For most of the year, Leslie Legum lives just around the corner from Pimlico Race Course, in a condominium on Park Heights Avenue. But he winters at Pompano Beach, and plans to stay in Florida until mid-April.
This year, Legum, 80, an admitted late-comer to the sport of horse racing, is keeping an unusually keen eye on the Triple Crown.
He might be the only owner with an interest in two horses running in the Kentucky Derby.
One of those is Technology, the recent Florida Derby winner in which Legum has a 25 percent interest.
He also owns a 25 percent interest in Surely Six, a potential Kentucky Derby entry that runs today in the $100,000 Cherry Hill Mile at Garden State Park in New Jersey.
Legum and his wife, Naomi, got into the game only six years ago at the urging of their friend, Alice Hechter. They bought part a of a filly named Hushi, who was trained by Sonny Hine.
"Now I'm thinking, 'Where have I been all the rest of my life?' This is just about the greatest thrill I've ever had," Legum said.
Legum is involved in the ownership of 11 horses, trained either by Hine or Ben Perkins Jr., who trains Surely Six.
"Ben tells me Surely Six is the best horse in our stable [the Candy Stable partnership]," Legum said. "We sold our other good colt, Dr. Unright, to Saudi Arabian interests, and Ben thinks this one is good enough to take his place. But I imagine the horse will have to win [today] to go to the Derby."
Legum, who used to own car dealerships and other Baltimore business interests, is retired.
He said having two horses in the Kentucky Derby "would be a heck of a problem, but one I could live with."
He won't be traveling today to Garden State Park. His partners -- Frank and Ginny Wright of Hampstead, and Herb Moelis of Chesapeake City -- will attend the race. Another partner, Joseph Keelty, will be represented at the race by bloodstock agent Don Litz Jr.
"I'm staying down here [Florida] and keeping an eye on Technology, who goes next in the Tropical Park Derby (April 11 at Calder)," Legum said.
NOTES: Pimlico GM Jim Mango said that an official with the United Starting Gate Co. checked Pimlico's starting gate equipment and couldn't explain Thursday's opening-day malfunction. "He concurs it might have been related to the rain," Mango said. "We're looking into getting an insulated starting switch or one that is waterproof." . . . Eighteen horses, including Best Pal, Sea Cadet and Twilight Agenda, have been kept eligible for the May 9 Pimlico Special. . . . A stirrup leather broke and caused Andrea Seefeldt to fall from her mount, Faigie's Prospects, in yesterday's third race. However, Seefeldt was uninjured and is named to ride Sticks And Bricks today in the Cherry Hill Mile. . . . Edgar Prado won three races yesterday at Pimlico, including the feature on Merry Lion. . . . Roger Attfield said from Payson Park yesterday that he kept Alydeed out of the Jim Beam Stakes "because of the uncertain weather situation in Kentucky. I thought about going, but it just didn't sit right." He opted to stay in Florida and run the undefeated colt in the What A Pleasure Stakes.