Back in Maryland, Buddy Raines has a Million air of success Trainer, 82, seeking to win fourth in a row in Classic

September 23, 1992|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

One of the first things Buddy Raines did when he arrived for the Maryland Million yesterday was throw away a box of salt.

It is one of the ingredients Raines uses in a special recipe, which includes sorghum, molasses, flax seed and a touch of garlic, that he feeds his horses.

"Never ship salt," he said.

That's just one of the superstitions the 82-year-old horseman has picked up in a lifetime of training thoroughbreds.

Not that Raines' career has been guided by any supernatural beliefs. He was born a self-proclaimed country boy, given away by his parents at 4 to be raised by an itinerant Midwest horse trader and grew up to train for John Hay Whitney and members of the duPont family.

Raines has trained at least 23 stakes winners, including a champion handicap mare (Open Fire, 1966), a Preakness winner (Greek Money, 1962) and four Maryland Million winners -- more than any other trainer.

What the Belmont Stakes is to Woody Stephens (he won the race five times), the Maryland Million has become to Raines.

Raines won his first Maryland Million race in 1988 with a 3-year-old named Master Speaker.

"After that, we kind of got hooked," Raines said.

Raines returned the next year with Master Speaker and won the $200,000 Maryland Million Classic and then followed that up with back-to-back Classic victories in 1990 and 1991 with Timely Warning.

Master Speaker, now retired, and Timely Warning are owned by Anderson Fowler, a member of the Jockey Club, who maintains Buckingham Farm in Chestertown with his daughter and son-in-law, Binnie and Eddie Houghton.

Now Raines is back in Baltimore to try for a third consecutive Maryland Million Classic victory with Timely Warning and a fourth straight Classic victory overall.

"He's a kind, old horse," Raines said. "If you get him at just the right time, then he runs his heart out for you."

Raines said he has pointed the 7-year-old Caveat gelding for Saturday's 1 1/4 -mile race.

"He doesn't like hot weather, so we haven't run him much this summer, just seven or eight times," Raines said. "He's only won one race. But the Million, that's the race we've headed for. This is the race we want to win."

Raines said he used his records from last year, and put Timely Warning on a similar schedule.

"We ran him 20 days before the race, gave him a week off, and then gave him a mile workout [in 1 minute, 44 seconds] last Saturday," Raines said. "I shipped him into Pim- lico on Monday, put a new pair of shoes on him and gave him gallops yesterday and today to get him used to the track and his shoes. Then we'll take him to the paddock [today] and work him a half-mile tomorrow. He's even stabled in the same stall [Stall 26 in the stakes barn] that he's lived in the last two years."

The Maryland Million has become such a part of Raines' regimen that he marks his calendar accordingly.

"We try not to run our horses between Thanksgiving and Easter," Raines said. "We winter them in Aiken [S.C.]. Then we leave for Kentucky on April 15 and stay there three weeks for the Keeneland meet. Then we go to Monmouth Park for the summer, come here for the Maryland Million and then go home."

Having owners who cooperate with that kind of laid-back, old-fashioned schedule is the trick, Raines said.

"That's the biggest change I've seen in racing over the years -- the owners. The good, old owners, well, they've done and left us," he said. "They left you alone and let you train the horses."

Maryland Million Day

What: Twelve races. Total purses worth $1,065,000. To be eligible, a horse must be sired by a stallion who stands in Maryland. And that stallion must be nominated to the Maryland Million. The nomination fee is equal to that stallion's stud fee. Eligible foals are then nominated to the Maryland Million. There are 201 preliminary entries; final entries will be drawn tomorrow.

When: Saturday, post time 1 p.m.

Where: Pimlico Race Course

TV: No live coverage. Tape delay to be shown Sunday on ESPN's "Racing Across America," 9 p.m.

Betting: Two races (still to be determined) will be part of the second National Pic-6 Saturday.

Races (order to be determined tomorrow):

* $200,000-guaranteed Maryland Million Classic for 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/4 miles.

* $150,000-guaranteed Maryland Million Ladies, fillies and mares, 3 and up, 1 1/8 miles, turf.

* $100,000-guaranteed Maryland Million Sprint Handicap, 3 and up, 6 furlongs.

* $100,000-guaranteed Maryland Million Distaff Handicap, fillies and mares, 3 and up, 6 furlongs.

* $100,000-guaranteed Maryland Million Turf, 3-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles, turf.

* $100,000-guaranteed Maryland Million Oaks, 3-year-old fillies, 1 1/16 miles

* $100,000-guaranteed Maryland Million Nursery, 2-year-olds, 6 furlongs

* $100,000-guaranteed Maryland Million Lassie, 2-year-old fillies, 6 furlongs

* $50,000-guaranteed Maryland Million Handicap, 3 and up, 1 1/8 miles.

* $25,000-guaranteed Maryland Million Steeplechase Handicap, 4 and up, 2 1/16 miles over hurdles.

* $25,000-guaranteed Maryland Million Maiden Turf, 2-year-olds, 1 mile, turf.

* $15,000-guaranteed "Maryland You Are Beautiful" Starter Race, 3 and up, 1 1/16 miles.

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