Sunday, November 17, 1996


Frank E. "Jimmy" Kilroe, a highly respected racing executive who worked in California, New York and Chicago for many years, died late Saturday at his Pasadena home following a series of strokes. He was 84.

Kilroe retired in 1990 as senior vice president-racing of the Los Angeles Turf Club and Oak Tree Racing Association, which both conduct Thoroughbred race meetings at Santa Anita Park.

Kilroe, born in New York City in 1912, first worked in racing at New York's old Jamaica Race Course, where his father was president. By 1954, he was named racing secretary and handicapper for the New York Racing Association, where he remained through 1960.

Kilroe became racing secretary and handicapper at Santa Anita for the 1953-54 meeting, and by the 1970s, he was in charge of racing at Santa Anita, Hollywood Park (director of racing, 1973-77) and Del Mar. Kilroe thus forged a coherent racing program in Southern California, which was as successful as any in the country.

Prior to going into racing, Kilroe earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Columbia University and worked in the story department of Twentieth Century Fox. He published the short stories in several of the era's popular magazines.

Kilroe was predeceased by his wife, Martha.

Kilroe's many honors included an Eclipse Award of Merit in 1979 and the Joe Palmer Award from the National Turf Writers Association in 1978. A member of The Jockey Club since 1981, Kilroe was the Honored Guest of the Thoroughbred Club of America in 1978.

Memorial services are pending.


Jockey Alex Solis will return to his native Panama following Sunday's races to visit his grandfather, who is ill.

"He was doing okay for a while," Solis said. "But now he took a turn for the worse. I'm going to go down and spend a few days with him."

His mother's father, Otilio Martinez, 83, underwent surgery for prostate cancer two months ago.

"He raised me," Solis said. "My mother and father got divorced when I was two. My mother would go to work in the city, and I lived in the country with my grandmother and grandfather."

Solis will be off mounts Wednesday, but back in the saddle Thursday. The 32-year-old rider moved to Florida in 1982, and has been riding in Southern California since 1985.


After piloting three winners Saturday, jockey Kent Desormeaux moved back into the lead in the jockey's standings with 11 wins, two ahead of Alex Solis in second with nine.

"I'm very excited," Desormeaux said. "I hope to keep the ball rolling and get the snowball effect going -- where the more I win, the more I win."

Desormeaux, who teamed up with agent Brian Beach since the start of the autumn meet, hasn't been atop the jockey standings for some time. Desormeaux's last riding title was the 1994-95 Santa Anita winter/spring meet.



The Matriarch is coming up as one of the toughest races in recent history, but trainer Marty Jones isn't ducking anyone with Auriette, one of a dozen Grade I winners pointing for the $700,000 event on Dec. 1.

"This is the championship game," Jones said. "All the top horses that have done a little bit have turned up in one spot. I think this race will decide the Eclipse Award."

Timarida, Donna Viola, Different, Memories of Silver, Windsharp, Hollywood Dream and Admise are all 1996 Grade I winners aimed for the Breeders' Cup-caliber contest.

"We've been pointing for this race since the day after the Beverly D," Jones said.

The 25-year-old trainer saddled Auriette to a sixth-place finish behind Timarida in the Beverly D (Gr. I) on August 24.

"She ran a good race over at Santa Anita," Jones said. "She came out of the race real good and is training great."

She most recently finished fourth by a half-length in the Louis R. Rowan Handicap at Santa Anita on Oct. 26.

Jones has only been out on his own for seven months. He took over the stable in April after his father Gary retired following the Santa Anita winter/spring meet.

"I'm nervous," Jones said. "I ran Debutant Trick in the Shoemaker for $700,000, but this is probably the biggest race of my career."

Although a Grade I winner over the course, Auriette doesn't figure to be one of the favorites in this deeply-contested race.

"You like to find easy spots for your horses," Jones said. "But we've been pointing for this and I think she belongs. She proved that in the Gamely. She'll be a longshot in there, but her best race can win it."

In other developments:

Trainer Ron McAnally said he is pointing Olimpia Dukakis to the race along with Different and Alpride.

Timarida went for another stroll over the Hollywood Park turf course Sunday morning, under assistant trainer Jimmy O'Neill.

"She went very nicely," said O'Neill, who is deputizing for trainer John Oxx, who returned to Ireland. "We went six furlongs. We just followed another horse around there. We're happy enough with the way she's going right now."


Fan favorite Letthebighossroll will try to avenge his loss in the Cal Cup Sprint in next Sunday's $100,000-added On Trust Handicap for California-breds.

