Derby shutout no deterrent for 2-year-olds' connections

Ignoring history, owners, trainers pre-entered 19

Breeders' Cup notebook

November 04, 1999|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

HALLANDALE, Fla. -- No 2-year-old who has won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile has won the Kentucky Derby the next year at 3. But that hasn't stopped owners and trainers from trying.

The connections of 19 2-year-old colts and geldings pre-entered their promising stars in this year's Juvenile. Only 14 got in. One who didn't was Postponed, the Summer Squall colt owned by Jinny Vance and Laddie Dance. Owners of a horse farm in Baltimore County, they also own Lemon Drop Kid.

Postponed will run in a stakes here Sunday instead. Considering the record of Juvenile winners in the following year's spring classics, perhaps that will prove to be a blessing.

"We're going to have fun next year," said Scotty Schulhofer, who trains the Vance-Dance horses. "This horse [Postponed] is farther along than Lemon Drop Kid was at this point in his career."

Postponed didn't crack the 14-horse Juvenile field because he has raced only twice, winning one race and finishing second in the other.

The late-running Greenwood Lake didn't make it because his trainer, Nick Zito, kept him home in New York. Always focused on the Kentucky Derby, Zito said he would rather win the 2000 Derby than the 1999 Juvenile.

D. Wayne Lukas would be happy winning both. Of his two in the Juvenile (Millencolin and High Yield), he said High Yield is by far his stronger entrant.

Asked whether it was too early to assess this year's crop of 2-year-olds, Lukas said: "Yes, it really is too early, but I'll do it anyway. I think it's a hell of a bunch. I think I've got some horses I haven't even run yet who are as good as anything I've seen so far."

On the West Coast, the juvenile stars of 1999 are Forest Camp and Dixie Union. Trained by Bob Baffert, Forest Camp has won two of three. Baffert said he's the "fastest 2-year-old I've ever trained."

Still, Dixie Union, trained by Richard Mandella, ran down Forest Camp in their last meeting at Santa Anita. Mike Pegram, the prominent owner, said Dixie Union has "the heart of a champion."

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