Storm Tower's post spot needs to be speed zone Kentucky Derby notebook HORSE RACING

April 29, 1993|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Today's post position draw could decide the Kentucky Derby fate of Maryland-based speed horse Storm Tower.

The colt worked a half-mile in 48 seconds yesterday and "is doing as well or better than he did before the Wood Memorial [which he won]," said exercise rider Leo Murray.

Asked whether he would go with Personal Hope, the other speed horse, try to get a clear lead or tuck in behind, trainer Ben Perkins Jr. said he would let jockey Rick Wilson decide.

"We'll wait for the post position draw, see if we're inside or outside him," Perkins said. "Our horse is just as fast as he is. It just depends if you want to go, be with him or just off him, and the draw will help decide that.

"I'd like to be two or three [lengths] in front -- all the way around," Perkins said. "It's possible if he breaks sharp and nice, we might go for it."

Perkins said he had a great time at the annual Owner-Trainers Dinner on Tuesday night.

"Except I had to follow Hall of Fame trainer Mack Miller when [host] Chris Lincoln asked for comments. Miller, of course, was all class, said a lot of nice things and got a standing ovation.

"When I got up to speak, I felt like a polyester suit."

Bohannan's picks

Tom Bohannan, trainer of Derby favorite Prairie Bayou, said he thinks four horses in the Derby field stand out.

Bohannan likes the two California horses -- Personal Hope and Union City -- as well as Bull inthe Heather and Sea Hero.

"I like the way Bull inthe Heather is handling the track and I think the Blue Grass really helped Sea Hero [who finished fourth after encountering traffic problems]," Bohannan said.

Loblolly Stable owner John Ed Anthony said that it's likely Marked Tree will join stablemate Prairie Bayou in the Derby.

The horse breezed three-eighths of a mile in 36 2/5 seconds yesterday and will be ridden by Garrett Gomez if he starts.

Loblolly's Dalhart, who bled when he finished ninth in the Arkansas Derby, worked a half-mile in 50 1/5 seconds yesterday. Bohannan said, "I'll reserve judgment" about starting Dalhart in the Preakness.

Miscellaneous

Alex Hassinger Jr., trainer of Kentucky Oaks favorite Eliza, also has nominated the horse to the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, the filly counterpart of the Preakness. Ten fillies are set to face Eliza, including Maryland-based Cormorant's Flight, in the Oaks. Hassinger said he thinks Prairie Bayou will win the Derby because "he likes this racing strip.". . . Bull inthe Heather is feeling so good that trainer Howie Tesher can't graze him in the afternoons. "I'm afraid he'd jump around too much and hurt himself," Tesher said. . . . Peter Vestal, trainer of long shot Mi Cielo, is a former fighter who used to box under the name of "Rocky Muldoon.". . . Lure, winner last year of the Breeders' Cup Mile, heads a field of eight older horses for Friday's Early Times Turf Classic. The Dixie Handicap at Pimlico during Preakness week is the second leg of the Early Times Turf Triple that winds up at Belmont Park with the Early Times Manhattan Handicap. . . . There hasn't been a full field in the Kentucky Derby since 20 horses ran in 1984. The winner that year was Swale, who raced near the pace for the entire 10 furlongs. Front-runner Althea, a filly, tired after setting the early fractions. . . . Josh Pons of Bel Air received the Charles Engelhard Award at the Owner-Trainers Dinner for his "Country Life Farm Diary." The dinner and award is sponsored by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owner and Breeders' Association. . . . Jack Mann, former racing writer for the Baltimore Evening Sun, was honored last night with the Walter Haight Award at the National Turf Writers' Dinner.

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