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Trainer, on the mend, aimsat consecutive Travers wins

By BRANT JAMES

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 24, 2000


Scotty Schulhofer knows now how his horses feel. A few months after triple-bypass heart surgery, the 74-year-old Hall of Fame trainer has hired a personal trainer for his convalescence.

Schulhofer can only hope his trainer is as successful as he has been at the Travers Stakes, which he will attempt to win in consecutive years Saturday at Saratoga.

Schulhofer will saddle Postponed for owner Jeanne Vance, a year after winning the "Midsummer Derby" for 3-year-olds with Lemon Drop Kid, which Vance also owns.

The last trainer to win consecutive Travers was Shug McGaughey in 1989 (Easy Goer) and 1990 (Rhythm).

Postponed, who finished second in the Grade II Peter Pan May 27 at Belmont Park, will be ridden by Edgar Prado with Albert the Great, Commendable, Country Coast, Curule, Dixie Union, Impeachment, Milwaukee Brew, and Unshaded in the $1-million, Grade I field over 11/4 miles.

Schulhofer's quest becomes one of the more interesting story lines with the absence of Kentucky Derby-winner Fusaichi Pegasus and Preakness-winner Red Bullet. Fusaichi Pegasus recently resumed training after a foot injury, and Red Bullet was withdrawn on Friday because the colt is recovering from a viral infection that caused him to skip the Haskell Aug. 6 at Monmouth.

"The Travers could have used a big name," Red Bullet trainer Joe Orseno said.

MEETING ADJOURNED: Excellent Meeting, John and Betty Mabee's $1-million winning filly, was retired last week and moved to their Golden Eagle Farm near Ramona, Calif.

The 4-year-old won eight of her 20 races -- four Grade I's -- and earned $1,402,396. She was fifth in the Grade II Clement L. Hirsch Handicap on Aug. 12 at Del Mar.

Excellent Meeting, a General Meeting filly out of Fitted Crown, placed in seven stakes, including the 1998 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (a second).

STORM WARNING: Torrid Storm (Hip No. 479), a colt by Storm Creek, brought $47,000 to top the first open session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company August Yearling Sale on Tuesday.

For the session, 212 yearlings brought $2,269,900. Last year, 232 yearlings grossed $2,535,200. The buy-back percentage was 25.3 percent, a decrease from last summer's 26.3.

W.P. Stiritz was the session's leading buyer, purchasing seven yearlings for $81,200. Rancho Real, Inc., was next with four for $79,000.

The open sale continues through Friday.

TO SELL A MOCKINGBIRD: Music's Storm, the last yearling from the final Mockingbird Yearling consignment, produced the highest yearling sale price in the Ocala Breeders' history on Tuesday.

Hip No. 308, a Storm Creek colt out of Where Music Is, sold for $335,000 to Aaron and Marie Jones.

The Mockingbird consignment grossed $3,202,500 but was not counted as part of the select or open sales.

SELECT SALE: A colt by Mecke brought $225,000 to top the Ocala Selected Yearling Sale, where 120 horses sold for $5,009,500. The buy-back percentage rose to 31.8 percent from last year's 25 percent.

NTRA POLL: Lemon Drop Kid remained atop the weekly National Thoroughbred Racing Association poll as the top three spots were unchanged. The son of Kingmambo, who most recently won the Whitney Handicap, has four wins and a third in six starts this year and is the favorite for the Breeders' Cup Classic Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.

Heritage of Gold (wins in all five starts this year) was second, followed by Golden Missile (5-2-2-0). Heritage of Gold, purchased in April 1997, is the Ocala Breeders' most successful graduate this year.

- Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

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