Timely Warning held off his more highly regarded stablemate Master Speaker in the stretch at Pimlico Race Course yesterday and won the $200,000 Budweiser Maryland Classic.
The victory for Timely Warning, ridden by Craig Perret, headed the fifth Maryland Million Day program limited to offspring of Maryland sires. The card yesterday attracted 22,108 customers and $2,257,892; it was the event's second-highest crowd and the third-best mutuel handle.
The victory in the feature gave Perret a 3-2 edge over Julie Kronin a friendly rivalry between the two jockeys from the New York/New Jersey circuit. They had most of the short-priced mounts in the nine races for professional riders. Perret leads the nation with 42 winning rides in stakes this year.
Timely Warning, winning his first stakes race, seemed to bentered as the so-called "rabbit," a horse entered to kill off the speed for a rallying stablemate.
But Perret nursed the gelding along in front after stalking thpace just behind For All, the leader for the first half. The winning time was 2 minutes, 2 1/5 seconds.
R Master Speaker, who had rallied to win the 1989 Classic underKrone, could not muster a strong move.
"The pace was slow," Krone said. "He needed a faster pace."
The top two finishers are owned by Anderson Fowler and traineby Buddy Raines. They were coupled in the betting as a 7-10 favorite.
"I'm not suprised," Raines said after Perret guided the gelding ifor his third consecutive victory. "He's bred for the distance."
Lately, Timely Warning had been racing in distances ranginfrom seven furlongs to 1 1/8 miles.
Perret said he had been confident most of the way. "I didn't wanto go too much in a hurry," he said. "At the half-mile pole, I was still sitting on him. At the eighth pole, I knew I had it won."
Cefis was third in the seven-horse field, followed by GronwohldFor All, Silano and Most Valiant, 11 3/4 lengths back. Due North was scratched early.
Timely Warning, a 5-year-old son of Caveat, earned $120,000 anboosted his total bankroll to $357,354.
In the 10 races conducted yesterday, five favorites won.
Perret and Krone moved into the spotlight together for the MillioDay card when Perret had scheduling conflicts and gave up the mount on Safely Kept, the Eclipse Award-winning sprinter who headed the $100,000 State of Maryland Distaff Handicap yesterday. Safely Kept, ridden by Krone, romped to victory easily, with Perret second on Amy Be Good.
Perret came back to ride Xray to victory in the $100,000 CrowCentral Petroleum Maryland Nursery, a race for 2-year-old colts and geldings, then he booted Jeweler's Choice in first in the $100,000 USAir Maryland Sprint Handicap.
Jeweler's Choice is owned by Fourbros Stable, half-owned by the Manfuso brothers, Bob and Tommy. They also own half the stock in the Pimlico and Laurel race courses.
Krone's other winning mount was with Countus In, who repeateas winner of the $100,000 Maryland Lassie.
Of the morning-line choices who figured to be even money oless, three -- Safely Kept, Xray and Timely Warning -- won.
In addition to Master Speaker, two others failed. Divine Warninlost the $100,000 Maryland Turf as 3-5 favorite, and Valay Maid wound up a dull third as 1-5 choice in the $100,000 Kennard Warfield Jr. Group Maryland Oaks.
The Oaks was won by McKilts, who is based at Bowie TraininCenter with the stable of trainer Meredith Bailes.
*Maryland You Are Beautiful Amateur Riders Event: King's Snow.
*State of Maryland Distaff Handicap: Safely Kept.
*USF&G Maryland Lassie: Ameri Allen.
*Kennard Warfield Jr. Group Maryland Oaks: McKilts.
*Crown Central Petroleum Maryland Nursery: Xray.
*First National Bank of Maryland Ladies: Countus In.
*Mercedes-Benz Maryland Handicap: Arugula.
*USAir Maryland Sprint Handicap: Jeweler's Choice.
*Budweiser Maryland Classic: Timely Warning.
*Maryland Turf: Hear the Bells.