With 13th win of year, Kelly's Class 2nd in U.S.

December 30, 1992|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

Penelope Keating refers to Kelly's Class as her "own little Gulch."

Although the 4-year-old colt is bred along similar lines as the 1988 sprint champion, he is not quite in the same league.

But he is one hard-trying racehorse. When Kelly's Class won the the $23,000 Laurel feature yesterday in one last determined jump at the wire, it was his 13th victory of 1992.

He not only won more races this year than any other Maryland thoroughbred, but also ranks second in number of wins in the nation to Ohio-based Speedy Crossing.

That 5-year-old Sauce Boat gelding won 14 races on the Thistledown-Beulah Park circuit.

Triple Crown winner Citation holds the national record. In 1948, he won 19 races in one year.

Mrs. Keating, who owns the horse in partnership with Larry Hoyle, bought Kelly's Class in utero at the 1987 Timonium sales.

"His dam Princess Carolina was a daughter of Rambunctious and she was in foal to Allen's Prospect [a son of Mr. Prospector]," Keating recalled. "I really was thinking of Gulch, since he was out of Jameela [a Rambunctious mare] by Mr. Prospector."

As a yearling, Kelly's Class barely survived colic surgery at the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa. "He had twisted his intestine, and it was necessary to have 12 feet of his intestines removed. The operation cost $5,000," Keating said.

Once at the track, Kelly's Class showed plenty of speed, but had weak bones. He bucked his shins twice and recovered from stress fractures in both front legs.

After he had won a couple of races last year, and had had some time off, Keating's trainer Fred Groves gambled and dropped Kelly's Class in for a $5,000 claiming tag.

That was Jan. 3. He won, and it has been uphill ever since.

Among the horses Kelly's Class defeated yesterday was stakes winner Charlie You Know, who had beaten him in September in the $100,000 Maryland Million Sprint.

"He is my partner's pet and is still a colt," Keating said. "He has never allowed us to geld him."

Kelly's Class increased his 1992 earnings yesterday to $145,000.

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