Sunday, May 05, 2002

Harlan didn't have his day

By Gary Estwick,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Jockey Victor Espinoza, aboard War Emblem, is triumphant as he wins the 128th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
Derby photo gallery
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        LOUISVILLE — For the second consecutive day at Churchill Downs, trainer Kenny McPeek and his favored horse left the racetrack without a victory.

        At Friday's Kentucky Oaks, Take Charge Lady lost steam down the stretch and lost to Farda Amiga.

        Saturday, Harlan's Holiday never had an impact on the race and finished seventh as War Emblem dominated the field.

        “Nobody ever said it would be easy,” McPeek said of his third experience with the Kentucky Derby. It was his first time at the race with a favorite.

        In 1995, McPeek's Tejano Run was second.

        Saturday, Harlan's Holiday, ridden by Edgar Prado, was a 6-1 favorite. But long shot War Emblem was the first to cross the finish line.

        Harlan's Holiday did fare better than Saarland (6.9-1 odds). Saarland finished 10th.

        “He really didn't want to run today,” John Velazquez, Saarland's jockey, said of the horse. “He was steady the entire way and had no push whatsoever.”

        A Harlan's Holiday win would have made the horse only the second born in Ohio to wear the roses, along with Wintergreen in 1909.

        McPeek said Saturday's loss had nothing to do with Prado. “Edgar's a good rider,” he said. “He didn't have any trips, or anything like that.

        “It just didn't happen.”

        Prado also was disappointed in Saturday's finish.

        “Today wasn't his day,” said Prado, who participated in his third Derby. “He's a very nice horse, and I can't take anything away from him. It's a part of ups and downs of the business. “I can't take anything away from the winner. ... We'll just have to regroup and sees what happens then.”


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Cincinnati highlites
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Softball results
Tennis results
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Giants 3, Reds 0
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Fay's MLB power ratings
Notes: Injured pitchers close to returning
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MLB: Stottlemeyer on DL
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AL roundup
NL roundup
Notes from Saturday's games