LAUREL -- Double Triple fever is beginning to affect horseplayers at Laurel Race Course again. Yesterday, the gimmick failed to be won for the 12th straight program, causing the carry-over pool to swell to $195,604.90.
If bettors fail to solve the bet in the next few racing days, the pool could hit one of its peaks since it became a staple at Maryland tracks in November 1986.
A carry-over was a probability yesterday after Easter King, a 16-1 shot, won by a neck over Baederbate (9-1) in the third race, first half of the wager. There were 60 live tickets.
Then, when Pine Valley (8-1) won the fifth race, second half of the wager, there were no winning exchange tickets. The Double Triple has not been won since Nov. 16.
While many fans still clamor for the return of the Pick Six -- which has proved to be a statistically easier wager -- the Double Triple becomes the target of bettors once the pool builds to sizable numbers. Two years ago yesterday, a pool of more than $1.8 million was split among 30 winners, culminating a frenzy of carry-overs. The December 1988 figure is the largest the Double Triple has reached.
* He's just weeks into retirement, but Laurel has already named a race for Northern Wolf.
The $50,000-added Northern Wolf Handicap will be run Jan. 19. Appropriately, the distance is six furlongs. The 4-year-old colt owns track marks for the commonly run distance at both Laurel and Pimlico race courses.
Northern Wolf was retired in October after sustaining an injury. He will stand at stud at Corbett Farm in Monkton next year.
The Northern Wolf is one of 18 stakes to be run at the Jan. 1-March 12 winter meeting. The Barbara Fritchie Handicap and General George Stakes, both $200,000 races, will be run on the )) same program for the first time. Laurel is calling the Feb. 16 double feature its "Winter SprintFest."
Along with releasing its winter stakes schedule, the track announced it will continue its five-day-a-week schedule. It will continue through March 12, with the exception of two Mondays -- the Martin Luther King holiday (Jan. 21) and Presidents' Day (Feb. 18).
* Jockey Edgar Prado, out since Oct. 21 with a kidney ailment, is scheduled to return tomorrow with three mounts at Laurel.
* Run Spot held off a late rally from Wings Of Silver, the odds-on favorite, to capture the $23,000 allowance feature at Laurel yesterday. The victory was the first in nine 1990 starts for Run Spot, who had finished second in five of those outings.