Horse shortage doesn't hurt Timonium Track draws respectable fields during first three days of racing

September 01, 1992|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Staff Writer

A shortage of horses nationwide has caused tracks to incorporate such techniques as simulcasting and commingling to complete racing cards.

But, with one notable exception, there has been no such problem so far at Timonium Race Course, which has featured respectably sized fields through its first three days.

Only in Sunday's feature -- when Little Bold John apparently scared off the majority of the competition -- has a noticeably short group run in any race.

"It's usually good the first few days," said Timonium racing secretary Georgeanne Hale. "Then there is a slack-off in the middle before things return to normal."

Timonium draws its horses from local sources and from nearby tracks such as Charles Town, Penn National and Delaware. Only to 70 horses are stabled on the grounds, mostly by horsemen from northern Baltimore County and Harford County.

"I guess in that one race, people scratched out because they didn't want to run Little Bold John," said Hale. "A couple came in with notes from vets [veterinarians] and maybe there was some panic because he was in there."

By this weekend, the second and final of the meeting, solid fields will be in evidence again. Meanwhile, simulcasts will serve as filler through the week.

"It'll pick up," said Hale. "Everybody who ran the first couple of days will be coming back."

Riding into the sunset?

Veteran jockey Danny Wright is seriously considering retiring from the saddle.

"I've applied to [the Maryland Racing Commission] to become a steward," said Wright, who has been riding for more than 25 years. "If that comes through, there is no doubt."

It will be several months before the decision is known. In the meantime, Wright will continue to take mounts. He is named on two today.

Miscellaneous

Joe Rocco has been unable to compete since being jerked by a mount opening day. He has a back problem that needs attention. . . . Edgar Prado was named on Famous Flame in the fifth race today, but has been taken off. Prado was thrown by Jolie's Halo at the start of the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Sunday. . . . Apprentice Freddy Castillo scored three victories on yesterday's card and pulled into a tie with Alberto Delgado for the jockey lead with four wins apiece. Ronnie Franklin had two wins to join a group of five tied for second. . . . With the weekend behind, the handle fell appreciably yesterday to $469,244. Almost $1.6 million was wagered during the first two days of the meeting. . . . Owner Ronald Emery has been suspended for 10 days by the stewards for not obtaining written approval to possess injectable medications. . . . Favored Felicia D. surged ahead at the top of the stretch and went on to a 4 3/4 -length triumph in the featured $8,500 claimer yesterday. Franklin was aboard as the filly increased her 1992 record to 3-for-7 with two seconds and a third.

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