Vance, Dance make usual late charge

ON HORSE RACING

Horse Racing

June 04, 2000|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Here they come again, Jinny Vance and Laddie Dance with a late-developing Belmont Stakes contender in the care of Scotty Schulhofer, their Hall of Fame trainer.

The Vance-Dance-owned Postponed captured the Peter Pan Stakes last Saturday at Belmont Park under a spectacular ride by the former Maryland jockey Edgar Prado. Now, Postponed, the most expensive horse Vance and Dance have owned ($835,000 as a yearling), will race Saturday in the Belmont, the final leg of the Triple Crown.

This is familiar territory for the Belmont-based Schulhofer. He won the Belmont in 1993 with Colonial Affair and last year with Lemon Drop Kid after running both horses in the Peter Pan. Vance and Dance, who own Taylor's Purchase Farm in Sparks, also campaign Lemon Drop Kid.

The couple usually attends their horse's races, but last Saturday when Postponed ran in the Peter Pan, Dance was a patient at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He had been admitted two days earlier with fluid in his lungs.

Vance remained at home in Sparks, listening to the race call on her computer. She held her telephone next to the speaker so that Dance, grasping his phone in the hospital, could follow the progress of their game little colt.

A couple of hours later they watched a race replay on ESPN2. Dance was released the next day.

"That was unbelievable," Vance said of Prado's winning ride. "It was a brilliant move, absolutely brilliant."

Postponed broke sharply in the 1 1/8 -mile. one-turn race, but Prado took him back to last. As his horse accelerated around the turn, Prado surveyed the landscape and saw five horses spread across the track. He could have swung wide, but he chose to stay inside.

When a tiny hole opened along the rail, Prado jerked Postponed toward it. The horse squeezed through and then surging to a three-quarter-length victory over even-money favorite Unshaded.

That sort of daring move by Prado, who lives in Howard County, was what Vance and Dance had in mind last month when, along with Schulhofer, they replaced their longtime jockey, Jose Santos, with the younger, more aggressive Prado.

"It was above and beyond what we'd hoped for," Vance said.

Prado downplayed the effort, calling it "just another ride."

For Prado, 32, the win with Postponed was the 3,999th of his stellar career. He won his 4,000th the next day with Thunder Breeze in Belmont's second race. Prado became the 41st jockey to reach that milestone.

He thanked trainers who supported him 14 years ago when he emigrated from Peru: Manny Azpurua, John Tammaro, Robert Klesaris and Vinnie Blengs. He also thanked Steve Rushing, his longtime agent until early this year, and Maryland's racing fans.

Schulhofer said Prado and the Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey are the top two riders in New York.

"Edgar rode him picture perfect," Schulhofer said. "He knows where to be at the right time."

With Prado in the saddle again, Postponed will apparently face a large field in the Belmont. After the owner and trainer of Red Bullet, the Preakness winner, decided to skip the race, the connections of several other horses stepped forward.

Neil Drysdale, trainer of the Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pagasus, has yet to commit his horse to the Belmont.

Directory assistance

Former local trainer John DiNatale, jockey agent Simon Purdy and computer guru John Whales have created a horseman's directory on the Internet.

Internationalhorse.com features information about 120 Maryland and Delaware trainers, and that number is growing steadily, said DiNatale, vice president of sales for the site.

DiNatale quit training to work full time for Internationalhorse.com, which he and his fellow Marylanders conceived of one year ago and launched two months ago. DiNatale sells space on the site to trainers, veterinarians and others seeking the exposure.

DiNatale said Purdy, who books mounts for Larry Reynolds, came up with the idea last year when he couldn't find information about trainers on the Internet. DiNatale said they will soon add trainers from across the country.

For information, call DiNatale at 410-526-5715.

`Compelling' story goes on

In her third race after unexpectedly delivering a foal Jan. 30 in her stall at Philadelphia Park, 3-year-old Speak Compelling won a $6,000 maiden-claiming race May 13 at Garden State Park by 11 1/2 lengths. The race was a mile on dirt. Then, racing a mile on turf May 23 at Atlantic City, Speak Compelling finished second by a neck.

Her owners. Lynda and Bill Gallagher still don't know who impregnated their Maryland-bred filly, and her baby still resides at a Pennsylvania farm for orphan foals. But they're delighted that Speak Compelling has finally found the winner's circle.

"At least she's shown what she was bred and trained to do," Lynda Gallagher said.

Looking at medication

Tim Capps, executive vice president of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, is forming a committee to explore the issue of medication in 2-year-olds sold at auction at Timonium.

The committee will comprise board members of the MHBA and Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, the Fasig-Tipton sales company, consignors and veterinarians, Capps said.

Thomas F. Lomangino Jr., the racing-commission chemist, will sit in as an advisor.

Capps said that he doesn't believe the use of drugs in 2-year-olds is a widespread problem, but that it is an issue worth investigating.

Belmont field

Expected

Horse..................Last race

Appearing Now........2nd Belm. allow.

Aptitude..............2nd Ky. Derby

Chief Seattle.........2nd Breed. Juv.

Curule.................7th Ky. Derby

F. Pegasus............2nd Preakness

Globalize..............3rd Peter Pan

Impeachment.........3rd Preakness

Postponed.............1st Peter Pan

Tahkodha Hills........4th Peter Pan

Wheelaway............5th Ky. Derby

Possible

Commendable..........17th Ky. Derby

Scottish Halo..........6th Peter Pan

Unshaded..............2nd Peter Pan

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