LAUREL -- Jockey Kent Desormeaux made a swing into Maryland yesterday and dazzled his old fans. He won four races, including the $100,000 Columbia Stakes aboard Voodoo Lily, at Laurel Race Course.
Desormeaux was on the East Coast primarily to ride Ten Keys, who narrowly won a handicap race at The Meadowlands on Friday night. He rides in a jockeys' challenge at Arlington International Racecourse in Chicago today.
Desormeaux, 20, has returned to Maryland only a few times since moving early this year to Southern California, where he has established himself as one of the nation's top riders. Yesterday's 12-race program yielded his most productive showing in any of his returns.
He had Voodoo Lily on the lead immediately in the six-furlong Columbia, then coaxed her in 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Miss Spentyouth. The winner, trained by Wayne Lukas, paid $10 as third choice in a field of eight 3-year-old fillies.
Desormeaux will return to Laurel to ride Ten Keys and "a couple for Maurice Zilber" during the International Turf Festival weekend (Oct. 20-21), he said. The Meadowlands race was Ten Keys' final outing before he runs in the International.
Desormeaux was busy greeting old friends and fans, but had enough time in between to ride nine horses. His winners were Mary Had A Lot in the second race, Khufu in the seventh, Lanzada in the eighth, and Voodoo Lily. Only Lanzada was a favorite.
Desormeaux finished second in the jockey standings at the Del Mar Race Course meeting, which ended Sept. 13. He since has ridden sparingly at the three-week meeting at Fairplex Park in Orange County. He'll be riding regularly at Santa Anita, which begins its prestigious Oak Tree meet Wednesday.
* Jockey Michael Hunter has been suspended seven days for his ride on Gaylord's Annie in the last race Thursday. Gaylord's Annie, according to the Daily Racing Form footnote, "lugged in very slightly," and was disqualified from first.
The suspension begins tomorrow.
* Edgar Prado took off all mounts for the second straight day. He complained of a fever and flu symptoms Friday, and was still sick yesterday.
* Track president Joe De Francis said Laurel probably would make up seven races lost to Friday's power outage on weekend cards.
"We'd like to add on a race to weekend programs instead of making up a whole card on a Monday or Wednesday, although nothing's definite yet," he said.