Root Boy digs the slop, romps in Laurel's Challedon Handicap

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

When the going gets sloppy, Root Boy gets going.

"This horse loves the mud," said trainer Lou Bernier yesterday after Root Boy dominated six rivals in the $60,000 Challedon Handicap at Laurel Race Course and prevailed by 5 1/2 lengths. "I was doing my rain dance last [Friday] night."

So, when an all-night drizzle left the surface cushy, Root Boy was ready to play runaway ghost in his third victory (plus a second-place showing) in four starts over an off track.

Flaming Emperor, the defending champion, never took to the going and finished fifth. The favored mare, Wood So, settled for third behind Sticks And Bricks.

With Tommy Turner and Mike Luzzi out of town, Joe Rocco made the most of his mount on Root Boy.

"When I got in the paddock, they told me he breaks a little slow and I didn't want to get set back," said Rocco. "It took him about 70 yards before he grabbed the bit. Then he kept right on running."

Root Boy completed the seven furlongs for Maryland-breds in 1 minute, 23 3/5 seconds, raising his lifetime record to 8-for-21.

Big exacta in fifth race

The second largest exacta payoff of the year occurred when Celerity Dancer and jockey Frank Douglas shocked the field at 134-to-1 odds in the fifth race.

With Lady Piper second at 11-to-1, the exacta returned $3,001.60, topped only by a $3,546.20 return Jan. 19 at Laurel.

No one correctly tabbed the 4-11-13 triple combination. There were $27 worth of wagers placed on 4-11 in the triple with another horse third. Those bettors received $4,644.90 from a 4-11-all payout.

Little Bold John wins

Maryland's old standby, Little Bold John, completed Laurel's live card with a nose victory over Favor Ben in a $50,000 claimer that was reduced to four runners by six scratches.

It was the 38th victory and 105th lifetime start for the 10-year-old gelding, who inched closer to $2 million in lifetime earnings. With an intake of $11,695 for winning, Little Bold John has captured $1,956,406.

Miscellaneous

Laurel and Pimlico handled $2,541,248 and $804,034,

respectively, for a total of $3,345,282 yesterday on eight live races and seven Breeders' Cup events. That was more than $200,000 less than last year's total. The commingling total was $118,144 at Laurel. Maryland bettors contributed $151,144 to the National Pic-7 pool of $5,104,480. . . . Rick Wilson captured two races and overtook the absent Edgar Prado atop the jockey's race with 19 winners.

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