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August 22, 2012

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012 Sports PAGE rl BOB MADISON Spirit Staff two years at racing rivals into the ground, the facts show him mov- Where do you find Sprinters ing forward in the silks of the nowadays that can show the ver- Cain Hey Stable and its owner, satility and lasting stamina to go the ultra conservative Harry F. to the front and still have enough Guggenheim. in reserve to win at one mile and Following Guggenheim's in- a quarter? structions, he was raced only And how many countries, con- three times at age two. He was tinents, and race tracks do you never worse than second. When have to search to find a thorough- Frank Bonsai took over his train- bred that can win on firm turf ing the next year, Ack Ack had courses, fast dirt tracks, yielding 11 races. There were seven wins turf stretches, and mud three inch- and three seconds, but the most es deep, and at distances from 5 interesting morsel left after sift- 1/2-furlongs to 10-furlongs ? ing through his 1969 record was Such an animal may not exist that owner Guggenheim kept him today, out of the Kentucky Derby. There was one back about four Just before The Derby, Ack ASSOCIATED PRESS decades ago. And he had the good Ack had overpowered a field Ack Ack was very versatile, winning at 5-1/2 furlongs to l0-furlongs. fortune at ages four and five to of what were thought to be his be trained by the "Bald Eagle", equals in The Derby Trial at Charlie Whittingham. Churchill Downs. He set a track win four of those efforts. All those even attempt. His name was Ack Ack. He record for the one mile distance, races in California were sprints. Whittingham had him try nine was a hroadbeamed dark brown But Guggenheim still had res- He set the Del Mar track record in and even 10 furlongs. colt who was so fined-tuned at ervations, telling the incredu- a 5 1/2-furlong sprint victory. The in-race strategy was the one point in his on-track career lous media his horse was still not Guggenheim would die in Jan- same. But few thoroughbreds that he won seven straight graded ready for such an undertaking as uary of 1971 and the executors had led from beginning to end in stakes races races contested at The Derby. of his estate would auction away one mile-and-a-quarter trials. various distances and over vail- Guggenheim would become his racing stock. Ack Ack would Ack Ack did it. And he did ous surfaces, ill. He made racing decisions draw a bid of $500,000 from carrying 130 pounds home in the Seven straight graded stakes based on the prognosis he was real estate entrepreneur, Buddy Hollywood Express, another 130 victories? That's the stuff that given by his doctors. He decided Fogelson, and his wife, actress pounds in the American Handi- makes for a U. S. Racing Hall of to send Ack Ack to trainer Char- Greer Garson. cap, and then closing out his bril- Fame ending for a thoroughbred, lie Whittingham in California. The new owners retained the liant career toting 134 pounds to And that is where Ack Ack is Whittingham was a genius at services of Whittingham, widely the winner's circle in the Holly- today, inducted in 1986. sleuthing out what could make known as the Bald Eagle for his wood Gold Cup. Born in 1966. Raced from a thoroughbred give his best ef- bald pate. Whittingham, then 58, told the 1968 through 1971. Winner 19 forts. When he saw Ack Ack Whittingham took a different press: "I really couldn't do much times in his 27 races, for the first time, Whittingham path when given a looser rein by about the weight they gave him. Nearly as important, he was decided to pin-fire the horse's the Fogelson's. His knowledge They were putting a lot of weight as gentlemanly as he was com- balky knees. Pin-firing was done of the now five-year-old was on all the good horses back then. petitive, to promote healing, such that he believed Ack Ack It wouldn't have been any less if Going through the trove of At age four in 1970, Ack Ack could do well at distances oth- we'd taken him to New York." facts concerning Ack Ack's first i:aced five times and was able to er so-called sprinters would not Whittingham saw no danger or real problem with the heavy burdens being assigned. He said, "He could handle it. He was built real wide across the rear. A lot of thick muscle. And he got that weight moving right from the start, which made it easier on him than if he was a come-from- behind type of horse, starting and stopping all the time." Ack Ack's dark brown color was mixed with lighter shades of brown and his taut muscles made him a natural favorite for those fans favoring the more photo- genic thoroughbreds. Some de- scribed him as "entertaining as a singer or actor. He had verve and was very dashing." Whittingham could . only chuckle in his aw-shucks manner when he listened to others say, "Winning at every pole is win- ning the hard way. It is estimated a horse must be five pounds the best to achieve that." With his record seven straight graded stakes win (and one sec- ond) in his eight 1971 races, Ack Ack was a leading candidate for Horse of the Year. When he developed colic and was nearly lost, Whittingham discarded the plan he had to go to New York for the Woodward Stakes. He dispatched a stable- mate of Ack Ack's named Cou- gar to go in the Woodward. Cougar had recently lost by seven lengths to Ack Ack so the writers in New York were aware of his second-fiddle standing next to his stablemate. Cougar breezed past the fin- ish ahead by five lengths in the Woodward. Despite the fact that he was disqualified in a contro- versy, his performance