Mike Luzzi let out a notch on Wind Splitter, then took one in.
Wind Splitter had spurted away to a startling advantage early in yesterday's $50,000 Broad Brush Handicap at Pimlico Race Course, but by the half-mile pole, the pace-chasers had drawn virtually even.
"It feels kind of funny when a horse goes into a gallop when he's on the front end," said Luzzi.
Not to worry. The 5-year-old gelding, owned by Randy Williams and trained by Dale Capuano, "heard another horse come to his flank, and he took off again," said Luzzi. Result: victory, by nearly a length, over late-charging Reputed Testamony.
Wind Splitter was the 9-10 favorite in a field of six older runners, but virtually no one -- Luzzi included -- had expected him to have an eight-length lead by the time the field had gone a half-mile in the 1 1/8 -mile race.
Soon thereafter, however, Wind Splitter relinquished much of that lead; only when Luzzi set him down did he draw off again. Only Reputed Testamony, who cut the corner nicely before putting in his usual stretch run, was able to get close.
Wind Splitter paid $3.80 to win after finishing in 1 minute, 49 3/5 seconds on a muddy track.
NOTES: His win in the Broad Brush was Luzzi's third of the daybut he made up no ground on leading rider Edgar Prado, who won just as many. Prado leads 82-78. . . . Capuano recaptured the trainers lead, 33-32, over King Leatherbury with the win. . . . Wind Splitter went the first half-mile in 46 1/5, then the third quarter in 25 2/5. That's when the others got close. . . . Robert Meyerhoff, owner of Broad Brush, presented the winning trophy. Broad Brush, retired in 1987 at 4, is the leading all-time Maryland-bred with earnings of more than $2.6 million. . . . The Broad Brush was sandwiched between simulcasts of the True North Handicap from Belmont Park, won by Diablo, and the Arlington Classic, won by Whadjathink; both horses won easily. Whadjathink had finished seventh in the Preakness in his previous start. . . . Nick Zito wasn't at Pimlico to saddle Senator To Be in the feature, but his wife, Jan, was there to see the colt's fourth-place finish. Mrs. Zito said Strike the Gold, trained by her husband, is still on course for the July 27 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park as his next start. . . . Owner/trainer Jesse Bailey has been suspended for the remainder of the year by the Maryland Racing Commission after a conviction on cocaine charges.