Postponed's trainer putting off high hopes

Horse's training is fine, but Schulhofer ponders a much weightier issue

Notebook

June 08, 2000|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

ELMONT, N.Y. - Scotty Schulhofer, the Hall of Fame trainer of Postponed, has already won two Belmonts: 1993 with Colonial Affair and last year with Lemon Drop Kid. Both times, the trainer said yesterday, he was more confident than he is about Postponed's chances in Saturday's race.

Postponed is training better than ever, he said. And the small son of Summer Squall should relish the Belmont's 1 1/2 miles, he said. But weight, Schulhofer said, could be a problem.

When Postponed won the Peter Pan Stakes two weeks ago, he carried 113 pounds. For the Belmont, he'll have to pick up 13 more to match the other entrants' 126 pounds.

A former steeplechase jockey, Schulhofer said he used to ride horses who could successfully carry 145 pounds, but not 146.

"Every horse has his breaking point with weight," Schulhofer said.

He said he doesn't know Postponed's breaking point. But at the Belmont distance, the extra pounds on the light-framed colt could take its toll.

"He's going to have to step up some," Schulhofer said. "But I think he's got as good a chance as any of them."

Edgar Prado, Postponed's jockey, said weight is not a concern if a horse has carried it all year. Postponed has never carried more than 123 pounds.

"The distance is no problem," Prado said. "The only problem could be carrying the weight, especially later on in the race."

Grounded in reality

One trainer who is not saying his horse has as good a chance as anyone is D. Wayne Lukas. His Commendable, 17th in the Kentucky Derby, will seek his first victory in the Belmont after six straight races finishing no better than fourth.

"I have no grandiose ideas," Lukas said. "We'll stick him in there, and I'm going to enjoy the day."

Big-money chance

The connections of long shot Tahkodha Hills stand to win big if their Calder-based colt shocks the racing world and wins the Belmont.

The modestly bred son of Prospector's Halo will earn a $1 million bonus from Lone Star Park for winning the Lone Star Derby on April 22 and a Triple Crown race.

The bonus would be divided $750,000 to the owner, Centaur Farms, and $250,000 to the trainer, Ralph Ziadie.

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