Travel woes could affect Laurel races

February 05, 1993|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

Lenny Hale, Laurel's new vice president of racing, spent part of yesterday worrying about airplanes.

Specifically, how to arrange air transportation for four or five California horses to fly to Laurel for next weekend's Sprintfest.

"It seems the trainers are having difficulty securing a plane from Tex Sutton [the major U.S. air shipment company for thoroughbreds]," Hale said.

Included are two mares for next Saturday's Grade II Barbara Fritchie Handicap, which, along with the General George Stakes jTC on Feb. 15 (Presidents Day), are the signature races of Laurel's winter meet.

Top West Coast trainers Neil Drysdale and Dick Mandella told Hale they are serious about sending a pair of horses for the stakes.

Drysdale nominated Laramie Moon, an Argentine-bred Grade I stakes winner, to the Barbara Fritchie and Desert Dirham, a 5-year-old son of Blushing Groom, to the General George.

Mandella missed the Barbara Fritchie last year with Devil's Orchid, the daughter of Devil's Bag that was second in the 1991 Fritchie to Fappaburst. But he wants to try again next weekend. The mare was recently second in the Santa Monica Handicap. Mandella has a Chilean-bred horse, Memo, ready to run in the General George.

Other California entries could come from D. Wayne Lukas, who has four General George nominees.

Counting Laramie Moon and Devil's Orchid, Hale expects about a dozen runners for the Barbara Fritchie. Included are last year's winner, Wood So, who is stabled at Laurel and other local runners Stem The Tide, Part With Pride, Ritchie Trail, Silver Tango, and Darinka. Expected to come from New York are My Treasure, Scenic Bidder and Makin Faces.

The Canadian filly, Moon Mist, is already at Laurel and won a prep for the Barbara Fritchie in yesterday's $25,000 feature. Under Tommy Turner, Moon Mist defeated Precisely yesterday by 4 1/4 lengths. Even-money favorite Silver Tango was third.

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