Devilish Touch a godsend at Laurel Filly's win eases frustration of tough-luck trainer Garcia

August 24, 1991|By Marty McGee | Marty McGee,Sun Staff Correspondent

LAUREL -- Trainer Carlos Garcia had little success at the 37-day meeting that ended yesterday at Laurel Race Course, but Devilish Touch tempered his frustration with a resounding five-length triumph in the $43,375 My Juliet Handicap.

Garcia, whose 19 stakes winners in 1990 tied him for fourth nationally, had the 3-year-old filly ready to complete the six-furlong race in 1 minute, 9 3/5 seconds, third-fastest time of the meet for the commonly-used distance.

Marco Castaneda rode Devilish Touch for Burning Tree Farm and Garcia, who had won with only two of 43 starters before the My Juliet.

"She did it so easy today," said Castaneda. "Never had to use the whip."

After taking the lead from In the Curl in a 46 1/5-second half-mile, Devilish Touch ran the final quarter in :23 2/5. In the Curl held for second in a field of seven, two lengths in front of Channel Three.

There was no end to the frustration that has been experienced by Maryland track management in the last year or so. For the fourth of four 1991 segments at either track, business slumped.

For corresponding 1990 dates -- 22 were held at Pimlico and 15 at Laurel; figures include inter-track totals from the "away" track -- betting handle was down 1.5 percent and attendance was off 5.2 percent.

Two veterans, Mario Pino and Vinnie Blengs, were the leading jockey and trainer at the meet. Pino rode 35 winners, three more than Jo Jo Ladner, while Blengs sent out 19 to defeat King Leatherbury (16) and Ben Perkins Jr. (15).

Rick Wilson and Donald Barr were the leading percentage trainer and jockey, respectively (minimum 15 starts). Each earned a $1,000 bonus.

1990-91 comparison

Comparison of averages from the 37-day meet that ended yesterday at Laurel Race Course to corresponding 1990 dates at Laurel and Pimlico Race Course (all figures include inter-track business from "away" track):

Daily average attendance

1990 ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 1991

10,289 ... ... ... ... ... .. .. 9,754

1991 attendance down 5.2 percent

Daily average handle

1990 ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 1991

$1,538,076 ... ... ... ... .. .. $1,514,590

1991 handle down 1.5 percent

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