By John Manley
Hanuman Highway didn’t make any history when he ran seventh in the Kentucky Derby last month, but the Irish-bred will try to play the spoiler in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes by derailing Real Quiet’s attempt to become the 12th thoroughbred to win racing’s Triple Crown.
The colt offered a little bit of a run down the Churchill Downs backside, but had no response when Real Quiet swept past on the outside. Trainer Kathy Walsh later reported that Hanuman Highway came out of the race with some heat in one of his hooves, a condition that also caused her to scratch him from the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont a couple weeks ago. If he can run back to his second-place finish in the Arkansas Derby, he could be a tough customer for Real Quiet. Hanuman Highway, a son of Alzao, was foaled at the Forenaghts Stud in Naas, Co. Kildare.
Yarrow Br’ skipped the Kentucky Derby and waited, instead, for the Illinois Derby, which he won a week later. Owned by the partnership of Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor, Yarrow Br’ appears to be coming to hand at the right time. His trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, has trained multiple winners of this race. Yarrow Br”s sire, Deputy Minister, was responsible for Touch Gold, who nipped Silver Charm in last year’s Belmont.
Another entrant of some interest is Hot Wells. He is the most productive progeny of Go and Go, who put Dermot Weld and Michael Kinane in the winner’s circle after the 1990 Belmont. Hot Wells was off the board at the Preakness Stakes.
McCarthy rolls a perfect six
Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter
Jockey Michael McCarthy enjoyed a dream day at Delaware Park recently when he won with all six of his mounts. The grandson of Galway immigrants, McCarthy also won six races on a card at Delaware last November, but from more than six mounts. McCarthy, who has opened up a lengthy lead in the Delaware jockeys’ race, was also named male athlete of the year in that state for 1997.
Meanwhile, the closing of Chicago’s Arlington oval forced Noel Hickey to seek greener courses for his heavily turf-bred stable, which won’t find a blade of grass to run on in the Windy City until Hawthorne opens in late June. The Corkman has, thus, moved his charges eastward, where they won two stakes over the Memorial Day weekend.
Buck’s Boy was victorious in the $75,000 Riggs Handicap at Pimlico as the 2-5 favorite under Edgar Prado. The winner, fourth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf, got the 12 furlongs over sod in 2:28.1. At Delaware Park, My Own Lovely Lee won the $46,100 Rosenna Stakes by a neck, with Brent Bartram urging her on. The mare paid $10.80 to win and boosted her career earnings to $423,352. Back in Chitown, Hickey settled for the runner-up spot in the $200,000 National Jockey Club Handicap at Sportsman’s. Bucks Nephew, winner of this race in 1997, was two lengths to the rear of Polar Expedition at the wire. All three horses were bred by Hickey.