Older But Smarter seized his opportunity at Pimlico Race Course yesterday after two bettors missed theirs.
The colt drubbed six other 2-year-olds in the $56,050 Vanlandingham Stakes after being sent to the lead from his inside post. Earlier, the Double Triple pool swelled to $189,559, although two of four winning tickets in the first half of the gimmick were not cashed.
Older But Smarter, ridden by Rick Wilson, won by 13 lengths over favored Saint Edward in the one-mile turf event.
"I was on the fence [into the first turn] and the two outside horses went wide," said Wilson. "He handled the soft turf real well."
The victory was welcomed by the colt's trainer, Paul Seefeldt. It had been nearly four years since Seefeldt won a stakes race, and that came with Templar Hill, who earned Seefeldt recognition with other big wins and a fifth-place finish in the 1987 Kentucky Derby.
The Vanlandingham is a prep for the $200,000 Laurel Futurity, but Older But Smarter is not nominated to that race. To run him in the Oct. 20 race, his owners, the six-partner Yearling Investments Stable, would have to supplement him for $12,500.
The first half of the Double Triple led to a peculiar situation. Logan's Mist won over 55-1 shot Mischiefous Hahn, initiating a 12-5-8 combination. But no bettor had them in exact order; by rule, the track was mandated to pay on the first two correct finishers, or 12-5-all. As a result, four tickets with 12 first, 5 second and any other horse third were worth $8,344.20 each, plus an exchange ticket.
But only two were cashed and exchanged, said Bob Zambreny, a mutuels official.
"Some people just don't understand what the 'all' means," he said. "There usually seems to be a few uncashed tickets whenever it happens."
Bettors who failed to cash the tickets missed out on a fine opportunity to sweep the entire pool: Thunderwood, the 2-5 favorite, finished first in the gimmick's second half, followed by Heowesme and Hail Thirty Eight. The winning 5-1-3 combination was picked on the track program; the two active exchanges picked 5-1-8 and 5-9-1.
Although buyers of the two uncashed tickets missed a potential coup, they can still redeem them for the first-half value -- assuming they still have them or can go through a complicated process that proves they bought them. Otherwise, the value of uncashed tickets goes to the state of Maryland one year after the date of sale.
The apparent oversights are prime examples why the state collected nearly $1.5 million in 1990 alone from uncashed tickets at thoroughbred and harness tracks.
NOTES: Seefeldt is the older brother of Andrea Seefeldt, a regular Maryland jockey. . . . Will Wolford won't be at Pimlico to watch his River Orchid make her career debut in today's third. Wolford, the All-Pro tackle for the Buffalo Bills, will be busy trying to keep the Tampa Bay Buccaneers off quarterback Jim Kelly's back. . . . Kincardini enters today's fourth with a six-race win streak. . . . Today's $50,000-added Queen Empress Stakes drew a full field of 2-year-old fillies. The race is sandwiched between simulcasts of the Man o' War Stakes from Belmont Park and the Super Derby from Louisiana Downs.