"Thank you," a relieved Badgett said to Romero.
"Thank her!" said the jockey.
"Only two fifths off Secretariat's track record," said an ecstatic Badgett.
Romero's eyes widened. "I didn't even ask her to run!" he said.
Indeed, Badgett says that rather than putting Go For Wand against females in the Breeders' Cup Distaff in three weeks, he is leaning toward sending her against male horses in the 1�-mile Breeders' Cup Classic. If Go For Wand wins the Classic, she will certainly be voted the 1990 Horse of the Year. In fact, if she passes the Classic and wins the Distaff, she will still draw a strong and noisy following to be named America's premier racehorse.
As for Meadow Star, the four fillies she faced in the Frizette may not have amounted to much, but that was not her fault. She toyed with them through six furlongs in 1:11 and then simply pulverized them through a final quarter mile in :24[2/5]. Meadow Star finished as if she wanted to be a Kentucky Derby horse next May. Her trainer, LeRoy Jolley, knows how to get there. He won the Derby with Foolish Pleasure in 1975 and, five years later, trained Genuine Risk to become only the second filly ever to win the classic. After the Frizette, Jolley was observed teaching Icahn how to walk Meadow Star at the end of a lead shank.
The multimillionaire has been in racing only a few years, but he already owns 90 broodmares and substantial shares in several young stallions, including Ogygian and Blushing John, whose offspring he markets at yearling sales. "He's not in this for a hobby," Whiteley says. "It's a business."
Last Saturday, the business at hand was leading Meadow Star into the winner's circle. Standing on the racetrack, Icahn turned to Jolley and said, " LeRoy, you've got to show me what to do. I don't know how to do it!"
"It's real easy, Carl," Jolley assured him. "When she walks up, she'll have a lead shank on. You take the shank in your right hand, walk her right through there, down to the winner's circle. Make a half turn and stop in front of the camera. You'll be all right."
Calmly, even confidently, Icahn took hold of the shank and strode next to his filly into the circle, holding his head high as he passed the horseplayers who applauded him along the way. It was an excellent rehearsal for a walk Icahn is likely to take again after the 1[1/16]-mile Juvenile Fillies race on Breeders' Cup day.