Harlan's Holiday's line wavers, but not faith of his trainer

McPeek says favorite `has a whole lot left'

`Medaglia' cough clears


May 04, 2002|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Ken McPeek, trainer of Harlan's Holiday, doesn't care that the morning line on his colt (9-2) is apparently the highestever for a Derby favorite. He doesn't care that many say Harlan's Holiday, despite never having run a bad race, isn't good enough, isn't fast enough to win the Kentucky Derby.

By winning the Florida Derby and the Blue Grass Stakes, two of the premier Derby preps, has Harlan's Holiday peaked too soon?

"I've got a whole lot of horse left, in my view," McPeek said. "We're real confident."

`Medaglia' cough dismissed

Bobby Frankel, trainer of Medaglia d'Oro, says that his colt has shown no ill effects from a coughing spell Monday after his six-furling breeze at Churchill Downs.

"He coughed on me four or five times following the work," the trainer said. "I've got several in my barn coughing. It's all over the track. ... He hasn't coughed again. Something like this isn't unusual, and the main thing is the horse is just fine."

`Amiga' captures Oaks

The 20-1 long shot Farda Amiga upset Take Charge Lady and You in the Grade I $562,100 Kentucky Oaks. The Broad Brush filly charged from seventh to win the 1 1/8 -mile race by 1 1/4 lengths in 1 minute, 50.41 seconds.

Take Charge Lady, the 8-5 favorite, finished second after leading until deep stretch. Habibti claimed third, and You, the 2-1 second choice, finished fourth.

Chris McCarron, who rode Farda Amiga for the Brazilian trainer Paulo Lobo, also rides Came Home in the Derby. Asked about chances for an Oaks-Derby double, McCarron said: "This colt is training super. The obvious question, whether he can get the distance or not, I can't answer. He's going to have to answer that question."

Spain reigns

The 5-year-old Spain became the richest North American distaffer in history yesterday after earning $207,204 for winning the $334,200 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap at Churchill Downs. Her career earnings of $3,304,244 surpassed the $3,283,388 compiled by Serena's Song, whose election into racing's Hall of Fame was announced Tuesday.

Spain won the Grade II 1 1/16-mile race by 1 1/4 lengths in 1 minute, 43.93 seconds. As the 3-1 second choice, she paid $8 to win. Mystic Lady and De Bertie finished second and third.

D. Wayne Lukas-trained Serena's Song and trains Spain for The Thoroughbred Corp. "I have a soft spot for both of them," Lukas said.

Stakes roundup

In other stakes at Churchill Downs, the Jerry Bailey-ridden Testify rallied eight-wide to capture the Grade III $121,300 Aegon Turf Sprint, the Edgar Prado-ridden Legislator won the Grade III $116,300 Crown Royal American Turf, and the Bailey-ridden Maliziosa prevailed in the $100,000 Edgewood Stakes. Like Farda Amiga, all three winners charged from far back.

A crowd despite security

According to Churchill Downs, 101,971 attended Oaks Days, its third-largest crowd despite increased security measures that some feared would keep patrons away.

About 150,000 are expected for the Derby.

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