Mrs. Adelaide Riggs has long been a stalwart of Maryland racing.
She has raised thoroughbreds for more than 50 years at her Happy Retreat Farm in Woodbine, continuing and then expanding the operation after the death of her husband, Augustus Riggs IV, a renowned fox hunter and professional horseman.
But even Mrs. Riggs said she's never had a day of racing quite like yesterday.
Not only did her newly-acquired 2-year-old colt, Wild Zone, win the Primer Breeders' Cup Stakes at Laurel Race Course, but her 4-year-old filly, Dhaka, also won the $40,000 Regret Handicap at Monmouth Park, and another one of her runners, Casting a Spell, won Laurel's third race.
"I've never had three winners in one day," she said.
Wild Zone broke his maiden at Churchill Downs early last month and then yesterday went wire-to-wire in the Primer. He was initially chased by Down Home Doctor, a maiden, but repulsed him and then held off a stretch rally by Storm Flight.
For the first time yesterday, the entire Laurel card was simulcast to Delaware Park and Garden State Park. The wagers at those tracks were commingled with the betting pool at Laurel.
Garden State handled $135,126 on the 12 races and Delaware posted $122,412. By contractual agreement, Laurel track management and Maryland horsemen receive 3 percent of the Garden State bets and 6 1/2 percent of the Delaware wagers, which they split evenly.
From the total of $257,538 bet at the two out-of-state tracks yesterday, about $6,000 is earmarked for Laurel purses.