Trainer Pat Kelly thought he might have to scratch favored Binary Light from the Woodlawn Stakes yesterday at Pimlico Race Course.
All-day rains had soaked the course, and he thought the race would be switched to the main track.
But track superintendent John Passero -- "after checking the course about 20 times during the day," according to Timothy Capps, Pimlico's director of racing -- decided the Woodlawn, as well as a companion turf race, would stay on the grass.
Binary Light, ridden by Herb McCauley, came from about 10 lengths off the pace set by Majesty's Turn and Older But Smarter and won the Woodlawn Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths over Dash For Dotty.
In the previous turf race, Kelly-trained Sultry Song, who had contested the Breeders' Cup Turf last year, made his seasonal debut as the 6-5 favorite at 1 1/16th miles. But he lost by 2 1/4 lengths to the King Leatherbury-trained Makin' Money, who he was giving 8 pounds.
"Herb told me after that race that the course was wet on top, but good underneath, so we decided to go ahead and run Binary Light," Kelly said.
Kelly, who is stabled at Belmont Park, is the son of Thomas J. Kelly, a well known Maryland-born trainer also based in New York.
"I like shipping to Maryland, although this is the first race I've won here in quite awhile," Kelly said. "They called my dad Turnpike Tom; maybe they'll call me Turnpike Pat."
Previously, Binary Light had been fourth in the Saranac Stakes, which was won by Casino Magisterate, trained by Kelly's father. Pat Kelly said he regards his father's horse as the best East Coast 3-year-old on the grass.
* A bettor, who identified herself only as Betty from Reisterstown, was one of two fans yesterday who each won $39,458 by selecting the Double Triple in the third and fifth races.
Betty said she had overslept yesterday and would have gone fishing at Liberty Dam, but decided instead to come to the races with her husband, James.
"I only come once every six months," she said, "and I never bet more than $7 a race, $2 to win and $5 to place."
But yesterday she spent $18 to box her lottery numbers 3-8-7 in the third race.
She had one of more than 500 winning tickets in a Triple that paid just $36.60.
She had one chance to select the second part of the Double Triple.
"I used the same numbers, but only in a different order," she said. "I don't know what made me do it that way. I just did."
When the combination came in 3-8-7, Betty hit the jackpot, and will get about $31,000 after taxes.
She said she would use the money to restore an old car "and then save the rest."