only en- hanced the chances Ack Ack had of being named U. S. Horse of the Year for 1971. The Fogelson's retired Ack Ack after the near-fatal bout with colic. He had proven himself much more than a one-surface sprinter. Winning in the slop at a distance of 10 furlongs takes stamina and it takes versatility. Ack Ack had $636,641 in earn- ings and had a very high winning percentage (19 out of 27). As a sire, he had 54 stakes win- ners, the more famous Broad Brush, Youth (1976 American Turf Horse of the Year), and Include. Trainer Whittingham had Fer- dinand, the 1986 Kentucky Der- by champion. When the striking chestnut conquered the field that year, Whittingham became the oldest trainer (at age 73) to ever win that coveted race and Fer- dinand's jockey, Bill Shoemaker, became at age 54 the oldest rider to win the Kentucky Derby. Whittingham also trained Sun- day Silence, another Kentucky Derby champion. In all, the Bald Eagle trained 252 stakes winners. His thoroughbreds had over $109 million in winnings. Even after over 60 years of training thoroughbreds, if you caught Whittingham on a morn- ing when it was raining and he was softly moving under a roof in one of his stables, he would look outside at the puddles and say, "It's Ack Ack weather. He could win one today in this." Russell Road shows form in Gall Memorial TED BLACK Special to the Spirit For the third consecutive weekend, Charles Town hosted another stakes prep for the up- coming West Virginia Breeders Classics night and then on Sun- day afternoon it was the two- year-olds who were on full dis- play in a trio of maiden special weight events. Saturday night the track of- fered the latest edition of the $50,000 Frank Gall Memorial Stakes for state-bred older hors- es and several of the best were on hand for their first prep for the upcoming $500,000 West Virginia Classic on Breed- ers Classics night, October 20. Three of the horses expected for the Classic tuned up in fine fashion in the Gall. As expected, Russell Road was made the solid 3-5 favor- ite in the Frank Gall and the de- fending West Virginia Classic champ does not appear to have lost much zip in his aging legs. Son of a Bear was the solid 2-1 second choice and Black Belt, who makes his presence known each fall locally, was the 3-1 third choice in the field of five older runners. Soon after the gate opened in the Frank Gall, Russell Road displayed more speed than usual and the Wheaten gelding dueled inside of Son of a Bear for com- mand through the first turn and down the backside through mod- est fractions of 24 and 48 flat. Despite the change in tactics, Russell Road still had plenty left in reserve and he edged clear late to a four-length score in 1:2.5.64 for the seven furlongs. A six-year-old Wheaton geld- ing trained by James W. Casey for owner Mark Russell, Rus- sell Road notched his third win in four starts this year and Russell Road readied for WV Breeders earned roughly $100,000. In 36 starts in his career, Russell Road has posted 22 wins and earned roughly $1.25 million in his illustrious career. He looks poised to successfully defend his title in the West Virginia Classic this fall. One race earlier on the card, Sir Rayford overcame post 10 and rallied from well off the pace to post a 12-1 upset in the second half of the split al- lowance for West Virginia-bred three-year-olds and upward. Sir Rayford notched his first win in three starts this year for train- er Ollie Figgins, III, and owner Hi Rock Stable by covering the seven furlongs in 1:29.02. Several races earlier on the card in the first half of the split allowance for state-bred run- ners, Osprey rallied from well off the pace to notch hissecond straight score. A sophomore son of Ghostly Thunder trained by Rodney Jenkins, Osprey bid- ed his time through the early stages then overhauled the lead- ers with a wide bid to prevail in 1:28.39 for his second victory from six starts, pushing his sea- sonal earnings past $40,000. In a split maiden special weight event for state-bred two- MIKE MONTGOMERY night with a win in the Gall Memorial. year-old colts on Sunday both Saturdaynightfight and In The Fairway recorded impressive victories in almost identical clockings and both flattered the most impressive local juvenile winner of the current century. Saturdaynighffight rallied from just off the pace to win Sunday's one-turn opener for state-bred freshmen in 52.01 for owner-trainer Crystal Pick- ett - one of her three winners on the card - and several races later In The Fairway rebounded from a disappointing effort in his career debut to score by five lengths in 51.89 for trainer Jeff Runco. Both appear on target for the $50,000 Henry Mercer Stakes here on September 22 where they will be reaquainted with one another and one other budding star. Both Saturdaynightfight and In The Fairway had been thumped in their career debuts here back on July 22 by Hidden Canyon, who splashed over the wet-fast surface that afternoon to win by nearly 10 lengths at first asking by covering the one- turn distance in 50.89. Granted the surface was extrerqely fast that weekend despite the rains, but such clockings are often dif- ficult for two-year-olds to attain at any time let alone in their career debut. Hidden Canyon not only won at first asking in eye- opening fashion, his running time was nearly two seconds faster than the one posted in winning the other half of the split maiden special weight affair that day. His stellar performance was then flat- tered exponentially by both Saturdaynight-fight and In The Fairway, who both re- bounded from double-dig- it length drubbings to post sharp