LAUREL -- Gilded Youth won one for the boys with a 5 1/4 -length victory in the $40,000 Virginia Stallion Stakes at Laurel Race Course yesterday.
The two favorites -- Mountain Dance and Early Message -- were among four fillies in the field of 11 2-year-olds, but Gilded Youth was clearly best yesterday. He rallied through a tight opening in the early stretch, then quickly drew off to win. Genuino finished second, another 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Mountain Dance.
"He broke a little slowly, so I didn't rush him," said winning rider Mike Luzzi. "A little hole opened up turning for home, and he just coasted."
The race carries the lowest stakes purse at the major Maryland tracks. It is limited to progeny of stallions standing in Virginia during the foals' year of conception.
Only four of the runners, including the favored fillies, had won more than one race. Gilded Youth wasn't one of them -- he was fresh from a one-length maiden victory at Laurel.
"I wasn't surprised [at the victory]," said trainer Charlie Hadry. "He ran a pretty good race last time, and this wasn't a Grade 1 stake."
Winning owner Orme Wilson Jr., from White Post, Va., is president of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association. He was scheduled to make the trophy presentation but found himself on the receiving end when Gilded Youth won.
Gilded Youth capped a three-victory day for Luzzi, who leads all riders at the 65-day-old meeting with 74 winners. Rick Wilson is second with 62.
* The Maryland-based team of trainer Richard Hemmings and jockey Andrea Seefeldt made a successful trip to Philadelphia Park in Bensalem, Pa., Saturday when Reputed Testamony won the $40,000 Flintlock Stakes by a head.
Reputed Testamony paid $10.60 after winning the 1-mile, 70-yard race for 3-year-olds. He was fourth in the Annapolis Handicap at Laurel in his prior start after encountering a considerable amount of trouble in the stretch.
Smelly, another Maryland runner, finished fourth as the favorite, beaten just over a length.