LAUREL -- The outlook for the $100,000 Northern Dancer Stakes changed abruptly in midafternoon yesterday when Baron de Vaux, the odds-on favorite, was scratched out of the 1 1/8 -mile race for Maryland-bred 3-year-olds.
Baron de Vaux's trainer, Charlie Peoples, was reported to be suffering from a stomach ailment, and besides, Bayard Sharp's colt does not run well in certain kinds of footing when it rains.
Rain Friday night and most of yesterday left the main track at Laurel Race Course rated muddy.
That left Manlove as the choice because of his recent form rather than his ability to handle the mud.
But when the field approached the stretch, Manlove was far back and the colt Temper Time emerged as a 2 1/4 -length winner.
"He's good," winning trainer Reginald Vardon said of Baron de Vaux. "You take him out and all at once you've got a chance."
The triumph as third choice -- he paid $8.40 -- was Temper Time's second career victory. The son of Temperence Hill won the Goss Stryker Stakes even before he had beaten maidens. Owner Sam Morrell paid $60,000 for Temper Time as a yearling.
The Northern Dancer was Temper Time's biggest payday. With his rally from fourth to first, he earned $60,000.
The winner was handled by Edgar Prado, who had ridden nine winners the previous two days. Prado had none yesterday until he got in first with Temper Time.
Prado, who has 31 winning rides in 19 days of the meeting and is the Laurel leader, said Vardon had told him to "follow the speed. I was sitting four or five lengths off, waiting for the right time to move. I asked him at the three-eighths pole. He's a nice horse coming back."
Second was Reputed Testamony, followed by Manlove, Mahvelous Matt, Real Tough, Tigors, Silver Vein and Perfect Habit.
Temper Time's last 10 races included only one on an off track. That was the Fedrico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in the slop.
"He finished way back in the Tesio," said Vardon. "But it wasn't the track. He just didn't fire that day."
* Representatives of racing commissions in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware met again Thursday to continue discussions about seeking uniform rules for the diuretic Lasix.
Those states have different rules involving such things as the number of hours that a horse treated with Lasix must be detained before a race and the ages at which the medication can be used.
Maryland rules require a horse to be detained only for three hours before a race. Some states require a four-hour detention. Maryland prohibits 2-year-olds from racing on Lasix. Pennsylvania and New Jersey allow 2-year-olds to be treated with the diuretic.
Racing officials from the four states met June 22 and again in August to discuss possible rule changes.
Officials from New York have attended each session but have not expressed goals toward having their rules changes. New York prohibits the use of any medication after a horse has been entered to run.
Ken Schertle, executive director of the Maryland Racing Commission, said that the Maryland representatives to the sessions on Lasix will report to the entire board and that the commission will provide a report to a joint legislative committee on racing, probably next month.