Double Booked, ridden by jockey Jose Ferrer, set a track record in winning the 59th running of the Riggs Handicap yesterday at Pimlico Race Course.
Double Booked, which led wire-to-wire over the firm turf course, covered the mile in 1 minute, 33 seconds, breaking the record of 1:35 set by Hawaiian Eye on Oct. 1, 1986. The winner, a 6-year-old gelding trained by Linda Rice, took the lead out of the starting gate and held off early challenges by Once Over Knightly and Air Attack.
Ferrer opened Double Booked up at the top of the stretch, and Double Booked pulled away to three-length win over closing Ligature.
"I tried to slow him down," said Ferrer, "but that's the way he likes to run, so I just went with him."
Double Booked, who hadn't run since November, was fifth in last year's Washington, D.C., International after leading most of the race.
"We prepared him all winter at Gulfstream Park [in Florida] for the turf races in Maryland," said Rice. "He'll go next in the Dixie Handicap [May 17]."
* A total crowd of 22,392 at Pimlico and Laurel (13,824 at Pimlico) bet $788,282 on the Kentucky Derby simulcast.
Strike the Gold's $2 payoffs locally were $10.40, $5.40 and $5, and the $2 exacta of Strike the Gold and Best Pal was worth $70.80.
* Jockey Jacinto Vasquez rode four Pimlico winners yesterday. Vasquez scored on Chris' Holiday in the second, A La Paces in the third, Honour For Merit in the fifth and Mythical Journey in the 12th.
He has 13 wins in 74 mounts for the meeting.
NOTES: Trainer D. Wayne Lukas will bring 4 horses to Pimlico a5 p.m. today. Farma Way, who is to run in the Pimlico Special on Saturday, Corporate Report and Media Plan, who are Preakness eligibles, and Fancy Ribbons, who will run in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes May 17 will be shipped from Churchill Downs. . . . Summer Squall, last year's Preakness winner, who will run against Unbridled, last year's Kentucky Derby winner, in the Pimlico Special, is scheduled to work at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow at Pimlico. This will be the fourth meeting between them, and Summer Squall, trained by Neil Howard, has won 2. Seven horses have been entered in the $750,000 Pimlico Special, with Unbridled top-weighted at 122 pounds. Post positions for 1 3/16-mile race will be drawn on Thursday.