Derby doesn't fit for Draw, 'Romano'

On Horse Racing

April 21, 1996|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Two Maryland racehorse owners -- who last weekend were one race away from the Kentucky Derby -- will not send their horses to Churchill Downs for the first Saturday in May.

Herb Kushner, owner of Romano Gucci, and Stuart S. Janney III, owner of Draw, say their horses will not run in the Kentucky Derby. On April 13, in final auditions for the Derby, Romano Gucci finished third in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct in New York, and Draw ran fourth in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.

"I'm terribly disappointed," said Kushner, a retired dentist from Rockville. "It's every horseman's first dream to run in the Kentucky Derby. I don't know when I'll ever get this chance again."

Kushner and Dick Dutrow, the horse's trainer at Aqueduct, said they still aren't sure how far Romano Gucci wants to run. His sire, Aaron's Concorde, was a sprinter who never raced farther than seven furlongs.

In the 1 1/8 -mile Wood Memorial, Romano Gucci surged into the lead -- ahead of eventual winner and Kentucky Derby favorite Unbridled's Song -- but faded to third.

Dutrow said he will enter the horse in another 1 1/8 -mile race at Aqueduct or Belmont Park. And then, if the horse handles the distance, will consider running him in the Preakness on May 18 at Pimlico.

A horse bred for distance, the Janney-owned Draw, is too inexperienced to throw into the rough-and-tumble Kentucky Derby, said his trainer, Shug McGaughey.

"He had done everything we'd asked him to do," McGaughey said. "But it was wishful thinking that he was ready for the Derby."

Draw raced only once as a 2-year-old because of an ankle chip that required surgery, said his owner, Janney, an investment banker from Butler.

Unlike Kushner, Janney said he has no great desire to run in the Kentucky Derby without a horse pretty certain of running well.

"It's a grueling trip through the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown races," Janney said. "I'd rather miss that and have a healthy horse at the end of the year."

Breeders to give awards

The Maryland Horse Breeders Association will honor its own at its 68th annual awards dinner Thursday at the Maryland Historical Society. Honorees are:

Robert E. Meyerhoff, breeder of the year; Two Punch, stallion of the year, standing at Northview Stallion Station; Northern Sting, broodmare of the year, owned by Richard C. Granville; Cigar, horse of the year and champion older male, owned and bred by Allen E. Paulson at Country Life Farm.

Favorable Ruling, champion 2-year-old colt, bred by Richard L. Golden and owned by Philip Teinowitz and Stanley Stahl; Secret Prospect, champion 2-year-old filly, bred by Alan S. Kline and owned by Conover Stable; Oliver's Twist, champion 3-year-old colt, bred by Bonita Farm and owned by Charles M. Oliver; Urbane, champion 3-year-old filly, bred by Violet Cleveland and Frank J. Zurcick, owned by Jan, Mace and Samantha Siegel.

Smart 'N Noble, champion older mare, bred by Robert L. Scruggs Jr. and owned by Nickel's Stable; Awad, champion turf runner, bred and owned by Ryehill Farm; Circuit Bar, champion steeplechaser, bred by Mr. and Mrs. C. Dwight Moose and owned by Michael L. Murphy.

Internet sites ready

The Maryland Jockey Club's site on the Internet is fully operational. Users can obtain Pimlico and Laurel race entries and results, handicappers' selections, jockey and trainer profiles, even dining-room menus.

The addresses are: http: //; http: //; http: //; and http: //

Pub Date: 4/21/96

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