- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 4, 2003

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Dollases are hoping to have a family portrait taken over the next two days — in the winner’s circle.Wally Dollase’s Ten Most Wanted is the second choice in tomorrow’s 129th Kentucky Derby, and son Craig’s Elloluv is favored in today’s 129th Kentucky Oaks. Wally’s daughter, Aimee, is his assistant trainer. Betting a Dollase double in the Oaks-Derby wager isn’t a long shot.”We’re trying to look good on Friday and Saturday,” Wally said. “You couldn’t get any better help, and there’s the camaraderie we’ve had all our life. I’ll be more nervous [for Craig] than watching mine run.”Dollase has rebuilt his stable quickly after a short run as a private trainer caused him to disperse his public stock last year. The Southern California trainer now handles 30 horses for various syndicates that entrust the conditioner of two former Eclipse Award winners.But Ten Most Wanted returned Dollase to the national stage. Ten Most Wanted, the son of Deputy Commander — which Dollase trained to Travers Stakes and Super Derby victories in 1997 — won the Illinois Derby on April 5 by four lengths after two improving losses in California. Dollase was eighth and 14th in two past Derby attempts over 16 years, but having one of the top contenders re-energized his approach to scaling the Twin Spires. Dollase believes Ten Most Wanted simply needs to run cleanly to the first turn, which shouldn’t be too hard from his No. 16 post.”He’ll go all day, but the only thing that will mess us up is if he goes too fast early,” Dollase said. “Because I have a chance of winning [the Derby], I’m in awe of the whole thing.”Named for the FBI list of top criminals, Ten Most Wanted has made Dollase infamous around the track. He believes the moniker fits the colt.”It’s a flashy name, and everyone likes it,” Dollase said. “He’s as tough as a criminal, though.”Day improvedTen Most Wanted jockey Pat Day expects to return today after missing three days with a strained back. Day is undergoing contrasting therapy of alternating ice and heat treatments for the injury, which he sustained while taking out the trash. He wants to ride on the Derby undercard rather than just awaiting the Derby.”I don’t want to be a test pilot,” Day said. “I don’t want to jeopardize anyone’s opportunity for victory because I’m just a passenger. But I feel good and feel the therapy should move me forward.”Day, 49, is a Churchill Downs legend whose horses often are overbet by locals because of his record $265 million in career earnings. However, Day’s 1992 victory aboard Lil E. Tee is his only Derby triumph in 20 attempts, and he finished 15th twice and 11th the last three years. Day hasn’t missed a Derby since 1983 and doesn’t want to lose a chance to win in the twilight of his career.”I don’t know how many more times I’ll get the opportunity to be here on a horse like this,” he said, “so the enthusiasm and the excitement is fresh and new.”The ‘Empire’ is backTrainer Bobby Frankel declared Derby favorite Empire Maker “100 percent” following a morning gallop. The colt missed one day of training after aggravating a bruised hoof Tuesday.”Be around horses 40 years and it will happen to you all the time. It’s nothing serious,” Frankel said.However, Frankel downplayed Empire Maker’s 6-5 morning line status, which is the second heaviest in 23 years. Frankel expects Empire Maker to be only 9-5, a difference of nearly 8 percent in the win wagering. Frankel also expects his Peace Rules to drop from an 8-1 third choice to 12-1.Hollywood hype?The Derby often attracts Hollywood stars, but the forthcoming film “Seabiscuit” created a syndicate of movie makers that bought into Atswhatimtalknbout. Director Steven Spielberg and producers Gary Ross and Frank Marshall formed “Biscuit Stables,” which co-owns the colt, after former Maryland jockey Chris McCarron convinced them to invest while serving as a consultant to the movie based on the bestselling book by District author Laura Hillenbrand.

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