European trainers' reluctance to use shadow rolls brings some blinks

November 04, 1990|By Dale Austin

Horsemen who saw the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint were appalled at the disclosure that Dayjur had jumped a shadow in his last start at Longchamp in Paris, but was not equipped with a shadow roll at Belmont Park.

He jumped two shadows in the late stretch of the Sprint, and iappeared to cost his owner, Sheik Hamdan al Maktoum, a $450,000 winner's purse. Maryland-bred Safely Kept went on to win.

European trainers don't like to use blinkers or shadow rolls ohorses. They refer to blinkers as a "rogue's badge."

Apparently, Dayjur won the race at Longchamp, a Group I evencalled the Prix de Abbaye, with such ease that the shadow-jumping incident wasn't considered important by trainer W.R. Hern.

The few European trainers who use shadow rolls do so mostly thelp identify their horses in big fields.

The ill-fated filly Go for Wand was insured, but the amount oinsurance carried on her will not be disclosed.

After being humanely destroyed on the track after breakindown in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Distaff, the filly was taken to Saratoga Race Track, where she was buried near the flagpole in the infield.

Despite their frailty, thoroughbred racehorses -- especially the good ones -- are often insured.

It's like all other life insurance. No company would dare providpractical insurance for soundness of a horse. It's a long-shot bet that the horse will die during the time of coverage. Life insurance is the only kind of policy that is usually bought on racehorses.

"You can usually get a policy that costs about 3 1/2 percent," saiLouisville, Ky., horse insurance agent Ed McGrath.

"People don't insure for as much as they used to. I insureConquistador Cielo for $36 million [in 1982]. It was the highest price a horse was ever insured for, although Seattle Slew's price was set for more once he got good at stud. I'm sure that he was valued higher, but only certain shareholders bought policies.

"I have no idea how much Go for Wand was insured for, but iMrs. [Jane] Lunger were my client, I would have recommended that the filly be insured for about $2 million.

"If a colt with a good record were to be insured, I woulrecommend about $4 million."

Most insurance plans are based on potential as a breedinanimal. Because females can produce only one offspring a year and males can sire 50 to 60, the male would justify a higher premium.

There is one more offspring of the mare Obeah, the producer ofor Wand.

The last offspring is a 2-year-old filly by Topsider named Krown'Nest. Obeah, now a 20-year-old, no longer can produce foals.

It's a long time until the first Saturday in May, but the two binames associated with the 1991 Kentucky Derby now are not logical prospects, according to Dan Liebman, dosage expert of the Daily Racing Form.

Liebman's figures represent various bloodlines reduced tmathematical formulas. In his Friday column, he predicted that the filly Meadow Star and and the colt Fly So Free "will have major strikes against them" if they run in the Derby.

Liebman points out that both 2-year-olds don't fit the standardfor Derby winners based on the dosage index.

Since 1929, every Derby winner has had a dosage index of morthan 4.00.

Additionally, there are areas called Solid or Professional. Theare groups that combined, make up a stamina component. Only twice in the past 50 years -- Affirmed in 1978 and Sunday Silence in 1989 -- has a Derby winner had a profile without points in either of those areas.

Meadow Star, unbeaten in seven starts against fillies, has dosage index of 5.67.

Fly So Free barely qualifies with a dosage index of 4.00. He hano points in the stamina wing.

Joe De Francis, president of Laurel and Pimlico, will be thspeaker at a meeting of the Thoroughbred Club of Maryland at Chiapparelli's in Little Italy Wednesday evening. For information, call Christie Steele, (301) 549-1498. . . . A 30-minute television documentary on training horses in Maryland is scheduled for Dec. 15 on WHUR, Channel 32, in Washington. Sandra Auman is the producer.

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