Soul Of The Matter surprises

March 21, 1994|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Sun Staff Writer

"This is what we've been waiting for!" Trevor Denman, track announcer at Santa Anita Park, yelled into the microphone yesterday when Brocco and Valiant Nature hooked up in the stretch run of the $208,500 San Felipe Stakes.

But then, out of the blue, came a little-known colt named Soul Of The Matter bred in West Virginia, sired by a Maryland stallion that ran down the best two 3-year-olds in California and won the race by 2 1/4 lengths over Brocco, winter book favorite to win the 1994 Kentucky Derby.

All of a sudden, there could be a West Virginia-bred, who was foaled and raised at Country Roads Farm in Charles Town and galloped over the track at Charles Town Race Course, running as a favorite in the Kentucky Derby.

Just as important, the Maryland breeding industry has a new stallion star, the 9-year-old Private Terms, who in his first crop sired Soul Of The Matter, now a classics contender. Private Terms, who was owned by the late Stuart Janney Jr. and was trained at Laurel Race Course by Charlie Hadry, was the favorite in the 1988 Kentucky Derby. But he bled in the race and finished ninth. Private Terms stands at stud at Northview Stallion Station in Cecil County. He sired 13 2-year-old winners in his first crop last year, including Soul Of The Matter, who won his first start at Santa Anita last October and subsequently finished third in the Prevue Stakes at Hollywood Park.

He then won an allowance race, but popped a quarter crack (in a foot) afterward. He was tried on the grass March 5 because his trainer, Dick Mandella, thought the turf would be easier on his feet. He was boxed in in the Pirate Cove Stakes, but finished third before he was switched back on the dirt in yesterday's San Felipe. The track was muddy, which could serve as an excuse for Brocco and Valiant Nature.

Vinnie Moscarelli, the West Virginia trainer who foaled, raised and broke the colt for the horse's owner, songwriter/stylist Burt Bacharach, watched the race on television yesterday in a hotel room in Ocala, Fla.

He is there to run Hidden Crest today in the filly division of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. Championship Stakes.

Moscarelli and Bacharach own the 75-acre West Virginia farm. They formed their partnership through a former accountant of Bacharach's and have had quite a bit of success, breeding and racing champion filly Heart- light No. One and California stakes winner Video Kid. Moscarelli breaks the young horses and gets them ready to race before they are shipped to Bacharach's California trainer.

Moscarelli said that Soul Of The Matter is the second foal from Soul Light, a half sister to Heartlight No. One. "Since then we haven't gotten a foal out of her," Moscarelli said. "A couple of years ago she had difficulty giving birth and lost a Two Punch foal. She hasn't had a foal since then. She's at Northview right now and is being bred to Private Terms."

Moscarelli said Mandella had first thought of shipping Soul Of The Matter east and running him in the Gotham Stakes and Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. But he decided instead to stay in California and take on Brocco and Valiant Nature. "I suppose now he'll go in the Santa Anita Derby [April 9] and then go on to Kentucky," Moscarelli said. "This is great for West Virginia and Maryland. Everything about this colt is local."

NOTES: Asserche packed high weight of 123 pounds and ran down Legal Choice yesterday to win the 1 7/8-mile Pro Bidder Handicap at Laurel. It was the 13th win by Asserche for his owner-trainer, John Alecci. Alecci said he is considering transforming the horse into a steeplechaser this summer. "He doesn't like running on the hard ground during the summer, so that might be the time to try jumping him," Alecci said. . . . Can't Be Denied will miss the Triple Crown. The horse is being shipped to Laurel today from Kentucky, where he finished fourth as the favorite on Saturday in the John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park. Trainer Carlos Garcia said the horse bled as well as popping a quarter crack. "We'll let the quarter crack in the foot grow out and aim to get him back to the races this summer," Garcia said.

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