Mike Luzzi won the $56,500 Sir Ivor Stakes for his grandfather yesterday and gave himself a chance at a more prestigious prize in the process.
The triumph enabled Luzzi, riding Tribal Crown to the colt's first stakes victory, to settle into a tie with Edgar Prado atop the Pimlico Race Course jockeys standings. Tribal Crown is trained by Luzzi's grandfather, Virgil "Buddy" Raines.
"I liked this horse today," said Luzzi. "I took off Woodsy [the 2-1 favorite] to ride him."
With today dark, Pimlico plays host to its final live racing card of 1991 tomorrow. Racing will shift to Laurel on Thursday, with Pimlico remaining open as an intertrack outlet.
Victory in the Sir Ivor gave Luzzi a short-lived, one-win lead over Edgar Prado, who would pull even when winning the last of 14 Pimlico races (including two simulcasts) with Sheik's Crescent. That last victory was Prado's third of the day, giving both riders 29 for the 24-day-old session. The pair will battle for the riding crown tomorrow, when each has seven scheduled mounts.
Tribal Crown, a son of Chief's Crown, relaxed off the early pace set by Woodsy in the Sir Ivor, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds. With a furlong remaining, he moved to the lead with a steady outside rally en route to a 1 3/4 -length score over Auggies Here, who dogged Woodsy throughout before barely holding second from Gala Spinaway.
Tribal Crown is owned by Dogwood Stable, the national syndicate which owns 1990 Preakness winner Summer Squall and other top horses. Tribal Crown, a loser in his first six starts but a winner in four of his past five, finished in 1 minute, 46 seconds, on a yielding turf. He paid $14.40 to win as third choice in a field of nine.
NOTES: With 1 winner yesterday, Carlos Garcia has assumed a 2-win lead over 3 others atop the trainers standings. The Pimlico training title would be Garcia's first. . . . Since yesterday's card clashed with the Orioles' Memorial Stadium finale and a Redskins television game, it was probably to be expected that yesterday's total handle of $1,588,598 would be 21 percent under the betting total ($2,021,542) for a similar program at Laurel last year. Overall, handle is down over 5 percent at the meet. . . . Pimlico/Laurel handled $77,303 on the Arc de Triomphe simulcast, which led off the program. Last year, their first to simulcast the Arc, the tracks handled $74,007 on the race. . . . The Double Triple carry-over has reached $85,310. Since tomorrow ends a meet, the pool must be paid out. . . . The Luzzi/Raines combination won the $200,000 Maryland Classic on Maryland Million day, Sept. 8. . . . Jockey Joe Rocco and apprentice Joe Leonardi have been suspended 7 days each. Each had a mount disqualified for a foul in separate races Saturday.