All signs go for Royal Anthem Lameness disappears, but Subordination out

November 04, 1998|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Royal Anthem, the probable favorite in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf, spent 20 minutes on the Churchill Downs track yesterday testing his new front shoes.

He showed no sign of the lameness that threatened to knock him out of Saturday's race. Dr. Alex Harthill, a veterinarian, said the problem was a separation of the frog -- a V-shaped structure on the undersurface of the hoof -- from the rest of the hoof and not a shoe nail, as suspected.

"We're all smiles," Harthill said.

The track was not as kind to Subordination, one of America's best hopes in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Mile. The 4-year-old colt trained by Gary Sciacca broke both sesamoid bones in his left ankle while galloping on the turf.

Dr. Larry Bramlage said the injury didn't appear to be life-threatening, but Subordination's racing career is over. The Mt. Livermore colt won $1.2 million and 11 of 21 races.

"I'm disappointed that Subordination won't get his shot because I think he probably would have won," said Sciacca, based at Belmont Park. "But I'm a lot happier that he's alive."

Two other horses were withdrawn from Breeders' Cup races: Elusive Quality from the Sprint because of a fever, and Skybound from the Turf because of a strained ankle. Skybound was to have assured a lively pace for his stablemate Chief Bearhart, last year's Turf winner.

'Skip's' Hine confident

Skip Away arrived yesterday morning after an uneventful van ride from Belmont Park. His trainer, Sonny Hine, promptly expressed confidence.

"He's on top of his game from what I can tell," Hine said. "I have no reason to believe he won't take these horses. I didn't come here to get beat. I came here to show the world how great he is."

Bob Baffert, trainer of Silver Charm, Skip Away's No. 1 challenger in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic, said he'd feel a whole lot better if Gentlemen was in the race. Gentlemen's connections are still undecided about whether to run in the Classic or the Mile.

"Somebody has to keep Skip Away from getting an easy lead," Baffert said. "Coronado's Quest can't go toe-to-toe with him. He did it before [in the Woodward Stakes] and couldn't take it. Skip Away just pours it on that second quarter. He'll chew up a horse like Coronado's Quest.

"It takes a horse like Gentlemen to run with him because you have to go a good mile with him to soften him up."

From Belmont Park, Shug McGaughey, trainer of Coronado's Quest, said the 3-year-old probably won't duel for the lead, anyway.

"We know he doesn't want to run head-and-head with anyone," McGaughey said. "He'll probably sit back off them a little bit."

Miscellaneous

Edgar Prado has secured a Breeders' Cup mount (his fourth) -- Aly's Alley in the $1 million Juvenile. The colt's trainer, John J. Tammaro, sponsored Prado when he first arrived from Peru. Prado also will ride Bursting Forth, the H. Graham Motion-trained filly, in the Cardinal Stakes, one of three stakes on the Breeders' Cup undercard.

Arch, one of three 3-year-olds in the Classic, breezed a half-mile in 47 2/5 seconds and galloped out five furlongs in 1 minute, 1 second over a track muddied by overnight rain. His trainer, Frank Brothers, was delighted.

"When a 3-year-old gets good and you don't know how good they are, they can do some freaky things," Brothers said. "The others have showed their hands, and they're outstanding. But this horse is a comer "

Pub Date: 11/04/98

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