Arcangues wins John Henry 'cap

May 02, 1994|By Los Angeles Times

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Even though Arcangues was an easy winner of the $154,050 John Henry Handicap yesterday at Hollywood Park in his first start since his 133-1 shocker in the Breeders' Cup Classic nearly six months earlier, his connections had to sweat for a couple of minutes.

Stewards Pete Pedersen, Ingrid Fermin and Tom Ward conducted an inquiry into an incident involving Arcangues and eventual runner-up Misil on the far turn, but made no change in the order of finish.

Ridden by Eddie Delahoussaye, the 3-2 favorite's victory margin was only a half-length, but this was deceptive because Delahoussaye took hold of him approaching the wire. He completed the 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:47 1/5.

Arcangues' return was a nice going-away present for trainer Richard Mandella, who took over the horse when owner Daniel Wildenstein decided to keep him in training late last year.

Mandella left last night for Louisville, where he will oversee Soul Of The Matter's final preparation for Saturday's Kentucky Derby.

"From the angles we had on the cameras here [for the inquiry], I couldn't tell a whole lot what happened. . . how far they were off the rail and that," Mandella said. "We were hoping he would come back good like he was when he left, and this is a nice sign.

"We'll run hopefully in the Hollywood Turf Handicap [on May 30] and a month after that is the Hollywood Gold Cup. Those are the plans right now, and we'll go from there."

Third behind pacesetter Kingdom Found and Earl Of Barking, who had moved from last to fourth along the rail on the turn, Arcangues did come in slightly on Misil, bided his time, then split Kingdom Found and Earl Of Barking in the stretch and went on to his sixth victory in 17 starts.

"He ran just great," Delahoussaye said. "He's genuine. When he changed leads around the turn, he kind of fell in and I grabbed him immediately. They brushed a little, but I don't believe Misil would have beaten my horse. My horse won in hand.

"This horse looks great. I think he looks better now than he did when he won the Breeders' Cup."

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