10/24/2004 11:00PM

Overachieving nothing new for Whipper


When the weanling eventually known as Whipper was sold by Lane's End Farm for a mere $4,000 at the 2001 Keeneland November sales, hardly anyone would have predicted that the colt would become a major contender for the $1.5 million Breeders' Cup Mile.

But nearly three years later, Whipper is a main player in the Mile, much to the amazement of two men whose hands he passed through. Dan Kenny, a Lexington bloodstock agent, sold Whipper for $20,000 to a Canadian agent, who in turn sold him to French clients, who in turn sold him to current owner R.C. Strauss. Whipper has earned more than $700,000 from 12 races for Strauss.

Bill Johnston, who has a small farm in Versailles, Ky., was the client for whom Kenny turned a $4,000 investment into the $20,000 sale.

"When Bill found out how good the horse turned out, he said, 'Well, I was happy when I sold him, and I'm still happy,'" said Kenny. "That kind of attitude is refreshing in this game."

Kenny said he and Johnston recall Whipper, by Miesque's Son, as "a big, gangly colt with a sire who was ice-cold. All the money we've left on the table, I've got to bet a few dollars on him Saturday."

Whipper, now 3, is based in France with Robert Collet, who upset the 1986 BC Mile with Last Tycoon. Whipper was part of the European shipment scheduled to arrive Monday in Dallas following a charter flight from Shannon Airport in Ireland.

Meanwhile, from Hollywood Park in California, trainer Neil Drysdale said Musical Chimes, the filly who defeated males in the Oct. 9 Oak Tree BC Mile, will definitely run in the Mile. "She leaves Wednesday with the other horses from here," Drysdale said Monday.

The decision to start Musical Chimes marks a reversal of sorts, since Drysdale said Oct. 17 that Musical Chimes would not run in the Mile but would point instead for the Matriarch at Hollywood Park next month.

With Musical Chimes in, and if the other 13 preferred horses stay in as expected, then alternates Royal Regalia and Honor in War will be left out of the race when entries are drawn Wednesday.

There were a slew of final pre-race workouts for Mile candidates in recent days: Musical Chimes, breezing in company with stablemate King of Happiness, worked six furlongs Sunday in 1:15 over a firm Santa Anita turf course; Nothing to Lose went five furlongs Sunday in 1:04.27 over the Belmont Park turf; Singletary breezed five furlongs Sunday in 1:01 over a fast main track at Hollywood Park; Blackdoun went five furlongs Sunday in 1:02 on the Santa Anita turf; Silver Tree breezed a half-mile over a fast Churchill Downs main track Monday in 47.20 seconds; Special Ring went five furlongs Monday in 58.60 seconds on the Santa Anita dirt; Domestic Dispute went five furlongs in 1:02.20 Monday over a good Lone Star turf course; and Royal Regalia went five furlongs in 1:03.40 Monday on the Lone Star turf.