Hero's Hurrah wins stakes for Perkins

January 13, 1991|By Marty McGee | Marty McGee,Sun Staff Correspondent

LAUREL -- For all he had done since shipping his stable of

well-bred runners to Maryland last year, trainer Ben Perkins Jr. had not won a stakes race in the state.

Until yesterday, that is, when Hero's Hurrah defeated Molly Bolt by a length in the $45,000 Francis Scott Key Handicap at Laurel Race Course.

With a .34 winning percentage last year, Perkins was the leader in that category among Maryland trainers.

"But we didn't run many horses in stakes, and when we did they didn't run too well," he said.

Hero's Hurrah is Perkins' top candidate -- and probably the chief local threat -- for the $200,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap, to be run at Laurel Feb. 16. Victory in the Key Handicap was the sixth in her past seven starts.

Winning jockey Rick Wilson said he was concerned that Hero's Hurrah didn't switch to her right lead in the stretch, "but she never does," Wilson said. When a horse fails to switch leads (follow the proper sequence of leading with either front foot), it often can cause a horse to tire more easily.

"I thought the winner was getting late [tiring]," said Joe Rocco, who rode Molly Bolt. "But then my filly started dogging it, too."

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