So far, Holy Bull looking like a stud

April 09, 1995|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Sun Staff Writer

It has been two months since Horse of the Year Holy Bull bowed out of racing when he strained ligaments in his left foreleg.

Now the 4-year-old colt is about to undergo the first big test of his second career.

The Bull's first mate in his stud career, the stakes-winning mare Second Glance, is due to be checked for pregnancy.

"All indications look good," said Bennie Bell Williams, whose family owns Jonabell Farm in Lexington, Ky., where Holy Bull went to stud about a month ago. "The mare will be checked sometime during the weekend."

Williams said "it makes you a little nervous" after reports that other first-year stallions such as Lure and Furiously are having trouble settling their mares.

"But Holy Bull figured things out pretty quickly," Williams said. "All of his sperm counts have been excellent, and Second Glance teased out [went out of heat] right after she was bred."

Williams added that Holy Bull has bred 10 mares so far "and a couple more of them will be checked this week to see if they are pregnant."

A total of 50 mares are scheduled to be bred to Holy Bull this spring, including the dams of champions Phone Chatter, Epitome, Saratoga Dew and Miss Gris, who raced in Europe.

Williams added that Holy Bull still hasn't recovered enough from his injury to be turned out in a paddock. "His leg is hosed twice a day, first with cold, then hot water, and he wears a heavy support bandage," she said. "He is also hand-walked twice a day and has averaged about one breeding per day during the last two weeks."

Williams said she has been amazed about the number of phone calls and post cards the farm receives from the horse's fans. "He really has a big following, from horsemen to fans and it transcends all kinds of interest from people who love the sport."

Maryland-Delaware border wars

When Delaware Park opens for live racing Saturday, the track's marketing director, Steve Kallens, said that it's likely simulcasts from Pimlico Race Course will be dropped.

The track, he said, is reacting to Pimlico/Laurel operator Joe De Francis' decision not to take Delaware races this year on Tuesday and Wednesday in the same sort of reciprocal agreement that the two tracks shared last year.

"So much for regional cooperation," Kallens said. "If they are not going to work with us, we've got to draw the line."

De Francis, however, said that he hasn't made a final decision on discontinuing the Delaware races, although Kallens said that Delaware has received a letter from Pimlico simulcast coordinator Dennis Smoter saying that the Delaware races are being dropped.

"Delaware has only been betting about $30,000 a day on our races and our customers would bet a lot more than that on [Delaware] on Tuesday and Wednesday," De Francis said. "We have a much larger market. There's got to be some recognition that Maryland has a superior product and that what Delaware offers is inferior. If Delaware doesn't want to simulcast our races, then fans at Delaware who want to bet on our races can go to Poor Jimmy's [Maryland's OTB outlet near Elkton]."

When Delaware opens its 130-day live meet Saturday, Kallens added that purses will be raised to about $60,000 a day, up from the $48,000 level last year. More purse increases are expected, especially when slot machines are introduced in August.

"This is the most optimistic we've been since Delaware re-opened in 1984," Kallens said. He added that the track is making extensive renovations in the barn area and is highlighting customer service and new fan education during the meet. The track is offering a Racing School for Novices as well as as a Junior Jockey Club for children.

Allard tops Maryland trainers

Ned Allard, the New England trainer who bases his operation at Garden State Park during the winter, topped all Maryland trainers in the percentage of winners he saddled at the recently completed Laurel meet.

During the six-month long meet, which ran from Sept. 27 through April 2, Allard started 32 horses, saddled 12 winners and posted a 38 win percentage.

Next best was Charlie Peoples, who bases his outfit at the Middletown, Del., training headquarters of owner Bayard Sharp. Peoples started 25 horses, had nine winners and a 36 win percentage.

Graham Motion ranked highest among trainers with horses stabled at a Maryland track. Motion started 106 horses, won 32 races and posted a 30 win percentage.

Motion has 27 horses stabled at Laurel Park, including three 2-year-olds sired by Lyphard, Secret Hello and Night Shift that were shipped to him last week by Joseph Allbritton, who won the 1991 Preakness with Hansel.

Miscellaneous

Some Pimlico/Laurel executives received new titles last week. Jim Mango is now chief administrative officer; John Mooney is chief operations officer; and Karin De Francis is vice president of customer relations. . . . There is currently about a $1 million surplus in the Pimlico/Laurel purse account. It's likely purses will be raised after the Preakness. . . . The 1994 Preakness winner, Tabasco Cat, was not nominated to the May 13 Pimlico Special. The horse injured a foot during the winter in California and is just now resuming training. He is being pointed for the rich fall stakes. . . . Longtime Pimlico trainer George Mohr has a new activity until he gets back in the horse business and claims a runner. He's helping Ryan Kelly of Pimlico's Hospitality Services Department mount an exhibit of historic photographs and

memorabilia that will open at the track May 6.

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