HALLANDALE, Fla. -- Once again, as the big race approaches, the connections of Lemon Drop Kid look to the sky for salvation.
Jinny Vance and Laddie Dance, who own the 3-year-old colt, watched their contender in the Breeders' Cup Classic breeze five furlongs in the mud Sunday at Gulfstream Park. His time, a respectable 1 minute 1/5 of a second, belied the fact that he loathes running in the slop.
Vance and Dance own Taylor's Purchase Farm in Sparks. They've moved into their South Florida home for the winter and begun their daily visits to Lemon Drop, as they call him, as he nears the toughest assignment of his 14-race career.
He has defeated 3-year-olds in the Belmont and Travers, but for him to defeat older horses, such as Behrens and River Keen, he will need things his way. And his way is a dry track.
"We've been hitting it every other," Dance said, meaning that every other race since May has been in the mud. "We hope this is our `other.' "
It didn't rain yesterday, but rain was forecast overnight, today and tomorrow. Later in the week is supposed to be dry.
Vance and Dance hope to run their promising 2-year-old colt Postponed in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He has raced only twice, winning his debut and then finishing second after stumbling out of the gate.
For him to get into the race, one more of the 14 entrants must drop out before tomorrow's post-position draw. Nick Zito withdrew Greenwood Lake, letting Personal First, the first "also-eligible," into the race. Postponed is next on the extras list.
Michael Dickinson plans to arrive Thursday night with Supreme Sound, his long-shot entrant in the Classic. Owner of Tapeta Farm in North East, Dickinson trained two-time Breeders' Cup Mile winner Da Hoss.
Dickinson said Da Hoss' owners have taken the horse to their farm in Kentucky. "Da Hoss is probably retired," Dickinson said.
Prado will be busy
Edgar Prado, Maryland's star jockey before relocating to New York this summer, is due in Friday. He has several Breeders' Cup mounts, including Tap to Music in the Distaff, Successful Appeal in the Sprint, Chief Seattle in the Juvenile and Catienus in the Classic.