UPPER MARLBORO -- The $40,000 Marlboro Cup is the crowning event of the two-day thoroughbred meeting at the Prince George's Equestrian Center, but perhaps a renaming of the race is in order.
Maybe it could be called the Arnold Heft-Jerry Robb-Greg Hutton personal preserve.
That owner-trainer-rider team dominated the race for the third time in four years yesterday, sending out He Is Risen to an easy victory against six rivals in the 1 1/16-mile test.
"Usually, you can hear horses coming to you, but today you would have needed a telescope to find them," said Hutton, after his six-length score over Ebonizer.
He Is Risen and stablemate Pulverizing were bet down to 1-9 by the crowd of 8,477 and might have outclassed the field except for a determined ride by Joe Rocco on Ebonizer.
"I thought we'd be 1-2 until I saw the jock going hard on that other horse," said Robb.
Robb saddled Baldski's Choice for Heft to capture the first two Marlboro Cups.
He Is Risen completed the distance in 1 minute, 45 3/5 seconds, two-fifths off Sunny Sunrise's track record.
Fan picks out a car
One lucky fan, Peter Brownstein of Kent Island, took home a new Infiniti for correctly picking the winners of the third through ninth races.
Entering the feature, he held the only live ticket and he had selected the Heft entry.
"I didn't think I had a chance until I hit the race before," said Brownstein, who attends the races about once a month and "never bets" the Pic 6 at the major thoroughbred tracks. "Here, it looked like there were a lot of good favorites."
Blengs top trainer, Pino top rider
Vinnie Blengs halted Robb's three-year stranglehold on the leading trainer award with three winners yesterday.
He and jockey Mario Pino combined to take the third with Bonus Star ($5.80), the seventh with Tipperary Star ($3.80), who won on a disqualification, and the 10th with August Bum ($16.80).
With August Bum's triumph, Pino overtook Alberto Delgado to capture the leading rider award, 26-24.
First-time starters Spring Twice and Blood Hawk accounted for the daily double. Spring Twice was an unraced 6-year-old by Spring Double out of Tiamat. . . . In her first race, Ruth Ann Christian finished second aboard favored Labanca in the fourth race. . . . Freddy Castillo was tossed by Baron of Blitchton, who finished third, after completion of the third race, then was disqualified aboard In Her Honor after winning the seventh. The filly veered sharply out of the gate from the No. 8 post and badly impeded two horses outside her. . . . Attendance and handle for the two-day run were slightly down from last year.