With Haskell in His Future, Real Quiet’s Vacation Short
After Silver Charm’s near-miss last year in the Triple Crown, he didn’t run again for more than six months. The more resilient Real Quiet, who was nosed out by Victory Gallop in the Belmont Stakes and left, like his stablemate, with only two-thirds of the crown, is working out again.
Only 11 days after the grueling 1 1/2-mile Belmont, Real Quiet worked three furlongs in 36 seconds at Churchill Downs on Wednesday, and trainer Bob Baffert said that the $1-million Haskell Invitational Handicap, at Monmouth Park on the New Jersey shore on Aug. 9, would be his next race. Victory Gallop, second in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness before his Belmont win, is also headed for the Haskell. The two colts should run at equal weights at Monmouth, just as they did during the Triple Crown.
Ever since Baffert pulled him out of the Preakness, he has been saying that Indian Charlie would be his Haskell horse, but now the plan is evolving into something else. At one time, the $500,000 Swaps at Hollywood Park on July 19 had been a possibility for Real Quiet. At the end of this month, Baffert will bring his 17 Churchill Downs horses--including Real Quiet, Silver Charm and Indian Charlie--back to California before sorting out the options.
Puerto Madero, who ran second, 4 1/2 lengths behind Skip Away, in the Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs on May 30, worked six furlongs at Hollywood Park on Thursday in 1:10 4/5 as he prepares to run in the $1-million Hollywood Gold Cup on June 28.
A 4-year-old Chilean-bred colt, Puerto Madero has won nine of 12 starts, but his only race in the U.S. before Suffolk was an allowance win at Hollywood on April 30.
Because R.D. Hubbard, the chairman of Hollywood Park, owns about 47% of Gentlemen and also is a partner in Puerto Madero, trainer Richard Mandella’s horses will run as a betting entry in the Gold Cup.
Besides Mandella’s pair and Skip Away, other probables for the Gold Cup are Budroyale, Bagshot and Don’t Blame Rio. Three of the horses on the possible list--Anet, Hal’s Pal and Mud Route--may run elsewhere.
Baffert is talking about the $250,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap on July 4 in Iowa for Anet; Mud Route might run the same day in the $350,000 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park; and Hal’s Pal is a candidate for the $300,000 Triple Bend Breeders’ Cup Handicap, which is part of the Gold Cup undercard.
Other possibilities for the Gold Cup are Worldly Ways and Floriselli.
Kent Desormeaux, Real Quiet’s jockey, is giving his travel agent plenty to do this week.
After riding last Sunday at Hollywood Park, where he won the Shoemaker Breeders’ Cup Mile with Labeeb, Desormeaux participated in an East-West jockeys’ competition at Prairie Meadows on Monday. He will be at Lone Star Park, near Dallas, tonight for a four-race, $100,000 jockeys’ competition. Then on Saturday, Desormeaux has the mount on Storm Trooper in the $250,000 Golden Gate Handicap at Golden Gate Fields. After that, it’s off to Toronto, where he’ll ride Archer’s Bay on Sunday in the $500,000 Queen’s Plate at Woodbine
After the Kentucky Derby, the three Preston brothers, who own Victory Gallop, were considering the Queen’s Plate for their Canadian-bred colt. But when Indian Charlie and the injured Halory Hunter were withdrawn from the Preakness, trainer Elliott Walden brought Victory Gallop to Pimlico and stayed the distance for the Triple Crown.
With no Victory Gallop, there’s a field of 13 Canadian-breds for the Queen’s Plate, which is the first race in Canada’s Triple Crown. Sunday’s field includes Primaly and Pinafore Park, two fillies saddled by Paul Attfield, who has won the race seven times.
If Desormeaux wins with Archer’s Bay, he would become the first jockey to win the Kentucky Derby and the Queen’s Plate in the same year since 1964. That year, Bill Hartack won both races with Northern Dancer, who was the only Canadian-bred to win the Derby until Sunny’s Halo’s victory in 1983.
Storm Trooper, winner of the Hollywood Turf Handicap, is the 120-pound high weight in the Golden Gate Handicap. The field also includes Dushyantor, next in the weights with 118 pounds, and Amerique and Star Performance, who were 1-2 in the San Juan Capistrano at Santa Anita.
Free House, winner of last year’s Santa Anita Derby, then third, second and third in the Triple Crown races, has had a long rest and will return to action in the $100,000 Bel Air Handicap at Hollywood Park on July 11. It will be the colt’s first start since he ran last in the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 28. . . . Jockey Robby Albarado will undergo surgery in Louisville today to have a plate inserted in his skull. Albarado, who ranks fifth nationally with more than $5 million in purses, was involved in a two-horse spill Wednesday at Churchill Downs and suffered a double skull fracture. Albarado, 24, walked away from the accident before he was sent to the hospital. . . . Ajina, last year’s champion 3-year-old filly, will try to put two good races together when she runs Saturday in the $250,000 Hempstead Handicap at Belmont. . . . Before Mango Club’s victory in the nightcap, favorites had won all of the races Thursday at Hollywood Park.