Sunday, April 28, 1995

By Vince Bruun

Size-wise, Raw Gold doesn't add up to much; at slightly over 14 hands and only 879 pounds she might be the smallest horse in training at Hollywood Park.

But thoroughbred races aren't won by size alone. Talent, speed and heart are the most important qualities, and Raw Gold has an abundance of those elements. She's won five of eight starts and $244,125 for the Ridder Thoroughbred Stable, and without question she's the horse to beat in next Sunday's $100,000-added Railbird Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

The seven-furlong Railbird might appear to be a stretch for Raw Gold, who has been nearly unbeatable at six furlongs or shorter but finished up the track in the seven-furlong Del Mar Debutante and the one mile Las Viregenes Stakes.

Trainer David Hofmans, however, said he still believes the Kentucky-bred of Rahy- Golden Thatch eventually will get a route. He points to victories in the 6 1/2-furlong Santa Paula Stakes and the seven-furlong Santa Ynez Stakes as proof she isn't merely a six-furlong specialist. And in the recent Santa Paula, Raw Gold rated kindly off the pace before romping home by five lengths in 1:15 3/5.

"Sometimes I get to thinking that she's just a sprinter," Hofmans said. "But the way she relaxed the other day . . . I'm beginning to think I might want to try her long again. That was a new weapon for her, and it really gives us reason to believe she might route."

First things first, though, and that means a date in the seven-furlong Railbird Stakes.

Early probables for the 34th running of the Railbird Stakes, to be run Sunday, May 5: Hidden Lake, Chris McCarron; Raw Gold, Chris Antley, and Supercilious, Corey Nakatani.

Possible: Soviet Nights, Eddie Delahoussaye, and Tiffany Diamond, Alex Solis.

Sid Craig's dream was to win the Kentucky Derby with E C's Dream.

The more Craig studied the situation, however, the more he believed it would be asking too much of the Incinderator colt. So instead of going to Kentucky for the Derby, E C's Dream will stay home and run in Saturday's $75,000-added Snow Chief Stakes for 3-year-olds.

"The horse doesn't have any speed, and we felt trying to get by 19 horses would be extremely difficult," trainer Bill Spawr said. "Do you know how much luck you need to pass 19 horses."

E C's Dream worked six furlongs in 1:13 4/5 Sunday and Spawr said the horse is sound.

"His work today was probably his best work ever," Spawr said. "He couldn't be doing better."

The 1986 Kentucky Derby trophy, commemorating Ferdinand's 17-1 upset victory, is on display daily through May 4 in the Breeders' Cup Information Center and the Turf Club.

The trophy is at the Breeders' Cup Information Center (just west of the paddock) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each racing day, and in the Turf Club from 3 p.m. to closing. On Fridays, the trophy is at the Breeders' Cup Information Center from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and in the Turf Club from 8 p.m. to closing.

In the '86 Derby, Bill Shoemaker drove Ferdinand through an opening on the rail and the chestnut exploded in the stretch for a 2 1/4-length triumph over Bold Arrangement. Charlie Whittingham trained the winner for Mrs. Elizabeth A. Keck.

Several of the circuit's top riders will be at Churchill Downs to ride in Saturday's 122nd Kentucky Derby:

Here are the riders, the horses they ride in the Derby, and their day of departure:
Corey Black, Corker, leaves Friday night.
Chris Antley, Louis Quatorze, leaves Thursday night
Gary Stevens, Editor's Note, leaves Monday
Alex Solis, Matty G, leaves Thursday night
Corey Nakatani, Alyrob, undetermined
Kent Desormeaux, Diligence, undetermined

FINISH LINES: Jockey Billy Peterson, who won five races at the Santa Anita meet, is splitting time riding thoroughbreds at Hollywood Park and quarter horses at Los Alamitos . . . Trainer Jack Carava celebrated his 30th birthday Sunday . . . Multiple stakes winner River Flyer worked a half-mile in :47 1/5 Saturday and trainer David Hofmans said the 1994 Hollywood Derby winner might make his 1996 debut in the $700,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile on June 16 . . . Hofmans also has a full-sister to multiple stakes winner Cat's Cradle in the barn. He said the 3-year-old filly -- Tangled Web -- is about ready to roll . . . Gary Jones, who retired Monday, was to be honored in a special ceremony Sunday in the winner's circle. Jones is the eighth-leading all-time trainer at Hollywood Park with 479 wins. Gary, incidentally, was to pinch-hit for his son Marty Jones and saddle Tricky Code in Sunday's $100,000-added A Gleam Handicap. Marty, meanwhile, was headed to Golden Gate Fields to tighten the girth on Debutant Trick, the 7-5 morning line favorite, in the $200,000-Guaranteed (Gr. II) San Francisco Mile . . .Trainer Cliff Sise Jr. reported Paying Dues came out of Friday's Los Angeles Handicap in good order and said the long-range goal for the Cure The Blues gelding is the $1-million Breeders' Cup Sprint at Woodbine on Oct. 28. Paying Dues dead-heated with Abaginone for the victory in the Grade III Los Angeles, running six furlongs in 1:08.33. The difference in Paying Due's last two victories, according to Sise, has been the discovery and subsequent treatment of an ulcer . . . Hollywood Turf Cup (Gr. I) winner Royal Chariot is ready to resume breezing in preparation for a summer campaign. Trainer Eddie Gregson said the 6-year-old Strawberry Road gelding had a small chip removed from an ankle but is progressing nicely . . . Joy Scott, whose eight winners at the Santa Anita meet averaged $51.50, was to up her tricks again Saturday riding Fickle Flirt to a $91.40 upset in the seventh race for trainer Sherman Keller . . . David Flores will be at Turf Paradise next Sunday to ride The Texas Tunnel in the Great Ariziona Futurity Shoot-Out for trainer Bob Baffert and owner Mike Pegram . . .

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