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Mathews pins hopes on GP Downs longshot

Liz Mathews is anticipating a memorable race this weekend with Admirals Revenge. She just received her assistant trainer's license, and a win would be the ultimate way to launch her career.

Admirals Revenge has promising credentials.

"He's a half-brother to Nikki S., who won the $18,000 Oregon Oaks at Portland," Liz explained. Also, he recently posted bullet works at 3 and 4 furlongs. The big gelding runs so smoothly, it's hard to gauge his speed without a watch.

The Admiral will try for his third win in the 12th race today at a distance of 51/2; furlongs. His odds are an enticing 10-to-1. He was scheduled to run last Saturday but a cloudburst canceled that plan.


ANOTHER HORSE who took a rain check on victory over the weekend is the aptly named Inclement Weather. Owner Warren Brown will run the 9-year-old veteran of California tracks in Sunday's 12th-race.

"He's helped me out spiritually a lot. My mom died and my wife left me in the same week," Warren recalled. "Then he won a race in Sacramento. It hit me in the heart."

Warren's history with racehorses includes four years at Overbrook Farm in Lexington, where he worked in the breeding shed with legendary stallions Grindstone and Storm Cat.


DON JACKSON, the dean of racing at Grants Pass Downs, was shaking his head last Sunday just before all 11 races were scrapped because of a boggy track.

"This wouldn't have happened with the new dirt," he said.

The "new dirt" is a huge load of wonderful stuff from what locals call "the old mint farm." It drains fast, crumbles readily, and would cushion the impact of hoofs or unlucky jockeys. It is not, however, dirt-cheap. The cost for the amount needed is $140,000.

An anonymous donor has pledged $70,000 toward this essential addition to the Don Jackson Racing Facility, and Josephine County has agreed to put up $35,000 if a matching $35,000 can be found.

Gee, I wonder who the anonymous donor might be?


RACING AFICIONADOS eventually discover pedigreequery.com. This Web site will divulge at no cost a thoroughbred's ancestry going back five generations. Often, it turns up surprises.

Take the case of Kiss the Cop, who ran last Saturday. On his mother's side he is a descendant of Seabiscuit.


This is rare. The Biscuit sired few horses, and of them even fewer that ran well. It seems the Northern California ranch where he stood was too isolated to draw quality mares; also, an early death cut short his breeding career.

Kiss the Cop proved strong in the stretch, driving from far back to take fourth. Maybe his Seabiscuit DNA will switch on next time. Owner Teri Beckner thinks he's still looking for the right jockey, which was also the case with his great-great-great-grandfather.


SPEAKING OF jockeys and Teri, whatever happened to her daring daughter Twyla Beckner, who was top rider at the Downs for several years? It turns out she has business as well as horse sense.

"She's making humus," said Teri.

"She tells me, 'Mom, I take a dime's worth of beans, add garlic, and sell it for $5. I do that hundreds of times a day. It's a good living, Mom, and I don't get hurt.'

"What a waste of a good jockey," Teri lamented.