LAUREL -- Two major races at Laurel Race Course will carry added prestige next year after being granted new or improved grades by a national committee.
The Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash will be a Grade III when it is run next summer. In accordance to rules of the North American Graded Stakes Committee, the six-furlong race was not eligible to be graded for its first two runnings.
The Barbara Fritchie has been upgraded from a Grade III to a Grade II. The filly-mare sprint is half of what has become Laurel's Winter SprintFest, which will be run Feb. 17; the General George Stakes is the other main event.
No other Maryland races were affected by the relatively few revisions enacted by the committee. A total of 471 North American races are graded for 1992.
NOTES: Silver Vein, ridden by Mike Luzzi, won the ninth-race feature at Laurel yesterday over long shot Outdoor Celebrity. The win was Luzzi's second of the day and gave him a 62-61 lead over Edgar Prado atop the jockeys standings. Silano, the odds-on favorite, forced the pace before fading to last in a field of 6. . . . Winning long shots spiced yesterday's 10-race Laurel card. Bound To See ($106), Funny You Ask ($50.20) and Herman's Match ($72.80) were all winners. . . . Luzzi has won a stay of a 7-day suspension pending appeal to the Maryland Racing Commission. . . . The Carousel Handicap for fillies and mares highlights tomorrow's card. The Annapolis Handicap for 3-year-olds is the Sunday feature. . . . Crown and Anchor, the subject filly of a controversial claim, has been scratched from today's seventh race because she was not eligible to race as of Tuesday, when entries for today were accepted.