With just four racing days left at Pimlico Race Course this year, jockey and trainer races are as undecided as when the current 25-day meeting began.
Mike Luzzi and Edgar Prado have ridden 25 winners each; trainers Dale Capuano, Carlos Garcia and Vinnie Blengs have sent out 12 winners.
Conceivably, Prado could have a solid lead if he still rode "first call" for Blengs, with whom he teamed for many victories. But a miscommunication nearly three months ago led Blengs to stop using Prado on a regular basis.
"We're suspended," said Prado's agent, Steve Rushing. "I told Vinnie [yesterday] that if Edgar had committed murder, at least he'd be on parole now."
Instead, Luzzi and Mario Pino have been winning races for Blengs, and now a tie exists atop the jockeys standings. Prado and Luzzi each won an early race yesterday, and Prado could have taken a slim lead in the sixth, but Say No More was one jump late in catching Peruse at the wire.
Meanwhile, Pino, the leader at the Laurel Race Course summer meet, trails Prado and Luzzi by just three, and Frannie Campitelli is only two winners behind the leading triumvirate.
* Two appeals cases were heard Wednesday by three Maryland Racing Commission members, but decisions on both have been delayed until the full commission can act on them.
Earlier this year, horses trained by Carlos Garcia and Richard Delp tested positive for trace amounts of cocaine, and both trainers appealed the requisite 15-day suspensions handed them the stewards.
NOTES: Tomorrow's $100,000 Polynesian Handicap, the second of 2 graded stakes to be run at this Pimlico meet, has drawn 8 older horses. Timely Warning (119) and Baron de Vaux (118) are the top-weights in the 1 1/16-mile race. . . . Tomorrow's $850,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup, the last major race for older horses on dirt before the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Classic, drew 5 horses. The 1 1/4-mile race will be simulcast to Pimlico/Laurel from Belmont Park. In post-position order, the field is Mountain Lore, Festin, Twilight Agenda, Strike the Gold and Chief Honcho. . . . The Arc de Triomphe simulcast leads off a 14-race program Sunday. Post time is 11:30 a.m. The Turf Classic simulcast from Belmont and the Sir Ivor Stakes will be run later in the afternoon. . . . Fourteen horses have been pre-entered for the $250,000 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase on Oct. 12 at Fair Hill Race Course. Morley Street, the defending champion, is the biggest name, and only 2 foreign horses remain eligible. . . . Owner/trainer John Joyce was fined $500 for refusing to run Annie's Warning in yesterday's first race. . . . A group headed by former Redskins OL Mark May and
including Sam Huff has expressed preliminary interest in buying Charles Town Races.