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Tuesday, June 1, 2004



BOOKIES EASE YEATS AS NEGATIVE RUMOURS CIRCULATE




Coral today eased Yeats to 7-2 from 5-2 favouritism for the Derby as negative rumours continue to circulate about his well being ahead of Saturday's Classic. Coral now make Snow Ridge 5-2 favourite from 3-1, and also cut North Light to 3-1 from 10-3.


**Vodafone Derby (NR no bet)
5-2 Snow Ridge, 3-1 North Light, 7-2 Yeats, 8-1 Salford City, American Post, 10-1 Percussionist, 12-1 Rule Of Law, 14-1 Let The Lion Roar, 33-1 Meath, Elshadi, Gatwick, 40-1 Hazyview, 50-1 Pukka, 66-1 Moscow Ballet, 100-1 Massif Centrale, Coming Again

**Vodafone Oaks (NR no bet)
9-4 Punctilious, 11-4 Sundrop, 9-2 Ouija Board, 5-1 All Too Beautiful, 8-1 Hathrah, 12-1 Baraka, Necklace, 25-1 Menhoubah, Crystal, Green Swallow, Last Love, 40-1 Kisses For Me, Australie, Bowstring, 50-1 Kisses For Me

**Belmont Stakes
1-3 Smarty Jones, 5-1 Rock Hard Ten, 8-1 Eddington, Purge, 20-1 Birdstone, 25-1 Royal Assault, 33-1 Caiman, Tap Dancer

**St James's Palace Stakes
11-4 Haafhd, 5-1 Azamour, Bachelor Duke, 7-1 Antonius Pius, Bago, Whipper, 8-1 One Cool Cat, 10-1 Brunel, Diamond Green, 14-1 Pearl Of Love

**Queen Anne Stakes
9-4 Russian Rhythm, 7-2 Six Perfections, 10-1 Norse Dancer, Salselon, Soviet Song, 12-1 Nayyir, New Seeker, 14-1 Firebreak, 16-1 Refuse To Bend, Hurricane Allen, 20-1 Gateman, 25-1 Just James, La Vie Dei Colori, 33-1 Mister Links, Tillerman,

**Prince Of Wales' Stakes
3-1 Rakti, 5-1 Powerscourt, 10-1 Nebraska Tornado, Kalaman, 12-1 Alkaadhem, Magistretti, Phoenix Reach, 14-1 Bandari, Kaieteur, Vespone, 16-1 Lateen Sails, Leporello, 20-1 Chancellor, Ikhtyar

**Ascot Gold Cup
3-1 Mr Dinos, 9-2 Papineau, Vinnie Roe, 6-1 Westerner, 10-1 Millenary, Alcazar, 20-1 Delsarte, Darasim, Shanty Star, 25-1 Dusky Warbler, Misternando, Royal Rebel, Sun Bird, Savannah Bay
**Golden Jubilee Stakes
11-2 Attraction, 6-1 Exceed And Excel, 8-1 Monsieur Bond, 10-1 Avonbridge, Patavellian, Frizzante, 12-1 Airwave, 14-1 Balmont, 16-1 Arakan, Somnus, Crystal Castle, Mister Links, Trade Fair, 20-1 Howick Falls, Peak To Creek, Soaring Free, Steenberg, Three Valleys, 25-1 Ashdown Express, Byron, Carry On Katie, Fayr Jag, Kheleyf, Polar Way, Royal Millennium

**Royal Hunt Cup
10-1 Autumn Glory, Blue Spinnaker, Polar Bear, Putra Kuantan, 12-1 Mine, Vortex, 14-1 Fremen, 16-1 Anchor, Camp Commander, El Coto, New Seeker, Zero Tolerance, 20-1 Able Baker Charlie, Flowerdrum, Impeller, Kings County, Maksad, Norton, Pablo, Pentecost, Quito, Royal Guard, Thihn, Wing Commander, 25-1 Alkaadhem, Alrafid, Amandus, Audience, Chinkara, Evolving Tactics, Finished Article, Heretic, Millafonic, Naahy, Obrigado, Selective,
Serieux, St Petersburg, 28-1 Bar

**Wokingham
10-1 Prince Aaron, 14-1 Greenslades, 16-1 Corridor Creeper, Fannys Fancy, High Reach, Moayed, Pic Up Sticks, Royal Guard, So Will I, 20-1 Alderney Race, Dazzling Bay, Enchanted, Fire Up The Band, Fruit Of Glory, Hits Only Money, Maksad, Master Robbie, Mazepa, Mister Links, Ringmoor Down, Royal Storm, The Kiddykid, Whitbarrow, 25-1 Bond Boy, Bonne De Fleur, Boston Lodge, Ellens Academy, Halmahera, Lafi, Manaar, Matty Tun, Royal Millenium, Texas Gold, Tom Tun, Traytonic, Tychy, Watching, Zilch, 33-1 Bar

**King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes
4-1 Sulamani, 7-1 Yeats, 8-1 Doyen, 10-1 Snow Ridge, North Light, 12-1 Polish Summer, Powerscourt, 16-1 American Post, Brian Boru, Millenary, Scotts View, Hard Buck, Phoenix Reach, 20-1 Epalo, Salford City, 25-1 Warrsan, 33-1 Fair Mix, Magritte



TEN HEADED TO BELMONT FOR GRADE I MEADOW BROOK




The bear will stay in the barn, meaning Thursday's Steeplechase Triple Crown finale at Belmont Park is wide open. A case can be made for several of the 10 entrants in the $100,000 Meadow Brook Stakes (Gr. I), which will be the first race on Thursday with a 1 p.m. post time.


