Probably all horse trainers wish they had an owner like George Bunn, in whose colors Farma Way won the $750,0000 Pimlico Special yesterday.
Not only does Bunn have deep pockets, but he lets his trainer do the training. According to D. Wayne Lukas, Bunn is never following just behind him, ready to second-guess.
Said Lukas: "He's a great owner. He never calls. If I told him the next race would be in Hong Kong, he'd say, 'How do you get there?' "
* The $450,000 winner's share boosts Farma Way's lifetime earnings to $1,652,176. The colt is 6-for-8 since coming under Lukas' care.
After a seven-month layoff, Farma Way lost his first start for Lukas in a six-furlong turf allowance at Hollywood Park on Dec. 7. Then he won five in a row, lost the Oaklawn Handicap and won yesterday.
* The American record for 1 3/16 tied by Farma Way was set by Riva Ridge in the Brooklyn Handicap at Aqueduct July 4, 1973.
* Favorites in the Pimlico Special are winless in four runnings since the race was revived in 1988 after a 30-year hiatus. Summer Squall follows Alysheba (fourth in 1988), Cryptoclearance (fourth in 1989) and Opening Verse (fifth in 1990).
* Farma Way paid $14.40 to win as fourth choice. At Hollywood Park in Southern California, one of 224 outlets to simulcast the race, he paid $9 to win.
More than $6.2 million was bet on the race at those out-of-town simulcasts.
* Lukas' two Pimlico Special victories match his number of Preakness wins. He saddled Codex (1980) and Tank's Prospect to win (1985). Lukas also trained Marfa, sire of Farma Way. Marfa was the beaten favorite in the 1983 Kentucky Derby and fourth in that year's Preakness.
* A hint that a track record in the Special was a possibility came in the second race, when $8,500 claimers ran six furlongs in 1 minute, 10 2/5 seconds.
* Reputed Testamony's last-place performance gave jockey Andrea Seefeldt the dubious distinction of finishing last in the Kentucky Derby and Pimlico Special on consecutive weekends.
* Eddie Delahoussaye, who rode Festin, a late-running fourth: "He finally kicked on but he was so far back. He just wasn't into it."
* Yesterday's handle of $3,251,756 on the 12-race card was the second-highest for a Special program. The 1988 program drew more. A crowd of 25,156 witnessed the race at Pimlico and intertrack partner Laurel.
* Preliminary plans for several Special starters in the Nassau County Handicap, the next ACRS stop: Summer Squall, no. Jolie's Halo, probably. Unbridled, no.
* Missy's Music, owned by Phyllis Fitzgibbons, won the $25,000-added Miss Preakness Stakes on the undercard. Mario Pino rode the 3-year-old filly to victory over Dixie Rouge, the odds-on favorite.
* Bunn, who has a sizable breeding operation, has a Maryland connection. He is a longtime syndicate member in the stallion Lord Gaylord, who stands at Worthington Farm in Glyndon.
* Preakness candidate Olympio worked a mile in 1:37 yesterday with Gregg McCarron as exercise rider. "I was very pleased," said trainer Ron McAnally.
"All through the lane I was just hand-riding him," said McCarron. "Mr. McAnally said he was a push-button horse and he was right."