Bill E. Shears increased his bankroll to $464,441 with a nine-length victory in the $100,000 Polynesian Handicap at Pimlico Race Course yesterday.
Beaten by 11 3/4 lengths when he finished eighth in the Iselin Handicap as a 23-1 shot, the gelding went off as top weight and 5-2 second choice yesterday, with Rick Wilson aboard.
The triumph earned Norton Waltuch's horse $60,000. It was his 11th victory in 37 career starts.
"He can beat those kind of horses," trainer Sonny Hine said of the Iselin field at Monmouth Park on Aug. 25.
"The trouble that day was that he had choked back in the slop by being hit by some of it. I was just shaking my head after the race, and I saw Rick coming back and he was mad. He knew we could have beaten those horses.
"When I decided to run the old gelding here, I was happy to see that Rick was riding down here these days. It was an ideal situation."
With the track fast and dry, Wilson had no problem with Bill E. Shears, who is 5 years old. He came within one-fifth of a second of the track record for 1 1/16 miles, reaching the wire in 1 minute, 41 seconds.
Loui Bomacino set the pace while Bill E. Shears was racing third. When Loui Bomacino began to drop back, Wilson sent his mount to the front.
"We were laying third easy," said Wilson, who had three winners on the card.
"The horse out front? I know they were moving fast."
Bill E. Shears easily held off Shy Tom, the favorite trained by Wayne Lukas. Shy Tom finished second ahead of Loyal Pal. Then came Due North, Midas, Macau, For All and Loui Bomacino.
Arctic Ocean was a late scratch.
As soon as the race was official, Hine and his wife, Carolyn, headed for his home base at The Meadowlands to see Norquestor run in the sixth race.
"We can't make it in time to saddle Norquestor," Hine said. "Somebody else will have to do that."
It was Wilson's best day since the rider from Hartshorne, Okla., arrived in Maryland two weeks ago after almost two decades on the New Jersey-Philadelphia circuit. He boosted his number of winners at Pimlico to six.
"He's a top rider," said Hine. "He was the leading rider at Monmouth Park. That's hard to beat."
Wilson said he decided to abandon New Jersey racing because The Meadowlands runs at night.
"New Jersey racing isn't growing like it was expected to," he said. "And besides, I've got a family. You can't ride at night all the time and do your family justice."
For jockey Allen Stacy, it wasn't a good day. His mount in the Polynesian, Loui Bomacino, finished last after leading. Stacy also was third with Sugarcone in the 10th race after taking it easy on the filly in the stretch. She took what Stacy thought were bad steps, and he gave up driving for the wire.
Karl Korte, whose mount, Flash Number One, stumbled and sent the rider sprawling, suffered an injured hip and was taken to Sinai Hospital for X-rays, which revealed no breaks.