Wide Country loses shoe, not race Filly holds on by neck in Black-Eyed Susan

May 18, 1991|By Marty McGee

The third-place finisher in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes wa reported incorrectly in a story in Saturday's editions of The Sun. The correct third-place finisher was Nalees Pin.

The Sun regrets the errors.

Victories come in all shapes, sizes and degrees of desperation. For Wide Country, her eighth straight triumph -- and the most important of her career -- came in dazzling, then gasping, fashion.

Wide Country put away two rivals turning for home in yesterday's $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico Race Course, drew off to a big lead, then barely held off rallies from two rivals to win Maryland's most prestigious race for 3-year-old fillies.


Trainer Bob Camac said that, although the filly lost a shoe in the upper stretch, "I was real impressed with the way she kept trying.

"I'm very excited, especially considering this was her first time going 1 1/8 miles and was her first time in the mud."

The Black-Eyed Susan, the traditional filly counterpart to the Preakness, was contested on a track made sloppy by a downpour about 50 minutes before the race. The rain came just after the $150,000 Early Times Dixie Handicap was run.

Wide Country, ridden by Santos Chavez, was caught wide in both turns when contesting the pace with Fancy Ribbons and Do It With Style.

In the stretch, Wide Country pulled away and appeared en route to a smashing victory. But the loss of the shoe and a hectic early pace apparently took a toll, and she was all-out to withstand the rushes of the 2-3 finishers. She finished a neck in front of John's Decision, with Little Bold Lookin another half-length back.

Wide Country has won 10 of 13 starts for owner Tommy Tanner; her current eight-race streak is comprised completely of stakes. The daughter of Magesterial (by Northern Dancer) picked up $150,000 for the victory, increasing her career earnings to $592,035.

The filly paid $6.40 to win as favorite after finishing in 1 minute, 51 1/5 seconds, well off the stakes and track records.

Two races earlier, Double Booked, who set a track record on the Pimlico turf in his last start, came back with another record in winning the Early Times Dixie.

The 6-year-old gelding led all the way under Pat Day in the 1 1/8 -mile turf race, finishing in 1:47.

"Down the stretch, I called on him a little and he just took off," said Day.

The clocking easily established a course record, but the distance had not been used for many years. Only when the race became the second leg of the Early Times Turf Triple series was the turf course partially renovated to accommodate a 1 1/8 -mile race.

Linda Rice trains Double Booked, who set the record for a mile on the Pimlico turf (1:33 3/5) in his most recent start.

Chas' Whim, always closest to Double Booked, finished second by 1 1/4 lengths.

Opening Verse, the even-money favorite, was another half-length back. The defeat ended the bid of Opening Verse, winner of the first leg of the Turf Triple, to collect a $1 million bonus for a series sweep.

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