Sunday, March 26, 2000

Spiral victory puts Globalize on map

Eventful ride from Torres key to upset

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Jockey Francisco “Cisco” Torres had been away from racing for three months on doctors orders, and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer hadn't visited Turfway Park for two years.

        But the pair teamed up for a little welcome back party Saturday at the Florence track, with Torres riding the Hollendorfer-trained Globalize to a one-length victory in the $600,000 Grade II Spiral Stakes before a record crowd of 22,480.

        “This is definitely the biggest win of my career,” Torres said in the winner's circle after guiding Globalize over the 1-mile race in a time of 1:49.16 on a fast track.

        Torres, who had raced last year at Churchill Downs, said he was ordered by his doctors to take some time off because of mild seizures he had suffered. He was recently given a clean bill of health and Globalize's three owners, one of whom is Hollendorfer, decided to give the talented jockey a shot in the Spiral Stakes.

        “You just never know where you're going to be from one day to the next,” Torres said with a grin as he dashed from the winner's circle for the jockey's quarters to prepare for the next race, where he also rode the winner.

        Hollendorfer, a California trainer who seldom ventures east of the Rockies, has now won Turfway's major Kentucky Derby prep test for 3-year-olds both times he has come to the Northern Kentucky track. He won the 1998 race, then known as the Jim Beam Stakes, with Event Of The Year.

        “I really thought he (Globalize) would be formidable today,” Hollendorfer said. “He's been working well. He got bumped more than once out there, but he showed he could take the punishment.”

        He admitted he didn't really expect a win out of Globalize, who went off at 11-1 and paid $22.50, $9.80 and $5.40. “But we'll take it,” he quipped.

        Globalize broke well out of the gate but yielded the lead to favorite Archer City Slew. He came back strong after the second turn and bumped his way past Archer City Slew to draw clear in the stretch for a strong victory.

        Archer City Slew, going off at 2-1, may have to change his name to Archer City Slow after fading badly and finishing a disappointing seventh in the 10-horse field.

        Jockey Garrett Gomez said the colt was running well until the final turn when “he got antsy and started pulling the bridle. At the top of the stretch he was a little wobbly. It wasn't his best race, but it wasn't his worst considering he was first around two turns.”

        Elite Mercedes, ridden by Pat Day, ran a strong race from the start but didn't have enough to overtake Globalize and had to settle for second.

        “At the eight pole I thought we had it won,” Day said. “Then I looked over and that other horse (Globalize) was doing well on the rail. We didn't win, but his (Elite Mercedes) race was impressive and should keep him heading toward Louisville.”

        Rollin With Nolan, the third-place finisher, was in contention most of the race but weakened near the finish.

        “I'm a little disappointed, but he ran well,” said trainer Nick Zito. “We had a shot to win.”

        When asked about taking Globalize to the Kentucky Derby, Hollendorfer said he would return the colt to California immediately for more training while he thought about the most famous horse race.

        “Every trainer thinks about the Kentucky Derby,” he said. “But we won't make a decision right away. I have to say it's tempting, and Globalize looked strong.”

        The record crowd on a warm, sunny day was a boost for Turfway's new owners — Keeneland, Dreamport, Inc., and Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. — and General Manager Bob Elliston.

        Developer Jerry Carroll sold the track a year ago, and the new owners were unable to attract a major corporate sponsor for this year's Derby prep event.

        “Everything came together for a perfect day of racing,” Elliston said. “We're really impressed with the response from local race fans.”

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