Carnirainbow caught the worst track in her 14-race career and still won the $43,875 Marshua Stakes at Laurel Race Course yesterday by a neck over Sentimentaldiamond.
The robust filly, who usually races on or near the lead, came from off the pace on the sloppy surface and was timed the six furlongs in 1 minute, 13 3/5 seconds.
It was her sixth stakes victory for her 76-year-old owner, Hal Clagett of Upper Marlboro.
Greg Hutton, on board yesterday, has ridden the filly in all of her added-money triumphs.
Mike Luzzi, who finished third with Dasharoo,claimed foul against the winner for interference coming out of the starting gate. But the objection was dismissed by the stewards.
The scene yesterday was more reminiscent of winter racing at the old Bowie track than at Laurel.
The Marshua was run during a late-afternoon snowfall. General manager Jim Mango had arrived at the track at 5 a.m., but did not consider canceling the card despite the foul weather.
"The temperatures were above freezing so I figured we were in for just a wet, messy day," Mango said. The sparse crowd bet $1.1 million, about $1 million less than a year ago.
Mango estimated the bad weather cost the track about $500,000 in handle.
"But you never know for sure how these kind of days are going to go," he said.
The track was also competing against a Washington Redskins playoff game.
Clagett said that Carnirainbow has now won more stakes for him than any other horse he has campaigned, but he still considers his best runner Alden's Ambition.
Clagett is also the breeder of Little Bold John, who won 26 stakes, but he sold him early in his career.
Jerry Robb, who trains Clagett's horses and owns Little Bold John, said the old gelding "came back gimpy in a hind leg" after his last win a couple of months ago at Laurel.
"But he's now back in training," Robb said. He plans to continue racing him this year at age 11.
Longevity is apparently a Clagett trademark. Clagett himself is still going strong. He expects 15 foals this spring at his Prince George's County farm.
NOTES: Track operator Joe De Francis said he received nothing but "positive comments" yesterday about his appointment of Lenny Hale to his management staff. Hale was at the track yesterday and is expected to start work tomorrow. There is speculation that current director of racing Larry Abbundi will retire when the Pimlico meet begins March 23. . . .Maryland's leading woman jockey, Andrea Seefeldt, is taking a long winter vacation and is not expected to resume riding until March.