Sunday, April 29, 2001

Derby will have at least one dud

Tincin has won grand total of $390

By Jack Murray
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        For the first time in Kentucky Derby history, there will be up to 20 separate betting interests.

        There will be no mutuel field or entries because Kentucky racing rules now allow for uncoupled entries in races worth at least $1 million. Next Saturday's Derby at Churchill Downs should present players with great opportunities.

        Enter Tincin, who shouldn't be one of those. Tincin comes into the Derby with a total of $390 career winnings and no victories in seven tries.

        Yet trainer Steve LaRue and his wife, Tina, plan to pay the $30,000 fee to enter Tincin in the race. He'll probably be one of the longest shots in the Derby's 127-year history.

        Tincin lost seven races by a combined 32 lengths in his first two career starts at Churchill in November. He then ended the year with his best finish: fifth in a field of 12 at Turfway Park.

        Tincin has been out of the money in all four races he has entered this year at Turfway, including two last-place finishes. He ran most recently April 5, when he finished 11th in a field of 12.

        Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia of Edgewood, Ky., said he'll probably give Tincin 99-1 odds, the longest he can make.

        The last winless horse — a “maiden” in racing parlance — to run in the Kentucky Derby was Nationalore in 1998. Unlike Tincin, he had won almost $300,000 and had finished third in the prestigious Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Nationalore was assigned 60-1 odds and finished ninth. The last maiden to win the Kentucky Derby was Brokers Tip in 1933.

        Jim Bolus, the late Derby historian and former Louisville sportswriter, would have a field day with Tincin, who if he starts in Derby 127 would qualify for mention as the 13th member of the Derby's Dirty Dozen, a chap ter in one of Bolus' books, Kentucky Derby Stories.

        The worst Derby starters, in Bolus' estimation, were, in order: Senecas Coin (1949), Frank Bird (1908), Orlandwick (1907), Great Redeemer (1979), Kenilworth Lad (1945), Pravus (1923), Dick O'Hara (1930), Saigon Warrior (1971), Fourulla (1971), Layson (1905), Broadway Limited (1930) and Rae Jet (1969).

        The all, predictably, finished last or next to last.

        DERBY TRIAL: Meetyouathebrig opened the Churchill Downs meet on a sunny, breezy with a solid victory Saturday. None of the 11 3-year-olds who contested the 1-mile Trial is expected to start in the Derby.


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