The glamour of the glorious times was gone.
Little Bold John has competed at much more prestigious tracks, for much more money and against much more competition than faced him in the $16,000 allowance feature yesterday at Timonium Race Course.
But to trainer Jerry Robb, Little Bold John's victory romp was another steppingstone toward a milestone.
"I'd like to reach that $2 million mark with him before we stop," said Robb after the all-time No. 3 money earner among Maryland-breds scored by 13 lengths over Jet Stream in a three-horse race.
"There really aren't any specific plans for him. I saw how easy this race was shaping up and it looked like we could get something to boost his ego. This could make him think he was a world-beater."
It was the 37th victory in 103 lifetime starts for the 10-year-old gelding owned by Hidden Hill Farm. It boosted his lifetime earnings to $1,939,921.
Robb scratched the other half of his entry, Pulverizing, because "they're both speedy and I didn't want them to run each other."
That left only Jet Stream and distinct outsider Tropical Society to beat in the 1 1/16-mile test that had no place or show wagering.
The trainer said Little Bold John is not likely to run back at Timonium, which has eight more days of racing.
"He's still eligible for this same type of condition race, and that's how we'll keep going," he said.
Little Bold John took a 10-month hiatus after winning a $26,000 allowance at Laurel a year ago. After four sprint tuneups, he has fared extremely well at a distance.
He has two victories and a second (beaten by a half-length) at 1 1/16 miles since Aug. 7.
Opening day was slightly soiled Saturday by a sewer-line blockage that made a number of bathrooms on the fairgrounds unusable.
But officials had the problem corrected for yesterday's card.
"In 30 years, that's the first time I've ever seen anything like that here," said Howard M. "Max" Mosner Jr., the State Fair's general manager.
"A manhole was covered by stone and blacktopped. We brought equipment in and reamed it out and, hopefully, it's corrected now." Patrons of the fair and races were directed to use facilities that were operating at the other end of the grounds. No problems were reported yesterday.
Business continued brisk at the track, with 6,598 fans wagering $715,743 on the second card. Mosner is excited about the development because "a few days ago, we were looking at [Hurricane] Andrew and the possibility of losing this weekend.". . . . No simulcast will be offered today because Monmouth is dark. A 10-race program will resume tomorrow. Mosner said next Monday, a simulcast will be added from The Meadowlands, which is running a daytime card. . . . The fair and track was bulging with humanity, partially because it was Governor's Volunteer Day. An estimated 17,000 patrons attended on a special deal for persons who volunteer in various capacities for the state.