Lukas Ends 16-year Derby Streak

Trainer Won't Have Entry For First Time Since '80

April 22, 1997|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

For the first time since 1980, trainer D. Wayne Lukas won't have an entry in the Kentucky Derby.

Lukas, who has won the last two Derbys and seven of the last eight Triple Crown races, said yesterday he will be just a spectator for the 123rd Kentucky Derby on May 3.

"It serves no purpose for me to try and be in the race. I think there are times in a trainer's life -- mine included -- when I wanted to be in the race. That's long past. I've been in 16 of them," he said.

Lukas nominated 23 3-year-olds for the Derby. His top contender, juvenile champion Boston Harbor, broke his left foreleg in February, dropping him out of the Derby picture.

His highly regarded filly, Sharp Cat, finished sixth out of 10 contenders in the Santa Anita Derby, her first race against the boys.

His final hope, Deeds Not Words, finished a disappointing third in the Lexington Stakes on Sunday at Keeneland.

Miss Slewpy dead

The popular mare Miss Slewpy died Friday of laminitis, apparently the result of a perforated rectum that occurred during a routine examination.

Russell Jones, general manager of Morven Stud Farm in Charlottesville, Va., bought the 6-year-old Miss Slewpy in February from C. Oliver Goldsmith, a longtime Maryland horse breeder and owner. Morven Stud planned to race and then breed the mare.

But as Miss Slewpy was being examined by a veterinarian, Jones said, she struggled, causing the doctor to perforate the top of her rectum. She became ill, was treated at New Bolton Center in Pennsylvania and recovered temporarily. But she recently became sick again, Jones said, and was transported again to New Bolton Center, where she died.

"We're just heartsick," Jones said. "Nobody's suing anybody. Nobody's mad at anybody. It's just one of those freak accidents that happen. Here was the most beautiful, healthy mare you've ever seen in your life. And now she's gone. It's hard to understand, isn't it?"

Trained by Ron Cartwright and ridden by Larry Reynolds, Miss Slewpy won 14 of 26 races, earning $535,863. She finished worse than third only four times.

Traitor's running again

Instead of sending Traitor to her farm for a couple of weeks' rest as planned, trainer Mary Eppler has decided to start the Alfred G. Vanderbilt colt tomorrow in a one-mile allowance race at Aqueduct.

Eppler said as soon as she reduced Traitor's training two weeks ago, he began "screaming for more food and more training." He had not been eating well, and Eppler feared his rigorous training leading to the Kentucky Derby was taking its toll.

On April 5, she said Traitor would not run in any Triple Crown race. But yesterday, Eppler said: "We'll see how he runs [tomorrow] and comes out. Then we'll go from there."

No Preakness for `Glacken'

Smoke Glacken's second-place finish Saturday in the 1 1/16-mile Lexington Stakes at Keeneland eliminated any chance of the Maryland-bred son of Two Punch running in the Preakness. Trainer Henry Carroll said yesterday the colt's next start will probably be May 23 in the Jersey Derby, a 1 1/16-mile race on turf at Garden State Park.

Pub Date: 4/22/97

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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