Heavily favored Hirapour, a Grade I winner vs. open company in April, was not entered due to a respiratory problem, leaving Sur La Tete and Serazzo as the main contenders in the 2 1/2-mile, 12-hurdle race for novice steeplechasers. The Steeplechase Triple Crown began in April with the $100,000 Georgia Cup in Atlanta and continued May 15 with the $100,000 National Hunt Cup in Radnor, Pa.


Sur La Tete dominated the first leg, with a powerful 11-length score for Virginia-based Kinross Farm and trainer Neil Morris. Racey Dreamer took the second leg over Serazzo and Sur La Tete, but like Hirapour won't make the Belmont race for trainer Doug Fout. Racey Dreamer was going to skip Belmont in favor of a summer campaign at Saratoga, but Hirapour was pointing for the Meadow Brook late last week.


"I've been having a bad respiratory problem with him," said Fout Tuesday. "We blew him out the other day and he still had a little mucous after the work. I don't want to take a chance on him not being 110 percent."

Hirapour, who won the Grade I Royal Chase at Keeneland and leads all U.S. jumpers in 2004 earnings, will get the summer off and point for the rich Grade I stakes in the fall and a possible Eclipse Award for owner Eldon Farm.


Sur La Tete and Serazzo came to steeplechasing via different routes, but both were destined for big things on the flat.

The former, bred in Kentucky by Rutledge Farm, is a son of Sky Classic and was being trained for a flat career before proving too difficult to ride and train. Kinross purchased the languishing gelding as a 3-year-old in 2001, and embarked on a new career as a jumper -- which thus far has included three wins in eight starts and $147,500 in earnings.


Serazzo, an 8-year-old son of Kris S and Peruvian champion La Chaposa, brought even more to the flat game. His full-brother You And I was a Grade I winner (the 1995 Metropolitan Mile) and $700,000 earner before embarking on a solid stallion career (he's the sire of You among others) while half-sister Chaposa Springs also is a Grade I flat winner. Owned by Martin Cherry, Serazzo won five races and nearly $200,000 on the flat with trainer John Kimmel before being sent to Maryland-based trainer Tom Voss for a go at steeplechasing.


"The horse had reached his level," said Cherry of his first steeplechaser. "He had gone through all of his conditions, he had run in the Maker's Mark Mile and some of the other big races and he was just a little short of those horses. I got tired of seeing him take a beating."

Serazzo delivers beatings now. He won his first two hurdle starts last fall, cruised in a flat race for jumpers at Atlantic City and added a Grade I stakes-placing to his past-performance line with the runner-up effort at Radnor. Like Sur La Tete, Serazzo should appreciate the Meadow Brook's 2 1/2-mile distance and a repeat effort will have him on the board.


At Radnor, Serazzo raced close to the pace throughout and drew even with Racey Dreamer in the stretch before coming up three-quarters of a length short. Sur La Tete rated farther off the pace, reached contention on the far turn but was no match for the top two while finishing 3 1/2 lengths behind Serazzo.


Other contenders in the field include the late-running Cherokeeinthehills, who was second at Atlanta and fifth at Radnor for Marilyn Ketts and trainer Jonathan Sheppard. Once a stakes horse on the flat, the 7-year-old will benefit if a speed duel develops on the front. Whitewood Farm's Mauritania was third at Atlanta and fourth at Radnor for Virginia-based trainer Richard Valentine. The 7-year-old son of Trempolino won four races last year and could be the likely pacesetter.


Barracuda Stable's Naughty Prince fell at the first fence at Radnor, but proved his ability with two wins, a second and a third last year for trainer Ricky Hendriks. The 5-year-old son of Rakeen also looks like a potential pacesetter. Newcomers to the series include Udeman, a late-running maiden winner in early May, Foretold, who's 2-for-3 in his first jumping season for Sheppard and owner Bjorn Nielsen and recent allowance winner Jonstar.


The entries, in post-position order (with trainer and jockey): Naughty Prince (Ricky Hendriks, David Bentley); Udeman (Bruce Miller, Chip Miller); South By Gosh (Bruce Haynes, Tom Foley); Cherokeeinthehills (Jonathan Sheppard, Danielle Hodsdon); Sur La Tete (Neil Morris, Chris Read); Foretold (Jonathan Sheppard, Matt McCarron); Preferred Guest (Jack Fisher, Paddy Young); Serazzo (Tom Voss, Cyril Murphy); Mauritania (Richard Valentine, Calvin McCormack); Jonstar (Sanna Hendriks, Gus Brown).


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