Sunday, April 13, 2003

Wood win perfect Derby tuneup



The Associated Press

NEW YORK - Bobby Frankel got exactly what he wanted from Empire Maker - a nearly effortless victory in the Wood Memorial. Now, the Hall of Fame trainer is looking for the biggest win of his career - in the Kentucky Derby in three weeks.

"He ran a great race, but the big one is still coming," Frankel said Saturday after Empire Maker won the Wood by a half-length over a determined Funny Cide. "The second horse ran a great race, too, but this horse is something special."

So special that the son of 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled could go off as the shortest-priced Derby favorite since 1992, when Arazi finished eighth at odds of 9-5.

Taking the lead just inside the eighth pole, Empire Maker held off Funny Cide over a muddy track as jockey Jerry Bailey didn't ask the bay colt to work too hard.

"Empire Maker probably could have won easier if Jerry got after him," Frankel said, "but Jerry did the right thing with the Derby three weeks away."

ARKANSAS DERBY: Five other horses came to Oaklawn Park looking to earn their way to the Kentucky Derby. But Sir Cherokee, a 55-1 longshot, notched the biggest upset at the Arkansas Derby since 1983, when Rockamundo won with odds of 108-1. Sir Cherokee, owned by Domino Stud in Lexington, Ky., was fourth in his last two starts at Oaklawn.

Favorite Man Among Men, who had wins over Empire Maker and Peace Rules, never moved higher than fifth and faded to finish 10th.




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Baseball Team Rankings
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BENGALS
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Bengals Q&A: Money available for free agents

MASTERS GOLF
DAUGHERTY: Woods defines drama
Maggert leads; Tiger lurks
Masters Scoreboard
Masters Notebook: Els has big hill to climb
Amateur hour goes on for trio

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Defense stars in Miami spring game

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Ford beats West for Wooden Award
Ohio State, Dayton to play in Maui

NBA
Duncan makes MVP case on court
Jordan, Wizards didn't mix well

HOCKEY
Cyclones go up 2-0 in series

HORSE RACING
Peace Rules wins Blue Grass Stakes
Blue Grass Notebook
Wood win perfect Derby tuneup

LOCAL SPORTS
Painful moments in Cincy sports
Enquirer Power Rankings
College Update: UC hurdler among world's best
Sports on TV-Radio

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Saturday's high school results
High School Insider
Kentucky Insider