Stem the Tide romps in Laurel mud Carousel winner scores by 9 in stakes-record time

December 13, 1992|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Staff Writer

They have clashed four times since April, with Brilliant Brass spotting weight to Stem the Tide in each race.

L Yesterday, the difference might have been a little too much.

With Stem the Tide carrying nine fewer pounds than Brilliant Brass' 124, the $75,000 Carousel Handicap turned into a one-horse romp through the mud at Laurel Race Course.

Stem the Tide rolled away from her rival and everyone else to score by nine lengths under jockey Mike Luzzi, covering the 1 1/8 miles in a stakes-record 1 minute, 49 3/5 seconds.

The weight, not the mucky surface, was the major topic in the post-mortems of a race that denied Brilliant Brass her ninth stakes victory of 1992.

"When we saw that 124 [most ever carried by Brilliant Brass], we knew we were in trouble," said Nick Bassford, whose wife, Elaine, owns the leading candidate for Maryland-bred Horse of the Year.

"I still think we have a super horse. Absolutely."

But not on this day. Stem the Tide had but a length lead after six furlongs and was on top by three as Brilliant Brass began her run at the head of the stretch.

The excitement was over. "I just let her out a notch and she ran down the lane real nicely," said Luzzi. "I had a lot of horse left."

Stem the Tide, owned by the Christiana Stables, is coming into own with four victories in her last five starts, including two over Brilliant Brass.

"She used to get nervous and we didn't run her much this summer because she doesn't like the heat," said James Murphy. "She's maturing now."

He conceded that the weight may have been an advantage "but this filly is getting good."

"I believe she's just as good as Brilliant Brass," said Luzzi. "She's beaten her before. She was by herself out there early and liked that."

Edgar Prado, aboard Brilliant Brass, was not pleased that no one challenged Stem the Tide's modest pace.

"She's not really great for this kind of track and the weight killed her," said Prado.

The Bassfords said serious consideration will be given to allowing Brilliant Brass, who has had some physical problems, a layoff. Stem the Tide will probably be pointed toward the Barbara Fritchie in the Winter Sprint Fest.

Toy donation to benefit children

The jockeys' wives are sponsoring a "toy day" today at Laurel.

Patrons who bring a new toy for donation to orphans and battered children at Christmas will receive free admission, a free group picture of the Maryland jockeys and a visit with Santa Claus at 11:30 a.m.

Simulcast canceled

The ninth-race simulcast, the Queens County Handicap, was eliminated yesterday when racing was canceled at Aqueduct because of weather conditions.

Maryland-bred gelding Asserche was scheduled to run but never made it to the track because flooding had closed the George Washington Bridge into New York.

Miscellaneous

Jockey Charles Fenwick III will begin serving a seven-day suspension tomorrow after appearing before the Racing Commission. He was previously granted a stay of suspension. . . . Joe Rocco won three races yesterday.

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