Drysdale Anxious to Start Storming Home

(from track report)
Trainer Neil Drysdale is anxious to tighten the girth on Storming Home for his United States debut in the $400,000 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf Saturday at Hollywood Park.

"He's a very athletic and attractive horse, and he's adapted well," Drysdale said Thursday. He stood before 30 sports journalism collegians from around the nation attending the four-day Los Angeles Times Sports Workshop in honor of Murray.

"If he is able to replicate his form from England, he will be a serious contender in major stakes here," said Drysdale of the 5-year-old English-bred horse, who joined his stable in December. A Gainsborough Farm homebred owned by Maktoum al Maktoum, Storming Home won the Group I Emirates Airline Champion Stakes at Newmarket in October, defeating such luminaries as Moon Ballad and Noverre.

The Tin Man, the 123-pound highweight in the Jim Murray, seeks to give trainer Richard Mandella his third victory in the race in five years. "He overcame a virus a couple months ago and has been training real well," Mandella told the student tour.

Racing secretary Martin Panza, addressing the aspiring students, explained that the Jim Murray had been boosted in value from $75,000-added to $400,000, and that the results were encouraging. "Five Grade I winners," said Panza proudly of the nucleus of a nine-horse lineup entered the previous day.

Julio Canani, trainer of longshot Murano, shook his head. "He's training great, but this is a tough field," said Canani.

Jeff Ford, assistant to trainer Laura de Seroux, said that Ballingarry was scheduled to arrive Thursday from de Seroux's training base at San Luis Rey Downs. The 4-year-old colt won the Canadian International Championship (CAN-I) at Woodbine in September.

Trainer Bobby Frankel seeks a seventh victory in the Jim Murray with Denon, who drew the services of jockey Jerry Bailey, and Chiselling, a pair of grade I winners.

The students, who are attending a series of panel discussions with writers, editors and publicists during their stay, visited the stable area for 2 1/2 hours.

The Jim Murray, named in memory of the Pulitzer Prize-winning sports columnist for the Los Angeles Times, tops a Saturday stakes tripleheader that also includes the $200,000 Los Angeles Times Handicap at six furlongs and the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap at 1 1/16 miles.

$400,000 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap, 3 & up, 1 1/2 mile on turf
PP. Horse, Wgt., Rider
1. Storming Home (GB), 122, Gary L. Stevens
2. Continental Red (CA), 116, David Romero Flores
3. The Tin Man (KY), 123, Mike E. Smith
4. Kim Loves Bucky (KY), 115, Brice Blanc
5. Ballingarry (IRE), 120, Patrick A. Valenzuela
6. Murano (KY), 113, Corey S. Nakatani
7. Denon (KY), 122, Jerry D. Bailey
8. Chiselling (KY), 118, Alex O. Solis
9. Night Life (FR), 114, Victor Espinoza