Heavenly Ransom Survives Brush With Death

(from Hollywood Park notes)
Grade III winner Heavenly Ransom, a 4-year-old filly who nearly died this summer with an illness, could be ready to rejoin trainer Ray Bell's stable at Santa Anita Park on Dec. 1.

The daughter of Red Ransom appeared to be a star on the rise when she won the Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Hollywood turf in April.

She got sick training at Santa Anita after that race, however.

"We discovered an abscess in her throat and sent her to a clinic at San Luis Rey Downs for two months," explained Bell Thursday. "She couldn't eat or drink for six weeks. She was given fluids intravenously and had food pumped into her stomach. She lost so much weight she looked like a bag of bones."

But the filly survived.

"She's been in light training at the Judd Morse Farm in Hemet," said Bell. "We will have a couple of months to work with her at Santa Anita to see if it has affected her wind.

"If all goes well, she could return to racing in February. If she doesn't look quite right, she will be bred. She is too valuable a broodmare prospect to test her beyond that."

Mr. and Mrs. Vicken Meguerditchian's Heavenly Ransom, out of the Tabasco Cat mare Heavenly Cat, is a half-sister to Capitano, a 5-year-old stakes-winning horse trained by Bell.

Heavenly Ransom is also a half-sister to the promising 2-year-old colt Dilemma. Dilemma, by Grand Slam, won the Sunny Slope Stakes at Santa Anita in his last start for trainer Paddy Gallagher and is expected to return in the $100,000 Hollywood Prevue Stakes (gr. III) at seven furlongs on Nov. 18.