Mike Luzzi was back riding at Pimlico Race Course yesterday, and he wasted little time resuming what has been one of the best streaks of his life.
Luzzi, aboard favored Diangle in the third race, returned to the winner's circle smiling and waving his whip after the gelding defeated 11 other maidens. It was Luzzi's second mount since he took two weeks off -- one for his honeymoon and the other for a seven-day suspension.
Before leaving, Luzzi, 20, won the $350,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Aug. 18 at Pimlico on Northern Wolf. Then, he and the former Jennifer Brenner were married Aug. 26. And after they returned from their honeymoon in Cancun, Mexico, Virgil "Buddy" Raines sent out Timely Warning and Master Speaker to a 1-2 finish in Sunday's $200,000 Maryland Classic. Raines is Luzzi's grandfather.
"It's been a great last few weeks," said Luzzi, who won a 1989 Eclipse Award as the nation's top apprentice. "I did miss out on maybe picking up the mount on Timely Warning, but it was either miss out on him, miss Northern Wolf or miss the first week of Laurel."
Northern Wolf is set to make his first start since the De Francis in the six-furlong, $150,000-added Philadelphia Park Breeders' Cup Saturday. Laurel Race Course opens Sept. 20, two days after Pimlico closes.
"I've been galloping horses in the morning the last week or so," Luzzi said. "I didn't want to stay away too long. I'm enjoying riding too much."
*Kevin Boniface saddled Primms Cup, winner of the second race yesterday, in place of his father, Bill Boniface.
The elder Boniface has been suspended 15 days because one of his runners, Lacy Underalls, was found to have traces of cocaine in her system after finishing third in a race at Pimlico Aug. 17.
A cocaine controversy exploded last year in California when horses trained by Wayne Lukas and Laz Barrera tested positive for the drug. All charges were later dropped against those trainers, who insisted during the furor that their horses had either been sabotaged or had somehow come into contact with employees who were users of the drug.
*Possible next starts for several Maryland Million race winners: Timely Warning in the Northern Dancer at Laurel Oct. 13; Safely Kept in the Meadowlands Breeders' Cup Sept. 22; and Jeweler's Choice in the Vosburgh Handicap at Belmont Park Sept. 29.
*Leading rider Edgar Prado has been fined $200 by the Maryland stewards for being the aggressor in a scuffle with Mark Johnston in the jockeys' room following the Maryland Lassie Sunday at Pimlico.
*Say No More, Allen Stacy up, won the $21,000 feature with a steady surge from off the pace.