It's easy predicting the Eclipse A.P. Indy heads list of sure things

January 31, 1993|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

Expect few surprises when the Eclipse Awards are announced tomorrow.

Winners in all categories, except Horse of the Year, will be named during the half-hour "Daily Racing Form Thoroughbred Digest" on ESPN at 6 p.m.

The awards will actually be presented at the annual convention of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations in Los Angeles on Friday night at the Century Plaza Hotel.

The Horse of the Year will be announced at that ceremony and the entire program will be shown on a tape-delay basis next Sunday from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Match your picks with these intrepid predictions (also-rans in parenthesis):

Horse of the Year: A. P. Indy (Best Pal, Sky Classic)

2-year-old colt: Gilded Time (River Special, Mountain Cat)

2-year-old filly: Eliza (Sky Beauty, Boots'n Jackie)

3-year-old filly: November Snow (Jolypha, Saratoga Dew)

3-year-old colt: A. P. Indy (Lil E. Tee)

Older Male: Best Pal (Pleasant Tap, Sultry Song, Sea Cadet)

Older female: Paseana (Missy's Mirage)

Male turf horse: Sky Classic (Fraise, Dear Doctor, Lure)

Female turf horse: Kostroma (Flawlessly, Super Staff)

Sprinter: Rubiano (Thirty Slews, Meafara)

Steeplechaser: Highland Bud (Lonesome Glory, Mistico)

Breeder: William S. Farish (Allen E. Paulson, Juddmonte Farms)

L Owner: Allen E. Paulson (Golden Eagle Farm, Juddmonte Farms)

Jockey: Eddie Delahoussaye (Kent Desormeaux, Chris McCarron)

Apprentice Jockey: Jesus Bracho (Rosemary Homeister, Freddy Castillo)

Trainer: Neil Drysdale (Ron McAnally, Bobby Frankel)

Desormeaux won the money title ($14,193,006) among the jockeys, but Delahoussaye rode probable Horse of the Year A. P. Indy and also made a big splash at the Breeders' Cup, winning two races. Sentiment seems to be that he is overdue for Eclipse recognition.

Paulson could win in two categories, owner and breeder. Paulson bred Eliza and Fraise, both Breeders' Cup winners, but owned only one of them, Eliza. His wife, Madeline, races Fraise.

Farish might get a strong sympathy vote in the breeder category. Not only did his best pal, George Bush, get booted out of the White House, but also the expensive stallion roster at his Lane's End Farm in Kentucky hasn't been producing up to their fashionable bloodlines. Farish did, however, breed A. P. Indy.

Let's just hope, though, that the Eclipse ceremony shows a little more pizazz this year. Last year, a group of tired-looking old men in suits presented the awards.

Where's Vanna White when you need her?

Noticeable no-shows:

When the Eclipse finalists were announced, there were a couple of strange omissions, such as:

* Pine Bluff, missing from among the leading 3-year-olds. The Preakness winner fizzled out after his romp at Pimlico, but he did win the $1 million Triple Crown bonus and ended up 1992 as the second-leading money-winning thoroughbred, with $1,970,896. A. P. Indy earned $2,622,560.

* D. Wayne Lukas. By his own standards, 1992 was a bad year for Lukas. But his horses still won more money ($9,806,436) than runners sent out by any other U.S. trainer

Best Pal named best mascot

Even if Best Pal loses in the Horse of the Year competition, people in the town of Ramona, Calif., still love him.

Residents there recently elected him Ramona's official mascot.

He beat out a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, Kiss Me Kate, and a camel named Elvis.

L Best Pal was born and raised at Golden Eagle Farm in Ramona.

Hallelujah!

Clocker Bonnie Pearce couldn't refrain from making a heavenly comment when Alfred Vanderbilt's 5-year-old horse, Upon My Soul, worked six furlongs in 1 minute, 12 2/5 seconds from the gate last Thursday at Pimlico.

"Lord have mercy!" Pearce exclaimed in her Daily Racing Form footnote.

Vanderbilt's trainer, Mary Eppler, is masterminding the racing return of the son of Believe It out of Footsie. Upon My Soul won the Discovery Handicap in 1991 in the famous cerise and white Vanderbilt silks, but hasn't raced in over a year.

Eppler has been producing winner after winner for the 80-year-old owner.

Last year she won two New York-bred 2-year-old stakes with Over The Brink. The Overskate colt has been nominated to the Triple Crown and was fourth last weekend in the Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct.

Then on Friday, Eppler won the $33,000 Big A feature with Vanderbilt's Local Problem.

Among the Vanderbilt-bred 2-year-olds that Eppler plans to race this year is a half sister to Upon My Soul by the stallion Dr. Blum. Her name: Heal Thyself.

Looking after business:

Laurel-Pimlico president Joe De Francis skipped a chance to go to Los Angeles for the Super Bowl. He was invited to the championship game by a group of local business pals. But he turned down the invite to stay at home and mind the store at Laurel.

De Francis will be attending the TRA convention and Eclipse Awards ceremony in Los Angeles later this week with staffers Jim Mango and Tim Capps.

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