Indy breaks out, weaves way to 2-length Breeders' win

A. P.

November 01, 1992|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer


He pushed.

He hollered.

When it was all said and done, Eddie Delahoussaye got the response he needed from the gutsy colt A. P. Indy and won the $3 million Breeders' Cup Classic yesterday at Gulfstream Park.

It was a day of pathos in South Florida, where horses broke records, and broke legs.

A day when California jockeys and horses nearly swept the card, and when one European legend of the turf, Lester Piggott, lay crumpled on the track, pinned beneath a fallen, floundering horse named Mr Brooks. The animal was destroyed, and Piggott was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for a broken collarbone, two broken ribs and possible internal injuries.

So many records were broken or equaled on the sun-baked dirt and turf courses, where there has been no serious rain since Hurricane Andrew swept through nearly two months ago, that the ninth running of the Breeders' Cup might be remembered as the Speeders' Cup.

And, at long last, the myth of the great Arazi has once and for all passed into a faded, somnolent dream.

When Tomonori Tsuramaki, a Japanese high roller and former race car driver who owns half of A. P. Indy, got to the microphone to discuss the Classic after the race through an interpreter, he giggled and thanked "the Neil."

Tsuramaki was referring to Neil Drysdale, 44, the English-born trainer whose patience with his horses can seem at times exasperating.

But it was Drysdale who brought the 3-year-old son of Seattle Slew back from a persistent foot injury that kept him out of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. When the year-end championship was on the line yesterday, it was Drysdale and A.P. Indy that nailed the big one.

Drysdale now is batting .500 in Breeders' Cup in-the-money finishes. He has won four and placed second twice from 12 overall starters. Delahoussaye has ridden eight of the horses.

A. P. Indy came into the Breeders' Cup Classic a bit of a disappointment after an enormous winning effort last June in the Belmont Stakes.

He failed to fire after a three-month lay-off in the Molson Million, but it came on a track so deep and tiring that officials at Woodbine Race Course in Toronto apologized later to the horsemen.

Then in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, A.P. Indy stumbled badly leaving the gate and lost all chance, although he rebounded and finished third.

"I thought it was a winning race," Drysdale said of the ill-fated attempt that has been called one of the most impressive defeats in memory.

But yesterday, A. P. Indy, appearing calm and poised in the paddock and post parade -- "not nervous like he had been in New York before the Gold Cup," Delahoussaye said -- broke well in the 10-furlong Classic.

"I had him in good position going into the turn, but then I lost it," Delahoussaye said. The horse had dropped back near the rear of the 14-horse field, tight against the rail.

Had Zoman not moved over on the backstretch and given him room, A. P. Indy might have lost the race.

"I had to hustle him at the quarter pole. He was a little intimidated," Delahoussaye said. "But then I started screaming at him, and he began to pick off horses one by one."

Showing rare guts and determination, A. P. Indy weaved through horses on the turn. Pace-setter Jolie's Halo quit in front of him. Defensive Play, on the outside, couldn't hold him in.

"When I got to the front, I knew it had to be a good one if someone came up and beat us," Delahoussaye said. "He was really digging in."

A. P. Indy, the 2-1 favorite, held off the late rush of second-choice Pleasant Tap by two lengths.

The French filly Jolypha finished third, perhaps the best performance of any of the 22 European runners on the card.

It was the first time since 1989, when the Breeders' Cup also was run at Gulfstream Park, that the Europeans were shut out of winning any races. The going was simply too hard, the weather too hot and the turns too tight to accommodate the European horses. Many balked at loading into the starting gate.

A.P. Indy was timed for the 1 1/4 miles in 2 minutes, 1/5 of a second, equaling Sunday Silence's Breeders' Cup record set in 1989, also at Gulfstream Park.

It was the sixth course or Breeders' Cup record tied or equaled in the seven races.

In the Sprint, California-based Thirty Slews, ridden by Delahoussaye, nipped front-running 3-year-old filly Meafara on the wire. The time of 1:08 1/5 is a Breeders' Cup record.

Eliza, owned by Allen Paulson, trained in California by Alex Hassinger Jr. and ridden by Pat Valenzuela, set a Breeders' Cup record in the Juvenile Fillies, running 1 1/16 miles in 1:42 4/5. She repulsed a determined challenge from Educated Risk and held off a late rally from Boots n' Jackie.

New York-based Lupe, ridden by Mike Smith, ran off from the competition, including 3-2 favorite Arazi, in the Mile, setting a course record of 1:32 4/5. Arazi finished a well-beaten 11th.

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