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Five-furlong breeze fine for Millennium Wind


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Trainers are usually not happy with slow workouts, but David Hofmans was delighted yesterday with Millennium Wind's five-furlong breeze at Churchill Downs.

The son of Cryptoclearance covered the distance in 1 minute, 2/5 seconds for his final serious work before Saturday's Kentucky Derby. That's two leisurely works now for the half brother to Charismatic, winner of the 1999 Derby, since his front-running victory in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.

Hofmans said he wanted to slow down Millennium Wind's workouts because he was afraid the colt might have over-extended himself in the Blue Grass. He has gained back about 50 pounds since that race and regained his condition, Hofmans said.

Millennium Wind also has battled foot problems and an unsightly rash.

"He's overcome everything," Hofmans said. "I've never seen him shy away from anything. I've never seen him afraid of anything either."

Laffit Pincay Jr., the 54-year-old Hall of Fame jockey, will ride Millennium Wind. Hofmans said he hopes Pincay can restrain the eager horse early, place him just behind the leaders and then make a run around the final turn.

"Point Given is a good horse and probably the best horse in the race," Hofmans said. "But if he stubs his toe, I think there are several horses who could win."

Fifty Stars goes half-mile

Fifty Stars, upset winner of the Louisiana Derby and runner-up in the Lone Star Derby, breezed an easy half-mile in 50 seconds for his trainer, Steve Asmussen.

Fifty Stars is a son of Quiet American, who sired the Derby and Preakness winner Real Quiet. A stone-cold closer, Fifty Stars is bred for distance.

"It's not a question of whether he can handle the mile and a quarter," Asmussen said. "It's a question of whether he can catch the others."

Hall inductees named

Champion runners Holy Bull and Paseana, veteran jockey Earlie Fires and trainer Richard Mandella have been elected to thoroughbred racing's Hall of Fame. They join Maskette, the Horse of Yesteryear, as new inductees for 2001, it was announced at Churchill Downs.

Owned and trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Croll, Holy Bull won 13 of 16 races and earned $2,481,760. In 1994, he was Horse of the Year as well as 3-year-old champion.

Paseana won Eclipse Awards as outstanding older female in 1992 and 1993. She raced until she was 8 and won 19 of 36 races for earnings of $3,171,203. Maskette was a star early in the 20th century.

Fires has been a prominent rider for 36 years. As of the end of 2000, he had won 6,136 races, and his mounts had earned more than $77 million.

Mandella won 1,447 races for earnings of more than $80 million through the end of last year.

Kentucky Derby

What: First leg of horse racing's Triple Crown

When: Saturday, 6:04 p.m. post

Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky.

Distance: 1 1/4 miles

Purse: $1 million

TV: Chs. 11, 4.

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