The steady 8-year-old gelding has been to the winner's circle 17 times from 52 starts, and recorded three wins and three seconds from seven starts in each of the last two years.

Letthebighossroll's past performances read like a list of sprint stakes in Southern California, including wins in the Cal Cup Sprint, El Cajon, Zany Tactics, Piedmont, George Warwick, Crazy Kid (twice), and Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Handicap (Gr. III).

Known as the "Big hoss," Letthebighossroll's popularity has been well documented.

"They even named a bar after him -- the Big Hoss Saloon," said trainer Bob Baffert said.

Probables for the $100,000-added On Trust Handicap, to be run Sunday, Nov. 24 at seven furlongs, for California-breds three and up: Academyawardwinner, Eddie Delahoussaye; Creston, Corey Nakatani; Kern Ridge, Rene Douglas; Kingdom Found, Kent Desormeaux; Klassy Kim, Goncalino Almeida; Letthebighossroll, Gary Stevens; Testimony, no rider; Tres Paraiso, no rider, and Uncaged Fury, no rider.

Possible: Cat's Cradle, no rider; Gastown, no rider.


Thoroughbred Owners of California will host an informational session for anyone interested in learning more about racehorse ownership. The "Horse Course" will take place Saturday, Nov. 30 at Hollywood Park. The free workshop will begin in the owner/trainer lounge at 8:30 a.m. Participants will watch workouts, visit the barn area and meet owners and trainers.

Topics include acquiring a thoroughbred, finding a trainer and costs of ownership. For further information, contact the TOC at (310) 330-7142.

FINISH LINES: Corey Nakatani, who was bruised in a starting gate mishap Friday night, is feeling better and has three mounts on Sunday. "He's a little sore, but other than that he's fine," agent Bob Meldahl said . . . Trainer Richard Mandella said he will have three runners in the 1996 Turf Festival: Dixie Pearl in the Matriarch, Gentlemen in the Citation, and Suggest in the Hollywood Turf Express . . . Chris McCarron will ride Wednesday, but will be out of town from Thursday to Sunday, Nov. 21-24, to ride Awad in the Japan Cup . . . Trainer Sandy Shulman, who was in a bit of a slump lately, saddled two winners on Saturday. "It was good to get a couple," Shulman said. "We've had a lot of seconds. But those seconds turn into winners."

NOTABLE WORKS: Cal Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Rexy Sexy worked six furlongs in 1:15 1/5 over the turf with Kent Desormeaux up. "We're considering supplementing her to the Miesque," trainer Brian Lynch said . . . Tiger Talk went three furlongs in :36 for trainer Ron Ellis . . . Cal Cup Juvenile winner Carmen's Baby drilled six furlongs in 1:13 1/5 . . . Working in preparation for the $300,000 Citation Handicap on Nov. 30 -- Silver Wizard worked seven furlongs in 1:27 4/5 on the main track, and Gentlemen went one mile over the turf in 1:41 . . . Trainer Paco Gonzalez said Bagshot, who was third in the Cal Cup Juvenile, is a possible supplement for the $250,000 Generous Stakes (Gr. III). The son of Smokester went six furlongs in 1:14 2/5 over the turf . . . Play Waki For Me went six furlongs in 1:14 4/5 over the turf in preparation for the Generous . . . Gearing up for the $200,000 Miesque Stakes were: Wealthy, who worked five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 over the turf, and Critical Factor, third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (Gr. I), who went six furlongs in 1:15 4/5 over the lawn . . . Horses readying for the $200,000 Hollywood Turf Express were: Suggest, who went five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 over the turf, and Track Gal, who drilled five furlongs in :58 3/5 over the Santa Anita main track . . . Three-year-olds working in preparation for the $500,000 Crown Royal Hollywood Derby included: Jirhan, who went five panels in 1:01 2/5 over the Santa Anita main track, and the filly Ocean Queen, who went seven furlongs in 1:29 2/5 over the Hollywood turf . . . Del Mar Futurity (Gr. II) winner Silver Charm zipped five furlongs in :59 1/5 at Santa Anita for trainer Bob Baffert. The Bob and Beverly Lewis runner could make his next start in the $250,000 Hollywood Futurity (Gr. I) on Dec. 15 . . . Sharp Cat drilled five furlongs in 1:02 at Santa Anita in preparation for the $150,000 Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 14 . . . Talloires went five furlongs on turf in 1:06 2/5 as he prepares for the $500,000 Hollywood Turf Cup on Dec. 15.

The Running Horse (