105-1 shot 'Frisk Me' rallies in Hutcheson Derby favorites beaten in Florida, California

February 03, 1997|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

HALLANDALE, Fla. -- The road to the Kentucky Derby, as it often does this time every year, yesterday became a journey through the heart of darkness.

Here at Gulfstream Park, a 105-1 unknown named Frisk Me Now knocked off early Derby favorites Confide and Ordway in the $100,000, seven-furlong Danka Hutcheson Stakes.

On the West Coast at Santa Anita Park, Boston Harbor, winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, faded to fourth in the $100,000 1 1/16-mile Santa Catalina Stakes. No Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner has ever won the Kentucky Derby.

As the 4-5 favorite, Boston Harbor stuck his head in front around the far turn, but then surrendered meekly to Hello, Bagshot and Carmen's Baby -- not a well-known name among them. The Irish-bred Hello, trained by Ron McAnally and racing for the first time on dirt, paid $13.20 to win. D. Wayne Lukas, who trains Boston Harbor, said he took a chance running the colt in a 1 1/16-mile race in his first start since October.

"I think he'll get more out of this than if we'd sprinted him," Lukas said.

At Gulfstream Park, Frisk Me Now rallied from sixth to edge Confide in the Hutcheson. Confide was favored slightly over Ordway, who broke eighth -- last -- and finished last, beaten by 18 lengths.

Frisk Me Now's long-shot victory -- he paid $213.80 to win -- was HTC reminiscent of Built For Pleasure's upset in last year's Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Built For Pleasure beat Unbridled's Song and Victory Speech, paid $288.20 to win, and hasn't won since.

The winner, a Florida-bred son of Mister Frisky owned by Carol Dender, had won only a maiden race at Monmouth in seven starts and hadn't run in a stakes before the Hutcheson. His earnings jumped from $26,965 to $86,965.

He is nominated to the Florida Derby on March 15 and the Fountain of Youth stakes on April 22.

Yesterday's two other major stakes were both at Santa Anita.

Argentine-bred Gentlemen won his fifth straight, defeating the Breeders' Cup Classic victor Alphabet Soup by three-quarters of a length in the $300,000 San Antonio Handicap. And Victory Speech won the $500,000 Strub Stakes.

Pub Date: 2/03/97

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