Futurity win puts Millions in fast company Predecessors have enjoyed Triple Crown success

November 01, 1998|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The race has been a Triple Crown steppingstone for the likes of Riva Ridge, Secretariat, Affirmed and Spectacular Bid. And Captain Bodgit first made his impact known in the Grade III $100,000 Laurel Futurity two years ago.

So, Millions joined some pretty important company yesterday, when he coasted past five other 2-year-olds at Laurel Park.

The 1-to-5 favorite -- nominated for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile race -- was never seriously challenged in his third straight victory, completing the 1 1/8 miles in 1 minute, 51 2/5 seconds.

"He's a very nice horse," said winning rider Edgar Prado. "He broke right on top and did it pretty easily. Mark [Johnston] came up outside [on Blazing Colors], and I just let it out another notch.

"He was looking around for competition, I think. When I turned him loose, he didn't know which lead to put in front."

Owned by Clayton Peters and trainer Leon Blusiewicz, Millions was a late foal who didn't start racing until August.

"Leon's made a lot of sacrifices for this horse," said Peters. "He's managed this horse beautifully. He'll be a better 3-year-old than a 2-year-old. He still needs time to develop."

The race itself went pretty predictably. Prado kept Millions just off a moderate pace set by Raire Standard, eased in at the top of the stretch and pulled away.

Raire Standard hung on by a neck for the place over More Better.

Prado, who will ride Aly's Alley for trainer John Tammaro in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, said Millions acted "like a professional."

The gray son of Dehere was purchased at the Keeneland sales for $34,000. He trains at Pimlico.

"I liked him right from the beginning, when I saw his breeding in my catalog," Blusiewicz said. "He has so much natural ability. He took a big step carrying 122 pounds today. That's unheard of for 2-year-olds at this time of year."

Millions is scheduled next for the Remsen, a 1 1/8 -mile test at Aqueduct Nov. 28.

"Then, it'll be either The Fairgrounds or Hialeah," said the trainer. "I haven't mapped out what sort of campaign we'll try for his 3-year-old campaign. But he's the best 2-year-old I've ever had."

One anonymous player padded his bankroll by contributing mightily to $43,334 wagered on the favorite in a $46,057 show pool. He paid the minimum $2.10 to show.

NOTES: Laurel will hold a live card on Tuesday, Election Day, a departure from its normal schedule. No live racing is slated Wednesday, although there will be simulcasting. Post time Tuesday is 12: 35 p.m. A free seminar featuring Daily Racing Form linemaker Mike Watchmaker was held in the clubhouse yesterday. The topic was the $12 million Breeders' Cup card next Saturday. Watchmaker offered a race-by-race analysis. Traitor, the colt who nearly carried Maryland trainer Mary Eppler into the Kentucky Derby, has been retired to Margaux Farm in Midway, Ky. Stabled at Pimlico, Eppler tried unsuccessfully to nurse Traitor back to the races after injuries sidelined him last year. The 4-year-old son of Cryptoclearance will stand for $6,000 live foal.

Pub Date: 11/01/98

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