Technology hammers Dance Floor in Fla. Derby 12-1 shot is too legit as rap favorite quits

March 15, 1992|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

HALLANDALE, Fla. -- There was no rappin' yesterday on Hammer's Dance Floor.

The 4-5 favorite in the Florida Derby might be legit, but he quit in a head-to-head stretch duel with 12-1 long shot Technology and ended up second, a head in front of Pistols And Roses.

The lightly raced Technology graduated from allowance to Grade I company with a gutsy 4 1/2 -length win in only his fifth career start.

It was announced later that Dance Floor had bled.

Rap star Hammer, who owns Dance Floor, was dressed for the occasion in a red suit with red suspenders. He wowed the pre-race crowd.

But the day belonged to Technology, a horse with all sorts of Baltimore connections, but who has yet to be nominated to the Triple Crown.

No one really believed in the colt's chances yesterday except his jockey, Jerry Bailey.

"We wouldn't have run, but Jerry egged us into it," said Sonny Hine, the horse's trainer, who was once a longtime Maryland regular.

"I was concerned that he didn't have enough seasoning, but Jerry said, 'Don't worry.' I told him before the race: 'You got us into it, now get us out.' "

Technology ran hard the whole way. He stalked pace-setter Waki Warrior, who broke from the 12-hole, then caught him around the final turn.

Dance Floor, who ran fifth early alongside 3-1 second choice Pistols And Roses, moved up and caught Technology at the top of the stretch.

The two horses briefly raced head-to-head until Bailey switched sticks about the three-sixteenths pole. Technology responded and drew off to a decisive victory.

His time for the 9 furlongs was 1 minute 50 3/5 seconds, 4 1/5 seconds off the track record.

Technology was purchased last year out of the Calder 2-Year-Old-in-Training Sale for $102,000 by Scott Savin.

Savin, 31, syndicated the horse, along with two others, into five-way partnership. A fifth of the horse is owned by Leslie Legum of Baltimore.

Legum, 80, once owned Legum Chevrolet as well as the Parkway Industrial Center. But he is now retired.

"When I sold Parkway, I was looking for play toys, and decided to buy racehorses," Legum said.

Hine originally got Legum into the business with the purchase of the filly Hushi. That was six years ago.

Hine said Technology will now be nominated at a cost of $4,500 to the Triple Crown series, and will run in the Kentucky Derby May 2.

Hine finished seventh with Cojak in the 1976 Kentucky Derby, the only time he started a horse in the race.

"I'd like to get one race into him before then, about two to three weeks before the Derby," Hine said.

Hine, who saddled his first winner at Marlboro Race Course in Upper Marlboro in 1948, was based in Maryland for almost 25 years. He then moved to a New Jersey-Florida circuit and had planned to stay in Florida.

"But I guess, now, I'll have to go on the road with Technology," he said.

NOTES: One horse, Scream Machine, did not finish the race. His jockey, Pat Day, pulled him up between the half-mile and three-eighths poles. The horse is believed to have pulled both suspensory ligaments in his right front leg, but it is not a life-threatening injury. The horse was taken back to his barn in a horse ambulance, but was able to cool out by walking around the shedrow. . . . Hine was not the only trainer familiar to Maryland fans who won big yesterday at Gulfstream Park. Barclay Tagg sent out Grab The Green to a record-setting win in the Buckram Oak Handicap. The 4-year-old Texas-bred filly came from off the pace and beat Christiecat by three lengths. She ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:39 1/5, taking three seconds off the turf course record. . . . Technology paid $26.20, $7.20 and $4.40. Dance Floor returned $3 and $2.20 and Pistols And Roses paid $2.80. . . . A total of $6,922,324 was bet on the 12-race Gulfstream Park card yesterday, setting a Florida record. . . . Bailey also won the $100,000 Swale Stakes yesterday with D.J. Cat. But he will stick with Technology in the Kentucky Derby. . . . Bailey flew down to Florida about 10 days ago from New York expressly to work Technology for the Florida Derby. The horse went six furlongs in 1:11 2/5. "That's when Jerry got off the horse and said he'll win the Derby," Hine said. "I said, 'Which derby?' Jerry replied, 'The Kentucky Derby!' "

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