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Holden roots for Street Sense

May 13, 2007|By LARRY YANOS

Carol Holden, president of the West Virginia Breeders Classics, had a special interest in last Saturday's Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

Holden and Carl Nafzger - the trainer of Derby champion Street Sense - are good friends and have owned race horses together in past years.

"Carl does a nice job training horses and he certainly has a good one in Street Sense," Holden said. "I spent a lot of time at the barn while at Churchill Downs and I couldn't believe the temperament of Street Sense. He was so laid back and nothing seemed to bother him."

Holden first met Nafzger in 1990 - the year he saddled Kentucky Derby champion Unbridled.

"My brother and he used to rodeo together, I introduced myself and we've been friends ever since," Holden said.

She was impressed by the performance of Street Sense at Churchill Downs.

"He's so mechanical. He can be anywhere he needs to be on the racetrack and still get the job done," Holden said. "He's a very special race horse."

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She also thought it was one of the most popular Kentucky Derby wins in recent memory.

"Both Carl and (jockey) Calvin Borel have a good following in Kentucky and the horse just won the Juvenile last fall at the Breeders Cup at Churchill Downs," Holden said. "Calvin may not have the stature of some of the big-name jockeys but he's highly regarded. I think Carl named him on the horse early because some of the other jockeys have four, five other (Derby) possibilities and may not necessarily stay with their first choice. Carl didn't want to be scrambling for another jockey come Derby Day. He knew Calvin wasn't going to be jumping to another horse."

Needless to say, Holden will be at Pimlico next Saturday, rooting for Street Sense and Nafzger to reach the winner's circle again in the second leg of the Triple Crown Series.

·The top three finishers from the Kentucky Derby will be competing in the Preakness Stakes.

Street Sense, second-place finisher Hard Spun and third-place finisher Curlin will all contest the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Street Sense will work Tuesday at Churchill Downs and ship into Pimlico on Wednesday morning. He'll walk Thursday and gallop on the track Friday morning.

Street Sense, owned by Jim Tafel, has $2,958,200 lifetime earnings. In eight trips to the starting gate, he has four wins, two second-place finishes and two third-place finishes.

Pony tales

Penn National will hold a Summer World Series of Handicapping on June 7.

Prizes will be paid down to fifth place.

Contestants will be able to register and play in the World Series of Handicapping at the race course in Grantville, Pa., and the track's Off-Track wagering facilities in Chambersburg, Reading, York, Lancaster, Williamsport and Johnstown.

The entry fee is $100. Half of that goes into the contest prize fund and the other $50 is used for live wagering on the designated contest races.

The WSH will be based on the nine live races run at Penn National and the 10-race card from Charles Town on June 7.

Contestants must make a minimum $10 win bet on one horse in at least five of the contest races. There is no limit on the size of a wager, or the total number of races that may be played. The winner is the player with the highest total bankroll at the conclusion of the contest races. Entry deadline will be 6:15 p.m. on June 7.

For information, call 717-469-3345.

·Former 2-year-old champion Chilukki and her foal have died after complications during birth.

Chilukki, the top 2-year-old filly in the country in 1999, and the colt, by 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, died Monday at Hagyard Davidson McGee Clinic in Lexington, Ky. Chilukki was stabled at Stonerside Stable in Paris, Ky.

Chilukki won 11 times in 17 starts for trainer Bob Baffert, including wins in the Oak Leaf and Vinery Del Mar Debutante Stakes, before retiring in 2001.

She won more than $1.2 million during her career and set two track records at Churchill Downs.

Chilukki was bred in Kentucky by Dr. R. Smiser West and MacKenzie Miller.

Stonerside is owned by Bob McNair, owner of the Houston Texans.

Larry Yanos is sports editor of The Daily Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at larryy@herald-mail.com

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