Secret Odds right at home in Laurel sprint 2-year-old improves chances to win Maryland-bred honors

November 16, 1992|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

After turning in a disappointing race against the nation's best 2-year-olds, Secret Odds returned to state-bred competition yesterday and looked like a champion.

The colt was never touched by the whip and set a record for the Devil's Bag Stakes at Laurel Race Course.

The victory increased his chances to be named the year's best Maryland-bred 2-year-old colt or gelding.

Secret Odds ran the seven furlongs in 1 minute, 23 3/5 seconds, easily moving away from John's Ambition and Domus Pacis to maintain the early lead. He then turned back a challenge by the maiden Woods of Windsor in the stretch and won by 1 1/4 lengths.

Olney, winner of his past two starts at Laurel, finished third, but never posed a serious threat. His rider, Gregg McCarron, said, "He moved between horses on the turn and I thought he'd kick. But with every stride those other two horses were moving away from me."

In his last start, Secret Odds was the only Maryland-bred to compete in any of the Breeders' Cup races at Gulfstream Park on Oct. 31. He set the early pace in the 1 1/16-mile Juvenile, but tired and finished 10th.

That race, plus a second-place finish in the one-mile Grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park, convinced his trainer, Larry Murray, that Secret Odds is primarily a sprinter.

Edgar Prado, who is the fifth jockey to ride the horse this year, said the colt impressed him yesterday and is the best 2-year-old he has ridden this year. "He did everything so easy. He did it on his own," Prado said. "There was no need to hit him."

Secret Odds is owned and bred by Howard and Sondra Bender, partners with Dr. Robert Leonard in the ownership of Glade Valley Farm, one of the state's largest breeding establishments, in Frederick.

Howard Bender said they had bred the dam -- double-stakes producer Clever Miss, who has sprinting blood -- to English Derby winner Secreto with hopes of getting a fast horse who could go a distance. "We will just have to wait and see how he develops," Bender said.

Murray said Secret Odds could have one more race this year. He will go in the Morven Stakes, which is a sprint, at The Meadowlands or run back against Maryland-breds in the 1 1/16-mile Maryland Juvenile Championship at Laurel Dec. 5.

Secret Odds has run eight times and all three of his career wins have been at Laurel.

* NOTES: Marylanders continue to win races at Aqueduct. John Alecci shipped his filly Cercida once again to the New York track and won a $100,000 claimer with her Saturday. She had won there previously under Chris Antley. But Julie Krone substituted for the injured Antley on Saturday. . . . Baltimore County trainer Larry Smith won a $33,000 allowance race yesterday at Aqueduct with Big Big Affair. Smith, however, didn't make the race. He was on National Guard duty in Ellicott City. . . . Former Baltimore radio personality Doug Vair will fill in as interim public relations director at Laurel until a replacement is found for the departing Damon Thayer. . . . Clever Miss also produced stakes winners Clever Power and Integre. The mare is now in foal to 1990 Horse of the Year Criminal Type. . . . Trainer Eddie Gaudet said that My Impression, recently second in the Bimelech Stakes Laurel, won a stakes race at The Meadowlands on Saturday night.

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