Scan, Fly So Free could make Derby a Schulhofer get-together

Jack Mann

February 21, 1991|By Jack Mann

The winter books on the Kentucky Derby do not offer father-son exactas. If they did, it would be time to box trainer Scotty Schulhofer and his son, Randy.

Quickly, before Scotty runs Fly So Free in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park and the odds drop.

The race is the simulcast feature at Laurel and Pimlico Saturday.

A communique from one Las Vegas "resort" says Fly So Free, the 2-year-old champion of 1990, is the shortest price, 7-1, of all the 3-year-olds eligible for the Derby.

Fifth choice, at 12-1, is Scan, being trained at Santa Anita by Schulhofer's son, Randy.

The high esteem for Fly So Free reflects his success in his first 3-year-old start, the seven-furlong Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream on Feb. 2. It was the fifth victory in seven starts for the son of Time for a Change.

Scan was third in his first start of the year, the San Vicente last Sunday, but that did not diminish the respect he earned in winning the Cowdin at Belmont and the Remsen at Aqueduct last fall.

Had Scan been ready, Scotty Schulhofer said, he would have run the two against each other, for different owners, in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. As it was, Fly So Free did the job alone, by three lengths.

Scan's Remsen victory showed he could win at the grown-up distance of 1 1/8 miles, a capacity not yet demonstrated by any of the presumptive Triple Crown contenders. Scan's speed, as a son of Mr. Prospector, was a given.

The Schulhofers agree that Scan's defeat in the San Vicente was no setback. Winning isn't the main thing with a valuable horse in his first start after a three-month layoff. Scan was top-weighted at 123 and the race was only seven furlongs.

"You couldn't be disappointed, not with all that speed in there," Scotty said. "You could say I was shocked to see him up there with the leaders after the first half went in :44 1/5."

"I think maybe J.D. [Bailey, the jockey] made a faux pas," said Randy Schulhofer. Scan actually made the lead as they rounded the turn.

Dinard, now 9-1 in the winter book, won in a tidy (but not gaudy for Santa Anita) 1:08 4/5. Scan was a close third -- too close, the Schulhofers thought.

"Every horse has some speed," Scotty said. "Hell, Crypto could give you a half in :44 if you asked for it. But then he couldn't do any more." Cryptoclearance, a mutant grandson of Mr. Prospector, plodded to earnings of $3,367,327 under Scotty Schulhofer's planning.

"You can't change a horse's style," Scotty said. Scan had come from off the pace, but not too far off, in all his races.

Randy Schulhofer said yesterday he is "undecided" on a rider for Scan in his next start, the San Vicente, on March 17.

The Schulhofers watched Scan's race together last Sunday because Scotty was in San Francisco the night before to accept Fly So Free's Eclipse Award. Now Randy, who has spent half his 28 years around Belmont Park, is on his own.

Fly So Free is scheduled to run in the Florida Derby on March 16, then the Blue Grass at Keeneland. Scotty was worried that Fly So Free's rider, Jose Santos, might be suspended for an untidy ride last week. But the Santa Anita stewards found him blameless. There were no other worries about the Fountain of Youth, Scotty said.

Fly So Free "blew out" a half-mile at Gulfstream yesterday. "The clockers said he went in :47," Scotty said. "I had him in :48. Anyway, he went nice. He's ready."

"Scan is going to the Santa Anita Derby [on April 6]," Randy said confidently. "My father and I probably won't see each other again until we meet at Churchill Downs."

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