Chicago Barn to Wire Breeders' Cup Handicapping Tournaments

SPORTSMAN'S NOTES

Sportsman's Park Daily Notebook

Contact: David Zenner (773) 242-1121 ext. 310
sportsmanspub@aol.com

Sunday, March 24, 2002

CRAZY WIN FOR LOCO TAVARES

Loco Tavares' last-to-first victory in Saturday's eighth race on a track that has been favoring speed of late was easily the most impressive performance of the afternoon. The son of Dehere, who trailed by more than 13 lengths at the top of the stretch, exploded along the rail to take the lead inside the sixteenth pole and draw off to win the 5-furlong allowance race by 1 lengths under jockey Jeremy Beasley.

"I was nervous about running him back in 11 days," said owner-trainer Gary Scherer. "When I first looked at the race, there were only five (horses) in there. He was doing well, so I figured I'd enter him to make six to try to get the race to go and it came up with eight.

"I was talking to the jockey before the race, and I said to him that the speed was kind of holding," Scherer continued. "He said 'Yeah. The last 16 races in a row.' But we had to let the horse run his race. Last year, I ran him in a race here and I tried to play the track, so I told the rider to keep him close to the speed and he didn't finish. Yesterday, we let him run his race, not that I was expecting him to be so far back. He wasn't handling the track well early and he didn't start picking it up until he turned for home. I was rooting for him to get third."

Scherer, whose father Merrill and brother Richie both train, has had Loco Tavares for about a year and a half.

"My father was training him at Hoosier for another owner," Gary said. "He couldn't break his maiden there and the owner decided to get rid of him so we got him. He likes this track (Sportsman's). He's had five starts here with three wins, a second and that fifth last year that I think was more my fault. He never throws a really bad race but I don't understand why he couldn't win a non-winners of two for $15,000 at Hoosier but comes here and wins a non-winners of three for $25,000 and an a-other-than, and wins a non-winners of two for $25,000 at the Fair Grounds."

The 36-year-old conditioner went out on his own last fall after working for both his father and brother over the years.

"I was Richie's assistant the last three years," he said. "In the Fall, I would go to Hoosier and work with my father. Last year at Hoosier, I took out my trainer's license. I have four (horses) and I'm helping Richie out until he gets here from (the Fair Grounds) next week."

ILLINOIS CHAMPIONS DAY PROBABLES

Stakes coordinator Chris Polzin circled the names of the horses likely to start in the six stakes races that comprise the backbone of next Saturday's Illinois Championship Day program.

Violet Stakes (3-year-old fillies, 6 furlongs): Be Factual, Dinner In Reno, Gracility, Love Eun Sun, Margies Connection, Rose of Savannah, Scarlet O'Hara and Tejano Honey.

Land of Lincoln Stakes (3-year-olds, 6 furlongs): Afleet Buck, Borntobealeader, Coping, Good Better Best, Happiness, Medlin Road, Nikobe, Riverdance Tour and Star Roamer. Colorful Tour is listed as possible.

Governor's Lady Handicap (4-year-olds & up, fillies and mares, 6 furlongs): Capitol View, Come September, Island Riffle Cat, Lil Bobbie Too, Little Mo, Puny and Rain Boots.

Chicagoland Handicap (4-year-olds & upward, 6 furlongs): Classic Appeal, Freeway Ticket, Magic Doe, Manitowish, Meadow Champ, Out Of My Way and Tic N Tin.

Peach Of It Handicap (3-year-olds & upward, fillies and mares, 1 mile): Ballado's Baby, Darling L, Explosive Action, Faccia Bella, Falasha, Out Of Options and Tap Your Feet.

Milwaukee Avenue Handicap (3-year-olds & upward, 1 1/16 miles): Act Of War, Baker Road and Lil Mephistopheles.

Weights for the four handicap races will be released Monday and those races will take further shape at that time. Entries for the Saturday card will be taken as usual on Tuesday morning.

SATURDAY DOUBLES

Longtime jockey and trainer combo of Carlos Silva and Richard Hazelton teamed up for a double on the Saturday program, scoring with Marked Silver and I Love Lisa back-to-back in races five and six. For Silva it was the second straight day he posted a double.

Jockey Chris Emigh picked up his third riding double in the last four days, capturing the second and third races consecutively aboard Cooky Joe Fletcher and My Mon.

CHI TOWN CHALLENGE UPDATE

Only 21 contestants remain in line for a chance to win the $5,000 betting voucher for being the last player standing in the Chi Town Challenge. The player known as Kelso47 is still undefeated, picking 12 straight winners.

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