Green Darlin wins 2nd since return from injury

February 03, 1993|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

Their top Maryland-bred colt, Secret Odds, is having a quiet winter, but Howard and Sondra Bender are formulating stakes plans for a couple of their other runners.

The Benders' 4-year-old filly Green Darlin took another step toward stakes participation yesterday by winning the $18,000 Laurel Race Course feature as the 6-5 favorite.

But future plans for Green Darlin carry a big "if". The horse broke her right knee in her second start last February. She now races with a bone held together by a screw.

"I think it happened when she broke from the gate that day," trainer Larry Murray said. "Another horse came over and knocked her sideways, but she still came on and won. I'd say she's got a lot of heart."

After nearly a year on the shelf, Green Darlin has now won both of her starts since returning on Jan. 12. If she succeeds in running well in another condition allowance race, she could start March 20 in the Conniver Handicap for Maryland-bred fillies and mares.

That is the same day another Bender runner, Maryland Moon, is scheduled to run in the $100,000-added Fort Lauderdale Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

"We will probably give him a prep on the dirt at Laurel and then ship him to Florida," Murray said.

Green Darlin carries a lot of residual value as a broodmare prospect. She is the first foal from the Alydar mare, Al's Darlin, who is a half-sister to Navajo Princess. The latter is the dam of European champion Dancing Brave and Jolypha, the French-based filly who finished a surprising third in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic. Jolypha was subsequently voted third best 3-year-old filly in the United States off that one start.

Murray said he is in no hurry to race Secret Odds, who has been resting this winter at Laurel. The colt is considered the best Maryland-bred 2-year-old of 1992.

"We plan to keep him in sprints, and there really aren't many opportunities for 3-year-old sprinters early in the year," Murray said. "We'll probably start him in late spring."

Yesterday, Secret Odds was listed as the highest-ranked Maryland-bred juvenile when the weights were released for the Experimental Free Handicap. The annual roster of 2-year-olds is a graded index of the country's leading 2-year-old colts and fillies.

Secret Odds weighted at 115 pounds and placed 17th out of 112 colts.

The highest-weighted Maryland-bred filly, at 114 pounds, is Broad Gains. The daughter of Broad Brush, owned by Robert Meyerhoff and trained by Dick Small, is currently wintering in Camden, S.C. Broad Gains was ranked two pounds above Carnirainbow and Winka, who are also state-breds.

Racing legislation on agenda

Emergency legislation that would allow Laurel-Pimlico to take full-card simulcasts on races from Santa Anita, Gulfstream and Oaklawn parks could be on the agenda Tuesday when the Senate Finance Committee holds hearings on six other racing bills.

The bill, which permits Maryland tracks to offer full-card commingled pools on televised races from out-of-state tracks, is expected to be introduced this week in the General Assembly.

The proposed law was drafted by the Department of Licensing and Regulation and is being sent first to the Senate Rules Committee. It is then expected to be forwarded to Senate Finance.

"We have been asked to expedite it to finance so that it can be heard Tuesday," said Jennifer Riggio, administrative assistant to David Iannucci, chief legislative officer to Gov. William Donald Schaefer.

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