Personal Hope has Maryland roots DuPont originally owned No. 2 Ky. Derby prospect

April 07, 1993|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

Allaire duPont has spent a good part of her life promoting Maryland's thoroughbred horse breeding and racing industry.

But Personal Hope, the latest equine star that duPont bred in partnership with Bob Levy and Robert Clay, is purely a Kentucky product.

"Awful, isn't it?" duPont said yesterday in a telephone interview from her Woodstock Farm in Chesapeake City.

Despite success locally with immediate members of the horse's family, such as Maryland champion filly Crowned and Maryland Million runner-up Betty Lobelia, Personal Hope was born and raised at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky, was sold in New York and now races in California.

There's hardly a Maryland connection at all to the possible Kentucky Derby favorite that duPont bred, but then sold.

Last Saturday, Personal Hope turned in an incredibly gutsy performance to win the Grade I Santa Anita Derby over Union City and the filly Eliza.

The horse is now ranked second only to Corby in the list of leading Kentucky Derby contenders.

duPont sold Personal Hope as a yearling for $75,000 at the Saratoga, N.Y., sales. The previous year she sold his dam, All the Years, a daughter of Alydar, for $125,000 in Kentucky in foal to Storm Bird, the sire of Personal Hope.

"Every year I sell about half of everything we raise," duPont said. "You sell some good ones and some bad ones. One thing I've learned is that you can't keep them all."

Personal Hope sold early on the first night of the three-day Saratoga sale.

An observer at the auction remembers the colt was small and not totally correct (in his legs). As a rule, Storm Bird offspring are not big or robust as yearlings. The average price for a yearling that night was $158,000, more than twice the cost of Personal Hope.

But someone with a keen eye liked the colt.

The buyer was D. Wayne Lukas, acting for clients Debi and Lee Lewis.

Unfortunately for Lukas, the horse didn't stay long in his barn. After Personal Hope was beaten 18 lengths in his first start at Belmont Park last June, the owners transferred him to former Lukas assistant, Mark Hennig, when Hennig formed his own stable last summer.

du Pont, who bred and raced five-time Horse of the Year, Kelso, said she had never before bred a winner of the Santa Anita Derby. She watched the race on TV.

Even though she no longer owns Personal Hope, she said "I'm thrilled he's doing so well and got into wonderful hands."

NOTES:There will be no racing at Pimlico on Sunday, because of the Easter holiday, but there will be racing on Monday, which is usually dark. . . . Kathy Driscoll, the exercise rider injured at Pimlico last Sunday, continues to make progress at Sinai Hospital. Her fiance, George Beltone, said Driscoll is alert and talking. "Yesterday, she seemed clear-headed for the first time," he said. He expects her to be hospitalized for another couple of weeks and added that she will be outfitted with a special brace to support fractured vertebrae in her back. "She should then be in the brace for another five or six weeks," Beltone said. "We still have to talk to a neurologist about her head [injuries]". . . . Track general manager Jim Mango said he expects to hear tomorrow from Thomas Russow, president of Local 27 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, about the outcome of the recent union vote. A majority of UFCW track employees agreed to accept revisions to their current contract. But there were so many challenges, and apparently uncounted ballots, during the process that Russow must decide whether to make the outcome official or call for another vote.

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