LAUREL -- Whether Mixed Appeal becomes a standout does not concern trainer Dean Gaudet. "If she stays sound, she might become a nice filly," Gaudet conceded.
Gaudet found herself cornered by four reporters yesterday at Laurel Race Course after Mixed Appeal made the second start of her career. When a horse wins its debut by 18 lengths, and in fast time, interest is piqued. So when Mixed Appeal posted another easy score, winning an allowance race by 5 1/2 lengths, there was the natural question: What gives?
"We maybe had her four months before she ran," said Gaudet. "She's pretty big and had some soundness problems. I have no immediate plans for her."
Gaudet said she wishes Mixed Appeal was "2 going on 3, instead of 3 going on 4. She'll start jumping into some tough older mares next year."
That does not keep Gaudet, or Israel Cohen, the Giant Food Inc. magnate for whom she trains a private stable, from hoping that Mixed Appeal develops into the best horse they've had since Mighty Appealing. In 1984, Mighty Appealing -- the sire of Mixed Appeal and many other current Cohen runners -- won the Laurel Futurity and Remsen Stakes before disappointing the next year at 3.
"I don't know if she'll go [a distance]," said Gaudet. Yesterday, she led all the way in completing 6 1/2 furlongs in 1 minute, 18 1/5 seconds, respectable time for a surface that has been playing slow. "Mighty Appealing won the first time he went around two turns. We'll have to see."
Jo Jo Ladner, who rode Mixed Appeal, whipped her once in the stretch. "I just wanted to keep her attention," said Ladner.
Three races later, He Is Risen desperately held on to defeat Quake Country and Dandy Danzig in the allowance feature. He Is Risen, ridden by Greg Hutton, was making his second start since running in several major races last spring.
NOTES: The Double Triple carry-over went past the 6-figure mark yesterday. The pool stands at $101,214 for tomorrow's card. . . . Mike Luzzi was 1 of 3 jockeys to ride 2 winners yesterday. Luzzi trails only Edgar Prado, 67-65, atop the rider standings. . . . Larry Saumell, still sore from a spill 5 days ago, took off his scheduled mounts for the third straight program. . . . The West Virginia Racing Commission has granted Charles Town 251 dates for 1992. The 5-day-a-week schedule will begin Jan. 3. . . . Larry Horning Sr., 57, a popular longtime Maryland owner and father of trainer Larry Horning Jr., died Monday afternoon of a heart attack. A private burial is scheduled for today, and a memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. tomorrow at Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda.