04/14/2010 11:00PM

Trying hard to win one for Seewald


LEXINGTON, Ky. - This is more than their Kentucky Derby. For the friends and family members still reeling from the untimely death of trainer Alan Seewald, a victory Saturday by Uptowncharlybrown in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland would be something beyond this world.

"I don't think I have ever wanted to win a race so hard in my life," said Linda White, the longtime assistant to Seewald, who died unexpectedly Monday at age 62 at his home in Middletown, N.J.

White accompanied Uptowncharlybrown on a horse van earlier this week from Tampa Bay Downs, where the colt won his first two career starts before running third in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes and fifth in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby. Although a win in the Grade 2 Lexington is worth $180,000 and would bring the colt to the cusp of graded-earnings eligibility for the May 1 Kentucky Derby, he won't go, "win, lose, or draw," Ryan Seewald, the 19-year-old son of the late trainer, said Thursday morning from New Jersey.

"My dad said the horse wasn't going to run, and when he said something like that, he stuck to it. Linda is pretty much the same kind of person, so even if we win Saturday, I'm sure the horse won't be in the Derby."

Ryan Seewald and his mother, Kate, and brother, Shane, are understandably saddened by how their father would have relished training Uptowncharlybrown through his 3-year-old season and beyond.

"He was very excited about this horse," he said. "He had said we were going to the Dwyer and the Belmont Stakes with him, and then he came home one day and said we were going to the Lexington. He was really pumped about it all."