HALLANDALE, Fla. -- Eddie Delahoussaye edged A. P. Indy, his winning mount in the Breeders' Cup Classic, in the voting for the most valuable participant in the 1992 Breeders' Cup at Gulfstream Park.
But in accepting the award yesterday, Delahoussaye paid tribute to the 3-year-old colt, saying that if the horse had been healthy, he would have won the 1992 Triple Crown.
"It's impossible to say for sure, but in my heart, I think we would have seen a Triple Crown winner," Delahoussaye said.
In beating the best older horses in the Classic, A. P. Indy not only is expected to be named champion 3-year-old but also Horse of the Year in the Eclipse Award balloting. He doubled his career earnings by winning the Classic and has earned $2,979,815 and won eight of 11 career starts.
In addition to winning the Breeders' Cup Classic in daring, come-from-behind style, Delahoussaye, 41, used similar tactics to win the Breeders' Cup Sprint.
He nipped pace-setter Meafara at the wire with Thirty Slews.
"I want to know, Eddie, why did it take you so long to go to the whip?" Bob Baffert, Thirty Slews' trainer, said yesterday at a post-race Breeders' Cup breakfast.
"I wanted to add a little excitement," Delahoussaye said. "If you go to the front too soon [with Thirty Slews], he pulls himself up."
Baffert replied, joking, "You need to differentiate between excitement and shock."
Neil Drysdale, trainer of A. P. Indy, has said he learned a long time ago to accept Delahoussaye's riding style.
"He is constantly giving me heart attacks," Drysdale said. "I've ceased worrying too much when he gives a horse a breather."
Delahoussaye is one of three California jockeys who pulled off Breeders' Cup doubles. Pat Valenzuela won the Juvenile Fillies with Eliza and whipped heavy favorite Sky Classic in the Turf with long shot Fraise.
Chris McCarron won the Distaff in authoritative fashion with Paseana and the Juvenile with Gilded Time, early favorite for the 1993 Kentucky Derby.
Piggott in stable condition
Lester Piggott is listed in stable condition at Hollywood Memorial Hospital but is still in the intensive care unit.
Piggott fractured his left collarbone and two ribs in the spill in the Sprint that claimed the life of the 5-year-old British racehorse Mr Brooks.
Piggott did not injure his spleen, as first feared, but did arrive at the hospital with a partially collapsed lung.
Less ACRS on TV next year
Network television is greatly reducing its coverage of the American Championship Racing Series, a stakes program designed to give older runners more national television exposure.
ABC-TV will only televise two of the races next year, and those two stakes, the Pimlico Special and Nassau County Handicap, will be run on the same card as the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, respectively, which ABC is already committed to broadcasting as part of its Triple Crown coverage.
Last year, ABC televised six of the nine ACRS races.
ACRS president Barry Weisbord attributed the lack of ABC coverage "not to lack of interest on the network's part but lack of logistics. We just couldn't come up with the right scheduling."
ESPN will fill the void but will show three or four of those ACRS races on a delayed, rather than live, basis.
Missing from the 1993 schedule is the Santa Anita Handicap and the Oaklawn Handicap, which dropped out "as a business decision on the part of Santa Anita and Oaklawn management," said ACRS board chairman Dave Vance. Churchill Downs was expected to come in with a new race, but did not.
Three tracks -- Gulfstream Park, Belmont Park and Hollywood Park -- are doubling up and offering two stakes each in the nine-race series.
Ted Bassett, Breeders' Cup president, announced yesterday that total betting on the Breeders' Cup card reached a record $75 million at Gulfstream Park and at all national and international simulcast outlets. . . . The four winners of the Pic-7 will be paid approximately $750,000 each. Amounts differ in various states because of takeout percentages. The winner from Florida receives $726,158. . . . Bassett also has said that the Breeders' Cup could return at some future date to Gulfstream Park. But don't be surprised if this is the last Breeders' Cup in South Florida. The Europeans have been shut out of the Breeders' Cup winner's circle only twice in nine renewals, and both times came at Gulfstream. "No one says so directly, but there is overwhelming sentiment among the European horsemen that their horses are just at too much of a disadvantage in Florida because of the weather, the footing, the tight turns on the track and the medication rules," said Dan Farley, American correspondent for the English-based Racing Post. . . . Budweiser International winner Zoman lost a shoe during the Classic and also severely cut his right hind leg. . . . Superstrike, unplaced in the Sprint, will undergo an operation for removal of a chip in his knee. . . . Gilded Time is expected to take the California route to the 1993 Triple Crown.