset in the Breeders’ Cup last Nov. 8 at Hollywood Park.


The victory pushed him over $1-million in earnings and he is looking for his third consecutive victory at six furlongs. He won the Ancient Title at 5-1 over this track a little more than a month before his biggest score.

So much for those who thought he needed at least seven furlongs to be successful.

What the late runner needs is help up front, and he got very fast splits to chase in his two wins to wrap up last year. It remains to be seen how the Palos Verdes, which could be run on a sloppy track if the weather forecast holds, will set up.

“He’s doing great,” Sahadi said not long after Elmhurst worked three furlongs in 33 3/5 Wednesday morning at Santa Anita. “We re-patched his quarter cracks a couple of days ago, the same ones he had before the Breeders’ Cup.

“I’m very happy with him. He needs to have a legitimate pace in front of him, and if he doesn’t get it, then he’s in trouble. His attitude is real good and he’s happy. He thinks he’s king of the barn. If he stays sound, we’ll go another year with him.

“He’s all set for Saturday. I’m looking forward to the race.”

As many as nine others could be entered this morning in the Palos Verdes, including The Exeter Man, who scored an 8-1 surprise in the El Conejo Handicap earlier this month.

Others being considered are Paying Dues, who was eliminated at the start of the El Conejo in his first race in nearly a year, Red, Scurry Home, Swiss Yodeler, Funontherun, Larry The Legend, Tower Full and Venus Genus.



Serena’s Song, who earned more money than any female in racing history and the champion 3-year-old filly of 1995, gave birth to a filly Wednesday at Denali Stud in Paris, Ky.

The foal was by Mr. Prospector and owners Bob and Beverly Lewis plan to keep her to race. Serena’s Song will next be bred to Storm Cat.


Track Gal, who finished last in the Santa Monica Handicap last Saturday, has been retired.

A multiple-stakes winner who was owned by William Oldknow and Robert Phipps and trained by John Sadler, the 7-year-old Track Barron mare finished with 13 wins from 25 starts and earnings of $610,828. She was scheduled to be sent to Kentucky on Wednesday night to be bred to an as yet undetermined stallion.

“I guess she just doesn’t want to run anymore,” Sadler told the Daily Racing Form. “She’s tailed off and she’s 7. It makes things very clear. On the good side, she’s sound and going [to be bred].”


Sixy Saint knows how to win the close ones.

A month after beating Fiji by a nose, the 4-year-old St. Jovite filly held off favored Angel Face by the same margin to win the $70,800 Star Ball Handicap on Wednesday at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Gary Stevens for owners Trudy McCaffery and John Toffan and trainer Paco Gonzalez, the 9-5 second choice won for the third time in four starts on the grass. She completed the 1 1/4 miles in 2:01 1/5.


Angel Face, who was extremely reluctant to go into the gate, finished three lengths clear of Miss Universal as the 8-5 choice.

Horse Racing Notes

Aimee Dollase, the daughter of trainer Wally Dollase and sister of Craig Dollase, will run her first horse as a trainer when she saddles first-time starter Air Affair in Friday’s third race. . . . Hesabull, who was injured while finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint last Nov. 8, has been retired and will stand at Live Oak Stud in Ocala, Fla. He won five of 20 starts and earned $826,255.