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Continentalvictory May Skip Kentucky Futurity

October 1, 1996

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) _ Continentalvictory may miss her chance to become the first filly to win trotting’s Triple Crown.

Trainer Ron Gurfein said there is a strong possibility that she may be scratched from the 104th running of the Kentucky Futurity on Friday because she is in severe heat.

``It’s the worst she’s ever done,″ Gurfein said at the post-position draw Tuesday at The Red Mile.

He said he would make a final decision after a workout before the race on whether she would compete in the $125,200 event.

``If she’s OK, she’ll go,″ said Gurfein, adding she was on medication for the problem. ``If she’s not, she won’t.″

Continentalvictory, a daughter of Valley Victory, was made the even-money favorite in the field of six to become the first Triple Crown winner since Super Bowl in 1972. She drew the No. 1 post for the first heat.

She was a wire-to-wire winner in her Hambletonian elimination, the second jewel in the crown, setting a world record for a 3-year-old trotting filly when she won in 1:52 1-5.

Continentalvictory has won 19 of 29 starts, including nine of 12 this year, and has career earnings of $1.6 million. She will be driven by Mike Lachance.

Gurfein said that the filly would be at risk for an injury if she ran while in her condition.

``If I thought there was no risk for injury I would race her regardless,″ he said. ``But we’re very worried about it. You’re racing for more fame here than money.

``This is a mare that could probably maybe in $4 or $5 million in her lifetime, and to race her for $60,000, which is what she would earn winning the Futurity and compromise her racing career is just sheer stupidity.″

A trotter must win two heats to win the Futurity. If the winner of the first heat doesn’t win the second heat, the two heat winners will meet in a raceoff.

The other entries, in post-position order, driver and odds: Freezing Cold, Berndt, Lindstedt, 8-1; Running Sea, Walter Hennessey, 9-2; Lindy Lane, John Campbell, 7-2; Super Ben Joe, Mike Zeller, 6-1; and CR Royal Mo, Carl Allen, 10-1.

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