scores in their most recent outings on Sunday after- noon to signify their readiness for a rematch. In fact, soon after Hidden Canyon prevailed in his career debut longtime fans began to ponder exactly where his effort ranked among the best juve- nile debuts in track history and he quickly joined a very short list. Perhaps the only one com- parable in recent memory was the June 8, 1991 debut of Coin Collector, who went on to win six stakes including consecu- tive editions of the West Virgin- ia Classic for trainer James M. Casey and owner John Casey. While it may be undoubtedly far too early to compare Hidden Canyon with Coin Collector or even more talented state-breds such as Soul of the Matter, Af- ternoon Deelites and A Huevo - all of which were Grade I win- ners - his eye-opening triumph in his career debut last month and the subsequent victories by two colts that he trounced at least has his connections and many local fans thinking that they have already witnessed the unveiling of a budding superstar and will pay very close attention to his future outings. s open SHENANDOAH JUNCTION the University keeper for another -- With Rachel Ransom scoring one-goal Jefferson lead at 2-i. two goals and Mafia Russo snap- The Lady Cougar lead re- ping a second half tie with her mained at 2-1 at the close of the goal, the Jefferson girls soccer first half. team opened its season at home The first scoring in the sec- on Saturday with a 3-2 win over end half came from University's University High. Custer whose goal made it 2-2. Ransom opened the scoring Finally, Russo (one of the four with her first goal that came about returning seniors on the 2012, midway through the first half. team along with Ransom, Kier- Just minutes later, the Hawks' sten Barnholt, and Stella Barrat) Elizabeth Custer evened it at 1-1 gave the Lady Cougars a 3-2 lead when she passed Jefferson goal- that would hold up for a season- keeper Shelbie Spenser, who had opening win. stopped a number of shots up un- There was no more scoring af- til that point, ter Russo's second-half goal. Not long after Custer had University was 0-1-0 after los- scored for University, Ransom' ing its opener while the Lady got loose and sailed her~shot past Cougars were 1-0-0. Two-round Gunter finds Patriots 3rd, Cougars 9th WINCHESTER, Va. -- De- with 633 strokes. spite a two-round score of 148, Washington was third in the Washington's Ryan Mumaw was team standings with 651 strokes. third in the medalist standings at Washington's other individ- the Bryan Gunter Invite played ual scores had Robert Fleming at two different golf courses in (160), Jacob Shuff (172), Dylan Frederick County. Mumaw (173), Patrick Burgess Washington finished third as (182), and Tyler Sigler (190). a team to Invite champion Lou- Jefferson's stroke total- of doun Valley and runner-up Cent- 768 left it in ninth place in the reville. Jefferson was ninth in the 10-team tournament. Quen- team field, tin Foust had Jefferson's best Loudoun Valley's Ian Hildeb- score with a two-round total of rand was the low medalist with 187. Bryce Lushbaugh finished a two-round total of 144. The with 193 strokes, Patrick Glenn Vikings won the team title with was next with 195 and Sam 625 strokes. Centreville's Shaan Spenser had a two-day total of Kologi had a two-round total of 213. Zach Johnston and Cody 146, good for second place and Lengyel both took 234 strokes his team finished second overall for the two rounds. ams open soccer seasons fGET INVOLVED INl Ii!! Subscribe to the i!ilI |i:ii| attended Shepherd for the 2011-12 school tenn. An article appearing in the Spirit on Payne several weeks ago report- ed that Payne had not attended college last year. Jefferson and University spent Jefferson's goalkeeper Matt to teammate Tommy Alappat, each side's first match of the Saghy mostly kept University at who moved quickly to get his boys soccer season vainly trying bay. And the same could be said shot-attempt past Saghy. to get a second goal that would for University's keeper, Shane The whole second half saw both given the Cougars or Hawks a Thompson. teams get scattered scoring oppor- win to get the campaign started. Tucker Ryan made the first tunities but neither side could Instead, neither team could scoring move of the sun- score again. Saghy and Thompson find that elusive second goal and splashed afternoon when he would not allow another score. the opener ended in a 1-1 tie. passed Thompson, giving Jeffer- After playing at Hedgesville Both Jefferson and University son a 1-0 lead. on Tuesday hight, the Cougars had to settle for being 0-0-1 after Thompson even helped the are back at home on Thursday Saturday's match in Shenandoah Hawks notch their lone goal at 5 p.m. against visiting Hamp- Junction. when he sailed a punt way ahead shire. i I Wednesday August 22-Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangem-AirlJme at 7:37pm Thursday August 23-High School Football-Washington Pab'iots at HedgesvlUe Eagles Airtime at 6:30pro-also on 95.9FM Friday August 24~Countdown to Friday Night Lights-Airtime at 5:00pro Friday August 24-High School Football-Sherando, Va. at Martinsburg Bulldogs Airtime at 6:30pm-also on 95.9FM Friday August 24-High School Gamenight-10:00pm to 12midnight Saturday August 25-Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles-Airtims at 6:37pm Sunday August 26-Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles-Airtime at 1:07pro Monday August 27-Chicago White Sox at Baltimore Orioles-Airtime at 7:00pm Tuesday August 28-Chicago White Sox at Baltimore Orioles-Airtims at 7:00pro online at on fmamok at ftm dfalow m I f